Virginia Runs Past Maryland, 31-13, For Sixth Victory of the Season
COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) -Perry Jones ran for 139 yards and two touchdowns, Michael Rocco threw for two scores, and Virginia beat Maryland 31-13 Saturday to become bowl eligible for the first time since 2007.
The Cavaliers (6-3, 3-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) trailed 13-7 before scoring the game’s final 24 points. By winning four of its last five games, Virginia has reached the mandatory six-victory plateau necessary to earn a bowl invite.
It was also the Cavaliers’ first November win in four years.
Jones scored on the game’s initial play from scrimmage and added a 1-yard touchdown run in the pivotal third quarter, when the Cavaliers outscored the Terrapins 14-0 to take a 28-13 lead. He had 100 yards rushing in the first half alone.
Maryland (2-7, 1-5) committed five turnovers in its fifth straight loss under first-year coach Randy Edsall.
Edsall started Danny O’Brien at quarterback but also used C.J. Brown. O’Brien went 16 for 36 for 241 yards and two interceptions; Brown was 4 for 7 for 28 yards and an interception.
Rocco completed 23 of 36 passes for 307 yards in his second game since coach Mike London ditched a two-quarterback rotation.
With Virginia up 14-13 in the third quarter, London kept his offense on the field for a fourth-and-goal at the Maryland 1. Jones bounced off left tackle for a touchdown, ending a 95-yard drive that lasted nearly six minutes.
O’Brien responded with a 39-yard completion to Quintin McCree, but two plays later the quarterback threw an ill-advised pass that was intercepted by Rodney McLeod at the Virginia 27.
That led to a 17-yard touchdown pass from Rocco to Max Milien, and a fourth-quarter field goal made it 31-13 with 13:38 left.
The Cavaliers needed only 20 seconds to blunt the enthusiasm of the home crowd following a Senior Day ceremony in which Maryland honored 16 players before their final home game.
After Virginia’s Khalek Shepherd took the opening kickoff 48 yards, Jones ran for a 47-yard touchdown.
Maryland struggled offensively until late in the first quarter, when O’Brien completed successive passes of 35 and 22 yards to Kerry Boykins to set up a first-and-goal at the Virginia 9. A false start penalty interrupted the momentum, and the Terrapins had to settle for a field goal by Nick Ferrara.
The Cavaliers then moved the Maryland 20 before Clifton Richardson lost a fumble, a momentum-changing miscue.
Brown entered at quarterback for the Terrapins, who moved 83 yards in four plays to take a 10-7 lead. Key plays were a 42-yard run by Davin Meggett, a 25-yard run by Brown and a 13-yard touchdown catch by tight end Devonte Campbell.
Midway through the second quarter, the Terrapins stuffed Virginia running back Kevin Parks on a fourth-and-1 at the Maryland 40. The Terrapins got a first-and-goal at the 2, but couldn’t push the ball into the end zone and called upon Ferrara to kick a field goal.
Rocco then foiled a blitz with a 34-yard touchdown pass to a wide-open Parks, capping a four-play drive that took only 67 seconds.