Rutgers players recount the final Big Ten sequences at Maryland
COLLEGE PARK, Md. — On the game-defining drive Saturday night, Maryland started with the ball at Rutgers' 45-yard line and 2:54 left.
Running back Brandon Ross rushed for a 7-yard gain on first down, then quarterback C.J. Brown kept on a zone read, bringing up a third-and-1 with Rutgers leading, 41-38.
The following are players' accounts of what happened on the final two plays and Rutgers' possession, giving Rutgers a season-ending victory and securing a bowl berth:
Third-and-1 for Maryland at the 36-yard line
Receiver Deon Long came in motion and took a jet sweep bump from Brown. Defensive tackle Darius Hamilton stopped the play for no gain.
Kevin Snyder: "We had a good call for this. The way we were moving, we should have had guys chasing it. We should have had a guy over there setting the edge and chasing it down. It happened the way we expected it to."
Steve Longa: "I was on the back side. I saw that coming and I saw the pitch. I was just in a pursuit angle and Darius ran flat down the line. I remember talking to Darius about that play."
Darius Hamilton: "That was actually really weird, like a movie. ... I knew it was only a yard. I tried to hit him as hard as I could, and when he cut in he saw me. We kind of looked at each other and knew there was going to be a winner and there was going to be a loser. I was just happy to come out on top."
"(Long's eyes) were just wide, and I'm sure my eyes were really wide. It was a big impact there. When I looked up I just looked up at the sticks hoping he didn't cross them."
Fourth-and-1 for Maryland at the 36-yard line
Out of shotgun, Brown hands off to Ross, who tries the right side of the offensive line. But Delon Stephenson and Kemoko Turay meet him at the line of scrimmage.
Steve Longa: "I just saw them coming out for a fourth down and not bringing the field-goal team out. I was like, 'OK.'" ... I was shocked. I thought they were going to tie the game and bring it to overtime. I guess they had some other plans in mind."
Kevin Snyder: "That was awesome. We didn't do anything crazy, we just executed well. I don't know who got in the backfield there, but whoever did did a great job getting him on the ground."
Darius Hamilton: "We ran a little stunt and I was just trying to make a wall. I knew they were trying to run it just by the way their offensive line came off on their blocks. They looked like they were trying to run it straight at us. I knew we had people coming from the side they were trying to run the ball (to)."
Maryland's Brandon Ross: "I'll know more when I watch the film tomorrow, but I think they brought a center blitz from the field side and they got me in my legs and I couldn't drive that well."
First-and-10 for Rutgers at the 36-yard line
Rutgers runs three plays — two kneeldowns and a Josh Hicks carry for no gain — before Leonte Carroo lines up in a punting formation.
Carroo runs out of the end zone as time expires, but a holding call forces Rutgers to run another play: a third kneeldown.
Leonte Carroo: "We practice that every Sunday. It's funny, the trainers were saying they've been waiting 11 years for that to get called, and it finally got called."