COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) – Gary Nova threw for 347 yards and four touchdowns, and Rutgers rallied from a 25-point deficit to beat Maryland 41-38 Saturday.
The Scarlet Knights (7-5, 3-5 Big Ten) trailed 35-10 late in the first half before scoring touchdowns on four straight possessions to pull even.
Rutgers took its first lead when Kyle Federico kicked a 25-yard field goal with 6:14 left, and Maryland (7-5, 4-4) couldn’t come back.
After Brad Craddock failed on a 54-yard field goal attempt, his first miss in 19 tries this season, the Terrapins recovered a fumble at the Rutgers 45 with 2:54 remaining. But Brandon Ross was stuffed for no gain on a fourth-and-1, dooming the Terrapins to an unsightly defeat on Senior Day.
The game marked the return of former Maryland head coach Ralph Friedgen, now offensive coordinator at Rutgers. The scoreboard acknowledged his presence late in the first quarter with a “Welcome Back” message and a quick shot of him watching the game from an upstairs booth.
Friedgen’s offense amassed 491 yards, Nova completed 28 of 42 passes and three receivers finished with more than 100 yards. Janarion Grant had eight catches for 105 yards; Andre Patton had eight receptions for 101 yards and two touchdowns; and Leonte Carroo caught six passes for 104 yards and two scores.
Playing his final home game at Maryland, sixth-year quarterback C.J. Brown went 14 for 24 for 195 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran for 107 yards and a score.
Ross had 108 yards rushing on 10 carries and scored twice.
Down 35-10, Rutgers began its comeback when a roughing-the-kicker call extended a drive that produced a 1-yard touchdown pass from Nova to Patton just before halftime.
Grant returned the opening kickoff of the second half 71 yards to set up a 1-yard touchdown run Robert Martin. Then, after a Maryland punt, Nova threw an 8-yard TD pass to Carroo to make it 35-31.
A 50-yard field goal by Craddock interrupted the surge, but Nova tied it with a 10-yard touchdown pass to Patton with 14:55 to go.
The victory was only the second for Rutgers in its last six games. It did, however, assure the Scarlet Knights a winning record overall in their first season in the Big Ten.
Moments after honoring 22 seniors before their final home game, the Terrapins took the opening kickoff and put together a drive that ended with a 1-yard touchdown run by Brown.
After Rutgers kicked a field goal, Brown opened the second quarter with a quick pass to Amba Etta-Tawo, who made the catch in stride while cutting across the middle and pulled away for a 71-yard score.
Nova responded with a 7-yard touchdown pass to Carroo, and the back-and-forth continued when Brown directed a 82-yard march that lasted less than two minutes and ended with a 9-yard TD run by Ross.
The game’s lone turnover followed. Sean Davis caused Nova to fumble, Cole Farrand recovered on the Rutgers 40 and Ross scored on the next play to make it 28-10.
Minutes later, Brown threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to Deon Long.
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