Maryland beats Syracuse 34-20
SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) — C.J. Brown threw for 280 yards and two touchdowns, cornerback William Likely returned an interception 88 yards for another score, and Maryland beat mistake-prone Syracuse 34-20 on Saturday.
Likely, who forced a fumble, had an interception, and returned a punt for a touchdown against West Virginia last week, intercepted a Terrel Hunt pass at the Maryland 12 and raced down the right sideline for a score with 3:37 to go in the first half, giving Maryland a commanding 31-13 lead.
Maryland (3-1), which entered the game averaging 37.7 points per game, the highest in school history, almost scored its average in the first half en route to its 18-point lead at intermission.
After the Orange (2-1) took a 3-0 lead on a 35-yard field goal by Ryan Norton, Maryland went to work.
Brown, who was 16 of 26, connected with wide receiver Marcus Leak in the right corner for a 25-yard touchdown, culminating a five-play, 59-yard drive that took just 1:58.
On the Terps’ next possession, Brown hit running back Brandon Ross on a short pass in the flat and Ross did the rest, running down the left sideline for a 90-yard score and 14-3 lead with 6:38 to go in the first quarter. The drive took all of 47 seconds.
Syracuse narrowed the score to 14-13 on a 49-yard field goal by freshman Cole Murphy on his first career attempt and an 8-yard run by Hunt on the first play of the second quarter. It was Hunt’s fourth rushing touchdown in his last two games.
Hunt, who added another rushing touchdown with 48 seconds left in the game, gained 156 yards on the ground, becoming the first Syracuse quarterback to run for 100 yards since Donovan McNabb ran for 100 against Miami in 1997. Hunt was 14 of 28 for 219 yards passing.
Syracuse, which defeated Maryland 20-3 in College Park last season, was hurt by a lack of discipline, getting hit with eight penalties for 89 yards. A holding penalty negated a 13-yard touchdown run by Hunt with 1:53 remaining in the first half.
A 31-yard field goal by Brad Craddock extended Maryland’s lead to 17-13 and then the Terps’ special teams took over. Anthony Nixon blocked Riley Dixon’s punt and Maryland capitalized, scoring in just four plays on Jacquille Veii’s 4-yard run to make it 24-13.
Syracuse’s special teams faltered, too. Norton missed a 25-yard field goal from the left hash mark at the end of the first half, prompting a chorus of boos from the hometown fans.
Stefon Diggs, who missed last year’s game against Syracuse, led Maryland with six receptions for 56 yards. Leak had four receptions for 93 yards and a touchdown.
Syracuse senior Prince Tyson-Gulley gained 138 yards, his fourth career 100-yard game and second this season.