Late wreck for Terps at Ga. Tech

Fourth-quarter fumble, interception and last-minute sacks foil upset bid against No. 18

No. 18 Georgia Tech 27 Maryland 23

October 08, 2006|By Heather A. Dinich | Heather A. Dinich,Sun Reporter

ATLANTA -- The opportunity was there, the chance to prove that Maryland is capable of more than lackluster wins against unheralded nonconference opponents and mediocre finishes in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

After leading 18th-ranked Georgia Tech for three quarters, though, it slipped out of the Terps' hands with a fumble, and was thrown away with an interception. In the end, Maryland reverted to its trademark mistakes and allowed the Yellow Jackets a 27-23 come-from-behind win yesterday at Bobby Dodd Stadium.

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What went right / / Maryland's special teams unit accounted for 16 of the Terps' points, including a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by senior cornerback Josh Wilson.

What went wrong / / Senior quarterback Sam Hollenbach was sacked twice on the Terps' final drive, knocking the wind out of Hollenbach and any chance at a comeback.

Defining moment / / Lance Ball's fumble with just over 10 minutes left in the game set up Georgia Tech's game-winning touchdown two plays later, erasing more than three quarters' worth of effort, as the Terps trailed for the first time since the Yellow Jackets' opening drive.

What it means / / Maryland proved it can play on par with a nationally ranked team, but because of untimely mistakes has yet to win the season-defining upset the program so desperately craves.

Up next / / The Terps (3-2, 0-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) will travel to Virginia (2-4, 1-1), which lost to East Carolina, 31-21, last night.

HEATHER A. DINICH

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