The Maryland Terps looked as if they were going to run away with a victory over the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets today, but a late swarm brought the Jackets right back into the game and it was a missed field goal from 52 yards by Yellow Jackets kicker Travis Bell that preserved the 28-26 victory for the Terps.
Georgia Tech crept back into the game right before halftime when defensive end Vance Walker forced Terps quarterback Chris Turner to fumble, allowing Darrell Robertson to pick up the ball and race 32 yards for a touchdown. This pulled the Jackets to within striking distance at 21-10.
Terps Head Coach Ralph Friedgen praised the play of his players which again had a huge lead and almost let it slip away.
“I thought our kids played with unbelievable effort,” Terps Coach Ralph Friedgen said. “They faced tremendous adversity again.”
Some of that adversity also had to deal with the loss of right guard Andrew Crummey, who will miss the rest of the season after he broke his left fibula in the first half.
The Terps also suffered another scare when linebacker Rick Costa suffered a neck injury in the first half and had to be airlifted to Maryland Shock Trauma in Baltimore. He was later released.
Costa, who was filling in for injured linebacker Erin Henderson gave the Terps another strong nosed guy on the field and when he left the game you could see some of the momentum shifting towards the Yellow Jackets offense.
Yellow Jackets quarterback Taylor Bennett overcame early struggles to throw for 309 yards, including a 39-yard touchdown pass to Demaryius Thomas to make it 28-26 with 8:21 left.
After the touchdown by Thomas, Tech had the ball one more time and drove the ball down to the Terps 23 yard line well within Bell’s range as the ACC leading Kicker. This is where the Terps defense stepped up and stuffed the running game by the Yellow Jackets which featured a lone running back in the backfield with the ball snapped directly to Tashard Choice on several occasions.
Choice was used several times in the final drive and had he not been denied on the two point conversion, the game would have been deadlocked at 28 and the Terps might have fallen to the swing of momentum the Yellow Jackets had late in the fourth quarter.
Maryland takes next week off and hopes to recover from some of its injuries and , but plays host to Virginia on Saturday, Oct. 20 in the annual homecoming game. Friedgen agreed that the team needed some time off to recover and find ways to fill in with the younger players.
“We’re just really, really thin right now,” Friedgen said. “I don’t know what the solution is. Some guys better get real good real soon, or we’re going to struggle.”