COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) — Danny O’Brien threw two second half touchdowns and Maryland’s defense forced four second half turnovers, helping the Terrapins pull away to a 28-3 win over in-state foes Towson on Saturday.
Maryland (2-2) snapped a two-game losing streak with the win, but failed to convert on any of its third or fourth downs in the first half, and led 7-3 at halftime.
O’Brien completed 14 of 21 passes for 123 yards. Davin Meggett added 102 rushing yards; as Maryland finished with 335 yards total offense — 198 rushing.
Towson came in leading all Football Championship Series teams in scoring defense, allowing an average of 10 points per game, and they held the Maryland offense in check until the Tigers began committing turnovers.
The Tigers (3-1) had the ball for 21:30 of the game’s first 30 minutes, keeping Maryland’s offense off the field, but committed four turnovers in the second half.
Maryland took just 85 seconds to score against the Tigers when D.J. Adams ended a 65-yard drive with a 15-yard touchdown run. The score came one play after a roughing the passer penalty on an incomplete pass allowed the Terps a first down rather than facing a fourth down at the 30.
D.J. Soven’s 23-yard field goal at the end of a nine-minute possession in the second quarter by the Tigers made it 7-3 after the Tigers were stopped on a goal line stand by the Terps.
The Tigers missed a 24-yard field goal try as the first half ended, rushing to get the kick off with no timeouts left and the
clock ticking down.
Towson’s defense blocked a Maryland field goal on the team’s second possession and also held the Terps on a fourth-and-1 try on their very next trip down the field. Maryland had the ball for just six offensive plays in the second quarter as Towson held the ball for almost seven minutes before the missed field goal.
Maryland extended its lead to 14-3 on its first possession of the second half, which followed an interception by Kenny Tate at the Towson 45. Maryland scored eight plays later with Justus Pickett going in from the 5.
Following a Towson punt, Maryland drove 78 yards and scored on a 7-yard pass from O’Brien to Kenny Dorsey for a 21-3 advantage with 7:09 to play.
Another Towson fumble gave Maryland the ball at the Tigers 26, leading to a 5-yard pass from O’Brien to Tyler Cierski.
Peter Athens started at quarterback for Towson in place of Grant Enders, who was injured last week.
Athens, who missed all of 2010 with an injury, had career-high totals of 29 passes, 17 completions and 217 yards.
Tom Ryan caught seven passes for 103 yards for the Tigers, who finished with 378 yards offense.
The game was the first ever between the two teams and was a reunion of sorts for Maryland coach Randy Edsall and Towson coach Rob Ambrose, who coached together for seven years at the University of Connecticut.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)