Mary­land plagued by turnovers in bowl loss to Bos­ton Col­lege

The Washington Times Daily - - SPORTS - BY LARRY LAGE

DETROIT | Bos­ton Col­lege blew a fourth-quar­ter lead in a loss to Ge­or­gia Tech in its sea­son opener in Ire­land. In the Ea­gles’ fi­nale, they showed they had learned how to hold on for a vic­tory.

Patrick Towles threw two touch­down passes and caught a pass for a score in the first half, help­ing Bos­ton Col­lege beat Mary­land 36-30 in the Quick Lane Bowl on Mon­day.

The Ea­gles (7-6) led by 16 at half­time, 23 points early in the third quar­ter and then had to force Mary­land to turn the ball over on downs late in the game to seal their first bowl vic­tory since beat­ing Michi­gan State at the 2007 Champs Sports Bowl.

“We started to re­ally de­velop a re­solve that you see in the play­ers’ eyes,” Bos­ton Col­lege coach Steve Ad­dazio said. “The most crit­i­cal thing in build­ing your pro­gram is hav­ing that. And, I re­ally be­lieve we have fi­nally set that plat­form for­ward and that’s the most ex­cit­ing thing to me of all.”

Mary­land (6-7) had the ball at its 35 with 1:48 left with a chance to drive for a go-ahead TD.

“That’s all you can ask for,” Mary­land coach DJ Durkin said. “You’ll take that in any game.”

But the Ter­rap­ins didn’t gain a yard be­fore Harold Landry helped fin­ish them off with a pos­ses­sion-end­ing sack.

Mary­land made some big plays on of­fense, but four turnovers, eight sacks al­lowed, 11 penal­ties and poor field po­si­tion proved to be costly. In the first half, Perry Hills threw an in­ter­cep­tion, lost a fum­ble and was sacked four times. On the Ter­rap­ins’ first snap of the sec­ond half, Hills handed off to Ty John­son and the run­ning back’s fum­ble was re­cov­ered in the end zone by Bos­ton Col­lege.

With 4:02 left, the Ter­rap­ins got to the Bos­ton Col­lege 1 with a chance to cut into their nine-point deficit and Hills lost a fum­ble af­ter bob­bling a snap. They got the ball back less than a minute later when Bos­ton Col­lege’s Jon Hil­li­man fum­bled at his 6, and were forced to set­tle for a field goal.

“The pro­gram is headed in the right di­rec­tion, but we have to learn to not beat our­selves,” Durkin said.

The an­nounced at­ten­dance was 19,117 and the ac­tual crowd ap­peared to be about half of that to­tal.

On a re­verse and pass from re­ceiver Jeff Smith, Towles scored on a 20-yard TD catch in the sec­ond quar­ter to give Bos­ton Col­lege a 23-7 lead.

“I was just glad I caught it and didn’t

get ran down,” Towles said.

John­son had 62- and 30-yard TD runs in the first half and a 29-yard run early in the fourth quar­ter that gave Mary­land the ball in Ea­gles ter­ri­tory, but it turned the ball over on downs at the 41.

“He’s con­sis­tently been a big-play guy for us all year,” Durkin said.

Hills threw a 63-yard TD pass to Teldrick Mor­gan and a 52-yard pass to Lev­ern Ja­cobs for a score to get Mary­land within nine points.

Landry was the only player in the game on The Associated Press All-Amer­ica team, earn­ing sec­ondteam hon­ors, and showed why he mer­ited the recog­ni­tion. The 6-foot-3, 250-pound ju­nior en­tered with 15 sacks, ty­ing with Florida State’s De­Mar­cus Walker for the most in the na­tion, and had 11⁄2 sacks against Mary­land. Landry also had a one-handed in­ter­cep­tion and de­flected passes on con­sec­u­tive plays on Mary­land’s drive late in the fourth quar­ter that ended with a fum­ble.

Ad­dazio said he and Landry have talked about his up­com­ing de­ci­sion, to stay for his se­nior sea­son or to en­ter the NFL draft, and will dis­cuss the topic again soon af­ter gath­er­ing in­for­ma­tion.

“My thing is, you do what’s best for the play­ers,” Ad­dazio said. “If it’s best for a player to leave, you ad­vise him that.”

The Ter­rap­ins were without their lead­ing tack­ler, line­backer Shane Cock­er­ille, who was ruled in­el­i­gi­ble. Durkin and school of­fi­cials de­clined to pro­vide de­tails.

Durkin, a first-year head coach, has built a ca­reer on de­fense and spe­cial teams. The Ter­rap­ins strug­gled on de­fense against a pre­vi­ously of­fen­sively chal­lenged team, giv­ing him plenty to work on in the off­sea­son.

The Ea­gles were im­pres­sive on of­fense in the first half, scor­ing 29 points and gain­ing 238 yards, with a cre­ative mix of plays through the air and on the ground be­fore ap­pear­ing to re­lax and regress.

With Hills out of el­i­gi­bil­ity, the Ter­rap­ins will have North Carolina trans­fer Caleb Hen­der­son and highly touted fresh­man Kasim Hill com­pet­ing for the start­ing quar­ter­back job. Mary­land opens the 2017 sea­son Sept. 2 at Texas in Tom Her­man’s coach­ing de­but with the Longhorns.

The Ea­gles also will be look­ing also be look­ing for a new quar­ter­back. To re­place the depart­ing Towles next sea­son, Con­nor Stra­chan and Dar­ius Wade will have a shot in the spring and sum­mer to take the first snap when Bos­ton Col­lege opens the 2017 sea­son Sept. 1 at North­ern Illi­nois.


Mary­land quar­ter­back Perry Hills is pres­sured by Bos­ton Col­lege de­fen­sive tackle Tru­man Gu­tapfel on Mon­day. Hills was sacked eight times in the 36-30 Quick Lane Bowl loss.

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