Maryland Terps

No. 22 Stanford tries to move past Notre Dame loss

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No. 22 Stanford tries to move past Notre Dame loss

STANFORD, Calif. (AP) With the 30th anniversary of the famous lateral play surrounding this week's Stanford-California rivalry, Cardinal coach David Shaw was asked for his opinion about the disputed call given the benefit of replay all these years later.

Shaw responded: ``You're asking me about replay?''

Indeed, this is not the week.

Shaw said Monday he believes running back Stepfan Taylor scored the tying touchdown on fourth down in No. 22 Stanford's 20-13 overtime loss at fifth-ranked Notre Dame, though he again declined to criticize officials who upheld the decision after a video review. Instead, Shaw sent his concerns about the call - and others - to the Pac-12 offices as part of a procedure most coaches follow each week.

Pac-12 officials called the game on the field while the video review was done by a Big East crew.

``It's hard to say because I'm going to be the most biased guy you'll find,'' Shaw said. ``It's impossible for me to look at it completely objectively. I applaud my guy's effort to keep fighting. I think it's a tough call when it goes upstarts to the booth. It's out of our hands. We have to deal with what the decision is.''

That doesn't mean Shaw or his players have to like it.

Behind his big, strong offensive line, Taylor ran for 1 on first, 2 on second and about a foot on third down at the end of Saturday's soggy game. That left one play from inside the 1-yard line and the Notre Dame defense, led by Carlos Calabrese, held up Taylor and moved him backward.

Shaw, Taylor and the rest of the Stanford players insists no whistle blew. Taylor kept reaching and turning with bodies underneath him. His knee never hit the ground before reaching the ball across the goal line - whether his elbow did is unclear. But the officials ruled it was too late. The whistle had blown, and that meant the play was stopped.

Taylor finished with 102 yards on 28 carries. He needed 103.

``It's hard for me to say I'd take the call back,'' Shaw said. ``It didn't work so of course you'd love to say you'd call something else that would work. But at the same time, I think, Stepfan's effort is emblematic of what we want our guys to play with every single play, and he gives that every single play, particularly that last play.''

Earlier in the game, Shaw and Stanford players also contend they heard a whistle on third down of a methodical 16-play, 65-yard march that took 8:03 off the clock and reached the Notre Dame 3. The Irish got a stop on third down, though some Stanford players contend they heard a whistle - possibly from the stands - and stopped playing.

They settled for Jordan Williamson's field goal and a three-point lead before Notre Dame forced overtime. While a possible whistle bothered many players, it was the call on Taylor's run that still had Stanford steaming through the weekend.

``I thought he was in. But that's just what I thought,'' cornerback Usua Amanam said. ``I'm on the Stanford football team, so of course I thought that.''

No time for Stanford to sulk now.

The 115th edition of the Big Game rivalry resumes Saturday at the new Memorial Stadium in Berkeley. And while Cal (3-4, 2-2) will be the Cardinal's first opponent with a losing record this year, the Stanford Axe is as coveted as ever.

Several Stanford players called the Notre Dame loss one of the toughest of their careers. They also said facing the Golden Bears - a matchup usually slated for the final conference game of the year - will help them get over any Notre Dame hangover.

``It's a tough one to let go, but it's Big Game week. We've got to regroup,'' senior linebacker Chase Thomas said. ``Once we start to focus on Cal with today's meetings, hopefully everyone will forget.''

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NOTES: WR Ty Montgomery is expected to miss his second straight game because of a lower leg injury that occurred two weeks ago in a win against Arizona, Shaw said. Montgomery was seen riding a bicycle on campus. ... Shaw also said senior MLB Shayne Skov, who limped off the field at Notre Dame with an undisclosed injury, had no lingering health issues and will start against Cal.

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Antonio Gonzalez can be reached at: www.twitter.com/agonzalezAP

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Maryland goes toe to toe with Ohio State, but ultimately falls to the Buckeyes

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Maryland goes toe to toe with Ohio State, but ultimately falls to the Buckeyes

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Relentlessly zipping up and down the field, ninth-ranked Ohio State and upstart Maryland were racking up yards and points at a dizzying pace.

Finally, the Terrapins were presented with the chance to end it -- one way or another.

A gutsy decision by Maryland interim coach Matt Canada did not achieve the desired results, and the Buckeyes avoided one of the most stunning upsets in this college football season by squeezing out a 52-51 victory in overtime on Saturday.

After a 5-yard touchdown run by Dwayne Haskins gave the Buckeyes a seven-point lead to start overtime, Tayon Fleet-Davis scored for the Terrapins. Canada opted to keep his offense on the field to attempt a 2-point conversion, and Tyrrell Pigrome's pass to Jeshaun Jones was off target .

"It was a gut call," Canada said. "I felt like they were scoring, we were scoring. We had the ball, we had to make one play to win. Obviously it didn't work. I wasn't trying to be aggressive. I was just trying to win."

After watching his defense allow 535 yards and seven touchdowns, Ohio State coach Urban Meyer understood why Canada opted to win it right there.

"I would have probably done the same thing if I was their coach, the way they were gaining yards on us," Meyer said. "I'm relieved we won."

Favored by 14 points, Ohio State (10-1, 7-1 Big Ten, No. 10 CFP) trailed by two touchdowns in the third quarter and 45-38 with under two minutes left before rallying.

The victory kept the Buckeyes in the hunt for the Big Ten title and a spot in the College Football Playoff. Ohio State concludes the regular season next week in a game against Michigan that will decide the Big Ten East winner.

After describing the performance of his defense as "alarming," Meyer said, "But we won. Let's go back to work and get ready for next week."

The Buckeyes never led until overtime against the gritty Terrapins (5-6, 3-5), who have made the most of a season dedicated to teammate Jordan McNair, who died of heatstroke in June. The players teamed together under the guidance of Canada, who maintained his role of offensive coordinator after taking over for head coach DJ Durkin, who was placed on administrative leave in August, reinstated on Oct. 30 and fired on Oct. 31.

On this day, the Terps traded blows with one of the best teams in the nation, and stuck in it to the end.

"I wish we had been a little bit better on the last play," Canada said. "It's a tough day. We put a lot into this."

Pigrome was making his first start of the season after Kasim Hill sustained a season-ending knee injury last week. He went 6 for 13 for 181 yards.

Haskins ran for three touchdowns and was 28 for 38 for 405 yards and three TDs. Ohio State finished with a whopping 688 yards, including 203 on the ground by J.K. Dobbins.

All that offense meant nothing until Pigrome's pass went about six inches wide of his intended target.

"For us to stop them on a 2-point conversion, a whole bunch of emotions just came out of me," Haskins said. "All that grit, all that adversity we faced in this game, to come back on top just meant everything for myself and my teammates."

Maryland freshman Anthony McFarland had touchdown runs of 81 and 75 yards in the first quarter and finished with 298 yards rushing -- seven short of the school's single-game record.

The Terps took a 45-38 lead when Chigoziem Okonkwo recovered a fumble by McFarland in the end zone with 1:41 left. Haskins then orchestrated a 50-yard, beat-the-clock drive that ended with a 3-yard touchdown pass to Binjimen Victory with 40 seconds remaining.

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Terps show resiliency, but fall shy of major upset against Ohio State

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Terps show resiliency, but fall shy of major upset against Ohio State

So. That game, huh? Where do you even begin after a game like that?

The Maryland Terrapins, playing in their home finale, on Senior Day, against top-10 ranked Ohio State, put up one heck of a fight. The Terps got touchdown runs of 75 and 81 yards from Anthony McFarland, the redshirt freshman running back sensation who accumulated 299 yards on the day. His brief exit after a shoulder injury is the only reason he didn't reach 300, and is likely the only reason he still sits at second all-time in Maryland history for rushing yards in a single game, instead of first.

The defense shined as well. It's a strange thing to say after a team gives up 52 points, but they clamped down on OSU throughout the first half, and recorded three takeaways, enough to give them a chance at the win. It was all you could have asked for.

Tyrrell Pigrome also had some incredible moments on the day. The only pass he completed in the first half (seriously, the Terps led at halftime despite completing just ONE pass), was a 56-yard bomb that fell perfectly into the hands of Dontay Demus. Pigrome could not have placed it more perfectly if he had walked it to Demus and handed it to him. It was a thing of beauty, and wouldn't be the only deep pass Pigrome made look effortless today.

Unfortunately, despite the many, many highs for Maryland today, what will probably be remembered is the lowest low. Unfortunately for Pigrome, it also came from him.

In the first overtime, Maryland elected to start on defense. The unit actually held up decently well, but an untimely penalty and a bold fourth-down call gave the Buckeyes all they needed to go up seven.

The Terps struck quickly with Anthony McFarland immediately bursting forward for 24 yards. It appeared he might have had a touchdown, but it was overturned. The Terps scored on the next play, and without hesitation, interim head coach Matt Canada decided to go for a two point conversion and the win.

Considering that the Terps were two touchdown underdogs entering the day, and that the Buckeyes had scored touchdowns on four straight possessions, and how dominant the run game had been all afternoon, it was easy to agree with Canada's call.

The play design even worked splendidly, as Pigrome rolled to his right and had an underneath pass available to Tayon Fleet-Davis, or a wide open Jeshaun Jones sitting in the end zone. Pigrome opted for Jones, but anticipated the freshman wide receiver would keep moving to his right, and the ball sailed past the outstretched hands of the diving wideout. Perhaps a more seasoned quarterback-receiver duo would have been more in sync, but Pigrome, in his first start of the season, didn't have that luxury.

Right decision. Right play call. Wrong page. Game over.

Hindsight is 20/20, and as is always the case, some fans on Twitter were perplexed. Why go for two at home? Why not try to let Ohio State make a mistake on the road, especially when they'd been so sloppy all afternoon?

The truth is, Maryland needed to win this game in regulation, and they couldn't do it. Then, they managed to fight back yet again during this trying year, and put themselves in a position to win with just two yards.

If you asked Canada, Pigrome, McFarland, and every other person in Maryland Stadium today if they'd take a one play opportunity from the two-yard line to beat Ohio State, but you'd lose if you didn't convert, every one of them to a man would have taken that chance.

Disappointing results shouldn't detract from the correct process. This was the best-coached game Canada had all season long (or at the very worst since the opener against Texas) and the final call was no exception.

Ultimately, Maryland fans will move past the loss as they would any other. They'll move on to the Penn State game, or to Maryland Basketball, or the Redskins or Ravens in Week 11. It's only sports, after all, and there's always another game.

If there's anyone to feel for, it's the kids who have proudly worn the Maryland flag on their jerseys every game day this season. The kids who have lost more than most fans can truly appreciate, who have been betrayed by the men who were supposed to look after them. The kids who have inspired fans across the country with their pride, their resolve, and their bond with their brothers. The kids who have given it their all at every opportunity, and represented the university with the utmost honor, who have made alumni proud every single day.

They fought harder than ever before, and it's a darn shame that they fell short on such an emotional day. Hopefully, they can once again fight back and show how much heart they have next week against Penn State.

Based on all we've seen this season, I'd be surprised if they didn't.