Scores
MILITARY BOWL - PRES. BY NORTHROP GRUMMAN

Final

Marshall 31

(10-4, 7-1 C-USA)

Maryland 20

(7-6, 3-5 Big Ten)

Coverage: ESPN

2:30 PM ET, December 27, 2013

Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, Annapolis, MD

1 2 3 4 T
MRSH 14 3 0 1431
MD 7 6 0 720

Top Performers

Passing: R. Cato (MRSH) - 337 YDS, 3 TD

Rushing: E. Taliaferro (MRSH) - 19 CAR, 81 YDS, 1 TD

Receiving: H. Hoskins (MRSH) - 6 REC, 104 YDS, 2 TD

QB Rakeem Cato shines as Marshall beats Maryland in Military Bowl

Associated Press

ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- Maryland had just marched 99 yards to take a fourth-quarter lead, and it was up to Marshall to either respond or succumb.

"These kids never flinched," Marshall coach Doc Holliday said. "The one thing I like about this group is that it didn't matter."

With standout quarterback Rakeem Cato leading the way, the Thundering Herd scored two touchdowns in the final 12 minutes to pull out a 31-20 victory Friday in the Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman.

Cato went 28 for 44 for 337 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions. The most notable part about his performance was that he saved the best for last.

Marshall (10-4) trailed 20-17 before Cato brought them back. After directing a 63-yard march to put Marshall up 24-20 with 12:05 left, Cato clinched it with an 8-yard touchdown throw to Gator Hoskins with 3:42 to play.

Cato had a brilliant season before this game, throwing for 3,579 yards and 36 touchdowns. But this performance -- on a national stage against an Atlantic Coast Conference foe -- served as the perfect finish.

"I tell the guys all the time, `Big-time players make big-time plays in a big-time game, and this was a big-time game," Cato said.

He had plenty of help. Hoskins had six catches for 104 yards and two scores, Tommy Shuler caught nine passes for 68 yards and a touchdown, punter Tyler Williams pinned the Terrapins inside the 10 four times, and Marshall's underappreciated defense played a huge role.

Maryland (7-6) scored only one touchdown after halftime, and A.J. Leggett followed Cato's final TD pass with an interception to set off a celebration among the huge gathering of Marshall fans among the crowd of 30,163.

"It's a great way to send the seniors out," Holliday said.

Making its first bowl appearance under third-year coach Randy Edsall, Maryland closed out its association with the ACC by falling to the runner-up in Conference USA. The Terrapins will join the Big Ten next year.

Despite the loss, Maryland had its first winning season since 2010 and finished with more victories than in Edsall's first two years combined.

"I think this season really helped us as we leave the ACC and enter the Big Ten," Edsall said.

Brandon Ross rushed for 116 yards for Maryland, and C.J. Brown went 14 for 24 for 197 yards. Although the Terrapins amassed 391 yards, they converted only two of 14 third-down tries.

"We kept hurting ourselves with penalties, little things that were not helping us on first and second down which were creating unmanageable third downs," Brown said. "There wasn't anything they did that we hadn't seen before."

After a whirlwind first half that produced 30 points and 24 first downs, the teams settled into a defensive struggle in the third quarter. Each of the first four possessions ended in punts, but on the last one Marshall pinned the Terrapins on their own 1.

In the same situation earlier in the game, Maryland ran three times for 2 yards and punted. This time, the Terrapins put together a 17-play drive that included a pair of fourth down conversions and lasted for 7 minutes, 44 seconds. The 99-yard march ended with a 2-yard pass from Brown to tight end Dave Stinebaugh, giving Maryland a 20-17 lead with 14:56 left.

Marshall was quick to respond. Cato completed two third-down passes, and Essray Taliaferro ran in from the 7 to make it 24-20.

"To be able to answer back like that was huge," Holliday said.

Brown subsequently came up short on a third-and-5 bootleg, providing Cato the opportunity to put the game away. Although the Terrapins got the stop they needed, Cato came up big during the next series.

After completing a 28-yard pass to Hoskins on third-and-11, Cato connected with Hoskins again in the end zone. It was Hoskins' second touchdown of the game and 15th of the season, most in the nation for tight ends.

Cato went 16 for 25 for 193 and two touchdowns in the first half to provide the Thundering Herd with a 17-13 lead.

After pinning the Terrapins near their own goal line, Marshall went up 7-0 with a 37-yard drive that ended with Cato's 1-yard touchdown pass to Shuler.

Maryland tied it with a 29-yard touchdown throw from Brown to Levern Jacobs, but the Thundering Herd promptly regained the lead with a lengthy march that produced an 8-yard touchdown pass from Cato to Hoskins.

After Maryland kicked a field goal, Marshall got one of its own for a 17-10 lead.

Near the end of the half, Maryland moved 81 yards in 10 plays to set up Brad Craddock for his second field goal.

On this day, the Terrapins needed touchdowns to overcome Cato and Marshall's formidable attack.

"The problem we had was we got down there in the red zone and ended up kicking field goals," Edsall lamented.

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Team Stat Comparison

 
MRSH
MD
1st Downs2418
Total Yards475391
Passing337197
Rushing138194
Penalties6-555-45
3rd Down Conversions6-152-14
4th Down Conversions1-12-3
Turnovers01
Possession26:3833:22

Passing Leaders

MarshallC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Cato28/443377.730
MarylandC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Brown14/241978.221

Rushing Leaders

MarshallCARYDSAVGTDLG
Taliaferro19814.3114
Watson6427.0019
MarylandCARYDSAVGTDLG
Ross201165.8020
Brown19382.0012

Receiving Leaders

MarshallRECYDSAVGTDLG
Hoskins610417.3228
Shuler9687.6111
MarylandRECYDSAVGTDLG
Jacobs710014.3133
Etta-Tawo25125.5037

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERMRSHMD
TD06:21Tommy Shuler 1 Yd Pass From Rakeem Cato (Justin Haig Kick) 70
TD03:25Levern Jacobs 29 Yd Pass From C.J. Brown (Brad Craddock Kick) 77
TD00:34Gator Hoskins 8 Yd Pass From Rakeem Cato (Justin Haig Kick) 147
SECOND QUARTERMRSHMD
FG11:36Brad Craddock 25 Yd 1410
FG09:26Justin Haig 27 Yd 1710
FG01:20Brad Craddock 33 Yd 1713
FOURTH QUARTERMRSHMD
TD14:56Dave Stinebaugh 2 Yd Pass From C.J. Brown (Brad Craddock Kick) 1720
TD12:05Essray Taliaferro 7 Yd Run (Justin Haig Kick) 2420
TD03:42Gator Hoskins 8 Yd Pass From Rakeem Cato (Justin Haig Kick) 3120

Research Notes

Maryland capped a 17-play, 99-yard drive on the first snap of the 4th quarter when C.J. Brown hit Dave Stinebaugh for a 2-yard touchdown. It was the first 99-yard drive in Military Bowl history, and the first in any bowl game since San Diego State had one in the 2011 New Orleans Bowl.

For the Terrapins, it was their first 99-yard drive since Sept. 13, 2003, when Sammy Maldonado scored from 7 yards out on the 12th play against The Citadel.

ESPN Stats & Information