SYRACUSE, N.Y. — The Maryland football team’s banged-up defense had trouble stopping Syracuse’s offense, and its offense did not score after halftime, but the Terps did enough Saturday to beat the Orange, 34-20, at the Carrier Dome and move to 3-1 as it enters Big Ten Conference play.
Syracuse (2-1) took an early 3-0 lead on a 35-yard field goal by kicker Ryan Norton, but the Terps scored 14 straight points and pushed their lead to 31-13 by halftime.
Terps quarterback C.J. Brown once again missed some throws, including two deep balls that could have gone for touchdowns. But he did complete a nice 25-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Marcus Leak on Maryland’s first drive and started 4-for-4 for 145 yards with two touchdowns.
The second touchdown came on a screen pass to running back Brandon Ross, who on the Terps’ second possession went 90 yards for a touchdown, helped by blocks from wide receivers Leak and Stefon Diggs.
Maryland averaged just 3.4 yards per carry against a solid Syracuse front seven, but Brown finished a respectable 16-for-26 for 280 yards with the two touchdowns and no interceptions.
Syracuse quarterback Terrel Hunt ran for 120 yards and a touchdown, and running back Prince Tyson-Gulley had 127 yards on 14 carries. Overall, Syracuse rushed for 358 yards, averaging more than 7 yards per carry.
But the Orange had just 13 points before tacking on a late touchdown once the game was out of reach.
Hunt, who finished with 219 yards passing, threw a red-zone interception late in the second quarter that Terps cornerback Will Likely returned 88 yards for a touchdown.
That touchdown put the Terps up 31-13, and the score remained unchanged until Maryland kicker Brad Craddock added a 43-yard field goal in the closing minutes of the fourth quarter.
Maryland travels to face Indiana next week in its Big Ten opener.
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