Maryland picks up emotional victory

he Associated Press

LANDOVER, Md. — It was one of those rare occurrences when the sequel proved even more impressive than the original.

Maryland emerged from a trying offseason with an emotionally charged 34-29 upset of No. 23 Texas on Saturday, shaking off a lengthy weather delay to provide Matt Canada a satisfying victory in his debut at the Terrapins’ interim coach.

After blowing a 24-7 lead, Maryland forced three turnovers in the final 6:09 and scored the game’s final 10 points to stun the Longhorns in the opener for the second year in a row.

As remarkable as last season’s 51-41 win at Texas was, this victory was far more notable because of what they endured this summer.

Maryland has dedicated its season to offensive lineman Jordan McNair, who collapsed on the practice field on May 29 and died two weeks later of heatstroke.

The Terrapins paid tribute to McNair by lining up with 10 players on their first offensive play. Maryland waited for a delay of game to be called, and Texas declined the penalty in a show of sportsmanship.

Maryland players wore a sticker No. 79 on their helmets as they emerged from the tunnel to start the game.

Weather troubles

LINCOLN, Neb. — Memorial Stadium was evacuated because of a severe thunderstorm two hours after the Akron-Nebraska game went into a lightning delay on Saturday night.

The Nebraska game went into a delay right after the opening kickoff went into the end zone for a Nebraska touchback. A Nebraska athletics official ran onto the field to notify officials of lightning within an eight-mile radius of Memorial Stadium. Lightning in the area requires at least a half-hour delay.

Storm clouds that built south of the stadium in the hours before the game did nothing to dampen the enthusiasm for one of the most anticipated Nebraska openers in memory. The stadium was full more than a half-hour before kickoff, with many fans showing up in T-shirts celebrating the arrival of Scott Frost as coach.

Elsewhere:

ILLINOIS 31, KENT STATE 24: Illinois defeated Kent State to extend its home-opener win streak to 21 games, the fourth-longest in the nation. Following a lackluster first half that saw Kent State leading 17-3, Illinois quarterback AJ Bush showed the crowd of 31,898 why offensive coordinator Rod Smith called him a “dynamic, dual threat.” Bush passed for 190 yards on 23 attempts, and rushed for 139 yards on 21 carries. Reggie Corbin carried 10 times for 79 yards and two touchdowns for the Illini (1-0), while Mike Epstein and Ra’Von Bonner added rushing touchdowns.

IOWA 33, NORTHERN ILLINOIS 7: Nate Stanley threw for 108 yards and a touchdown, coach Kirk Ferentz passed mentor Hayden Fry as Iowa’s all-time leader in wins and the Hawkeyes rolled past Northern Illinois. Ferentz, in his 20th season as Iowa’s head coach, now has 144 victories with the Hawkeyes (1-0). Fry, who counted Ferentz among his assistants for nearly a decade, went 143-89-6 in 20 seasons before Ferentz took over in 1999. After a very sluggish start, Stanley found Noah Fant for a 1-yard TD reception midway through the third quarter to make it 10-0. Ivory Kelly-Martin’s 2-yard run pushed Iowa’s lead to 17, and Toren Young’s 6-yard TD rush put the Hawkeyes ahead 24-0 early in the fourth quarter.

RUTGERS 35, TEXAS STATE 7: Raheem Blackshear and Jonathan Hilliman had two touchdowns apiece to lead Rutgers past Texas State in a season opener. Hilliman did almost all his damage on the ground with 60 yards on 15 carries and Blackshear, a fellow running back, led Rutgers in catches with seven for 56 yards and a touchdown to go along with 62 rushing yards and a score. Freshman quarterback Art Sitkowski had an up-and-down day for Rutgers, going 20 for 29 for 205 yards with a touchdown and three interceptions. The second was a pick-6 by Kordell Rodgers, returning it 51 yards to make it 21-7 midway through the third quarter. Right before halftime with a 21-0 lead, Sitkowski threw a red zone interception — his first of the day — after leading his team down the field from its 1-yard line.

INDIANA 38, FIU 28: Peyton Ramsey threw for three touchdown passes to lead Indiana to a victory over Florida International in the teams’ season openers. The Hoosiers overcame a 7-0 first-quarter deficit and scored three unanswered touchdowns. Ramsey connected with Donavan Hale on scores from 18 and 2-yards and also threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to Peyton Hendershot. Ramsey completed 20-of-27 for 156 yards. Indiana broke a 7-7 tie and took the lead for good on Jonathan Crawford’s 33-yard interception return for a touchdown with 4:01 remaining in the first quarter.

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