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Maryland, Marshall Take Annapolis by Storm in Military Bowl

Dec 27, 2013 07:54PM ● By Jake Russell
In their final contest as a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Maryland Terrapins kept it close with Marshall in the 2013 Military Bowl until Thundering Herd quarterback and game MVP Rakeem Cato and his reliable tight end Gator Hoskins connected on an eight-yard touchdown strike to put the game out of reach 31-20 with 3:55 remaining.

The Terps eventually fell to the Herd by that score but began the fourth quarter capping off a Military Bowl-record 17-play, 99-yard drive that took 7:44 off the clock and gave Maryland (7-6) the 20-17 lead following a two-yard pass from C.J. Brown to Dave Stinebaugh.

Marshall (10-4) responded quickly to what normally would have been a momentum-shifting drive by regaining the lead at 24-20 in less than three minutes after Essray Taliaferro's second touchdown of the day.

"They did a very good job of answering right away," Maryland head coach Randy Edsall said. "That kind of sunk the ship right there. We have to get out there and answer. It's a game of momentum and we had it going in. It's football -- it's going to happen. They did a nice job of answering."

Marshall head coach Doc Holliday praised the focus of his players following that drive.

"They were not concerned about the scoreboard," Holliday said. "They were not concerned about anything else except playing extremely hard. Being able to respond back from that drive was huge and get the turnovers at the end of the game was huge."

Marshall's offense came into the game ranked seventh in the country, averaging 43 points per game. With such performances from the elusive Cato and powerful Hoskins, it's no surprise why their offense was so potent.

Cato finished the game 28 of 48 with 337 yards and three touchdowns. Hoskins caught six passes for 104 yards and two touchdowns.

"I tell the guys all the time big time players make big time plays in big time games," Cato said. "I just wanted to come out here and lay everything out on the line and bring my team to a victory."

"Their tight end really hurt us," Edsall said. "We just didn't play as well as we needed to. We had some breakdowns, and you just can't have those types of breakdowns against the kind of athletes Marshall has."

Also deserving high praise is Marshall punter Tyler Williams, who averaged 40.6 yards per punt and pinned Maryland inside the 10-yard line four times.

"It was huge with special teams' main purpose to create bad field position for the opposing team's offense and creating great field position for us," Holliday said. "He was able to do that most of the day, having pinned Maryland back four times within their 10-yard line and the one time it went into the endzone we should have helped him out and knocked it in bounds. He was tremendous today and played a huge part in the field position for both offense and defense."

"It put us in a tough position but we practice that," Brown said. "When you have a 17-play drive for 99 yards and a touchdown, it swings the momentum. That was a big start for us. All in all we played well on offense but we just didn't get the job done."

For Maryland, this disappointing loss in front of 30,163 fans at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis marks the end of their time as a member of the illustrious ACC and bridges the gap in their transition to the Big Ten in 2014.

"When it's all said and done we had a great year," Brown said. "We had a winning season and were able to extend it to the postseason and go to a bowl game. We'll be ready come next year. We're using this to prepare for the future."

"This group to me is a really special group," Edsall said. "I think what's happened for them this year is that now they understand, they believe in themselves, they believe that regardless of who's out there on the field we can win and we're gonna win. I think this season really helped us as we're going to continue to move forward as we leave the ACC and now we enter into the Big Ten."

Maryland head coach Randy Edsall speaks to the media after the Military Bowl.

Maryland Terrapins C.J. Brown, Brandon Ross and Andre Monroe speak to the media after the 2013 Military Bowl.

Marshall head coach Doc Holliday, quarterback Rakeem Cato, tight end Gator Hoskins and linebacker Alex Bazzie speak to the media following the 2013 Military Bowl.