Maryland falls to Marshall 31-20 in Military Bowl
Maryland enjoyed all the perks that come with playing a bowl
game. There were free gifts, guided tours and bonding with
teammates to achieve a common goal.
And then it came time to actually play the Military Bowl.
The Terrapins couldn’t contain Marshall quarterback Rakeem Cato
and the formidable Thundering Herd offense Friday in a 31-20 loss
that put a damper on an otherwise pleasurable experience.
Playing in their first bowl under third-year coach Randy Edsall,
Maryland used a 99-yard drive to take the lead in the fourth
quarter. Marshall (10-4) then scored one touchdown, then another,
to leave the Terrapins (7-6) lamenting about what might have
”We had a great time at the Military Bowl,” said Terps
quarterback C.J. Brown, who went 14 for 24 for 197 yards and two
touchdowns. ”Proud of the effort, disappointed with the outcome.
It’s just one of those things.”
The Thundering Herd trailed 20-17 before Cato brought them back.
After directing a 63-yard march to put Marshall up 24-20 with 12:05
left, Cato clinched it with an 8-yard touchdown throw to Gator
Hoskins with 3:42 to play.
Cato completed 28 of 44 passes – with no interceptions – to help
Marshall reach double digits in wins for the first time since 2002.
The Thundering Herd came in averaging 43 points per game, but its
underappreciated defense played a huge role in this one.
Maryland scored only one touchdown after halftime, and A.J.
Leggett followed Cato’s final TD pass with an interception to set
off a celebration among the huge gathering of Marshall fans among
the crowd of 30,163.
Maryland closed out its association with the Atlantic Coast
Conference by falling to the runner-up in Conference USA. The
Terrapins will join the Big Ten next year.
Playing only 28 miles from its home stadium, Maryland – and its
fans – got to enjoy all the benefits of a bowl game without all the
”I was very impressed with the support that was out there in
red,” Edsall said. ”Disappointed we couldn’t have a better
outcome, but the support was unbelievable. Our kids had a really
good time here this week.”
Brandon Ross rushed for 116 yards for Maryland, which amassed
391 yards in offense but went 2 for 14 on third down.
”The biggest thing is we kept kicking ourselves in the foot,”
Brown said. ”Hurting ourselves with penalties, a couple drops and
a couple misreads. Little things like that were not helping us on
first and second downs, and creating unmanageable third
Cato had a brilliant season before this game, throwing for 3,579
yards and 36 touchdowns. This performance – on a national stage
against an ACC foe – served as the perfect finish.
”I tell the guys all the time, `Big-time players make big-time
plays in a big-time game, and this was a big-time game,”’ Cato
After a whirlwind first half that produced 30 points and 24
first downs, the teams settled into a defensive struggle in the
third quarter. Each of the first four possessions ended in punts,
but on the last one Marshall pinned the Terrapins on their own
In the same situation earlier in the game, Maryland ran three
times for 2 yards and punted. This time, the Terrapins put together
a 17-play drive that included a pair of fourth down conversions and
lasted for 7 minutes, 44 seconds. The 99-yard march ended with a
2-yard pass from Brown to tight end Dave Stinebaugh, giving
Maryland a 20-17 lead with 14:56 left.
Marshall was quick to respond. Cato completed two third-down
passes, and Essray Taliaferro ran in from the 7 to make it
Brown subsequently came up short on a third-and-5 bootleg,
providing Cato the opportunity to put the game away. Although the
Terrapins got the stop they needed, Cato came up big during the
After completing a 28-yard pass to Hoskins on third-and-11, Cato
connected with Hoskins again in the end zone. It was Hoskins’
second touchdown of the game and 15th of the season, most in the
nation for tight ends.
Cato went 16 for 25 for 193 and two touchdowns in the first half
to help the Thundering Herd grab a 17-13 lead.
After pinning the Terrapins near their own goal line, Marshall
went up 7-0 with a 37-yard drive that ended with Cato’s 1-yard
touchdown pass to Tommy Shuler.
Maryland answered with a 29-yard touchdown throw from Brown to
Levern Jacobs, but the Thundering Herd promptly regained the lead
with a lengthy march that produced an 8-yard touchdown pass from
Cato to Hoskins.
The back-and-forth duel continued in the second quarter. After
Maryland kicked a field goal, Marshall got one of its own for a
Near the end of the half, Maryland moved 81 yards in 10 plays to
set up Brad Craddock for his second field goal.