Halftime: Terps overmatched at Clemson, trail 35-7

November 10, 2012

(Associated Press)

For the second straight game, the Maryland football team allowed a season high in points. This time around, it happened in the first half.  At halftime, Clemson leads the Terrapins, 35-7.

The Terrapins simply have had no answer for Clemson, which put up 35 points in the first half for the third straight game, a program record. Tajh Boyd completed 17 of 22 passes for 213 yards and three touchdowns, despite losing two fumbles, including one at the goal line that would have ballooned the lead even further. 

After trading punts to start the game, the Tigers marched 52 yards, capped off by a 14-yard touchdown from Boyd to a sliding Adam Humphries for the sophomore’s first career scoring reception. Twelve seconds later, flushed out to his left on a Clemson blitz, Maryland quarterback Shawn Petty tried to throw the football out of bounds but it slipped out of his hands and wound up in the arms of defensive end Corey Crawford, who scampered in for a defensive touchdown. It was the shortest time between scores in Tigers history. 

The Terps got a gift on Clemson’s next possession when Joe Vellano recovered a Boyd fumble, but after a 16-yard Brandon Ross rush, Petty promptly coughed up another turnover on a sack. Two third-down conversions later, and Boyd found wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins from 28 yards out. A Maryland three-and-out gave way to a 22-yard touchdown pass from Boyd to Brandon Ford, who beat linebacker Darin Drakeford in single coverage on the outside and somehow hauled in a laser by the near pylon.

A resilient bunch if there ever was in the face of seemingly insurmountable adversity, Maryland scrapped out a touchdown after a muffed Clemson punt when Petty found Devonte Campbell for a 17-yard strike. Ross also ripped off a season-long 44-yard run, starting in place of injured running back Wes Brown (ankle). 

Missing leading tackler Demetrius Hartsfield, Maryland struggled mightily to bring down Clemson’s speedy receivers, but even had the senior not torn his ACL last weekend against Georgia Tech, it might not have mattered. Clemson rolled to 310 yards of total offense in the first half. Andre Ellington had 13 carries for 55 yards and a six-yard score with 1:30 left in the half. 

Alex Prewitt covers the Washington Capitals. Follow him on Twitter @alex_prewitt or email him at alex.prewitt@washpost.com.
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Alex Prewitt · November 10, 2012