Maryland Cruises To Champs Sports Bowl Victory (AP)
(AP) Maryland methodically and meticulously put away Purdue — and looked nothing like the team that ended the regular season with two lopsided losses.
Sam Hollenbach passed for 223 yards and two touchdowns, Lance Ball rushed for 98 yards, and the Terrapins won the Champs Sports Bowl 24-7 on Friday night.
Maryland blew a chance to play for the Atlantic Coast Conference title by losing to Boston College and Wake Forest by a combined 76-40 in November.
“We didn’t want to go out the way we did, end of the season with two losses, it’s hard to swallow,” said Maryland cornerback Josh Wilson, who had an interception.
The Terrapins (9-4) were able to keep Purdue’s offense, the NCAA’s 10th best at 425 yards per game, in check by blanketing its speedy wideouts, batting down several passes — and keeping the ball away from the Boilermakers.
Keon Lattimore added 86 yards rushing on 20 carries for the Terps, who held the ball for 39:48. It hardly mattered that Dan Ennis’ 22-yard field goal with 6:22 left in the third quarter was the only scoring in the second half.
Maryland milked the clock with 429 total yards and 20 first downs and Purdue did little when it had a shot.
“I think oftentimes we look at ourselves and try to beat ourselves up some, when the reality of it was Maryland did a nice job of running the ball and controlling the ball and controlling the clock,” Purdue coach Joe Tiller said.
Boilermaker quarterback Curtis Painter completed 23-of-36 passes for 264 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Maryland’s offense was virtually mistake free, but Purdue (8-6) had several costly miscues.
The biggest was Dorien Bryant’s fumble after a 31-yard reception that would’ve been Purdue’s biggest play of the game on its opening drive of the second half. Purdue never got its ground game on track after falling behind early and finished with 21 yards rushing.
“I thought we had an excellent plan. We worked a lot against each other,” Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen said. “We really had some great team periods, blitz periods. I really wanted to get our DBs and linebackers playing against the speed they were going to see.”
Tiller, frustrated with the officiating and 14-0 score, got a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty in the second quarter.
“There’s a first for everything,” Tiller said. “That was my first in sixteen years, but that is horrible, and it’s 20 minutes after the game and he’s still horrible. He missed several calls.”
Shortly afterward, Darrius Heyward-Bey showcased his 4.38 speed on a 46-yard touchdown pass. Hollenbach appeared to overthrown him on the sideline route, but the freshman wideout got underneath it for the 21-0 score.
Purdue missed its first chance to score by ending a 55-yard first quarter drive with a missed field goal. Ball ran five times for 49 yards on the next series to set up a TD. Out of the shotgun with five wideouts, Hollenbach dumped it to Joey Haynos for a 4-yard score to give Maryland a 7-0 lead.
Starting from their own 40, the Terps made it 14-0 after Hollenbach orchestrated another flawless drive. He hit Heyward-Bey over the middle for a 19-yard gain, and Danny Oquendo for 11 yards to the Purdue 4. Cory Jackson ran in from a yard out for the touchdown.
The Boilermakers got their only touchdown just before halftime. Painter led them 71 yards in 1:25, hitting Greg Orton for a 12-yard touchdown. Orton and Bryant’s receptions accounted for all Purdue’s offense in the drive.
Maryland played its first bowl game since 2004, while Purdue returned after missing last year for the first time in Tiller’s 10 seasons. It was the teams’ first meeting.