Redshirt freshman Heyward-Bey leads Maryland over MiamiNov 12, 2006 - 1:44 AM COLLEGE PARK, Maryland (Ticker) -- Two big plays by redshirt freshman Darrius Heyward-Bey were enough for Maryland to hand Miami another loss.
Heyward-Bay set a school record with a 96-yard touchdown reception after catching a 65-yard scoring pass as 23rd-ranked Maryland posted a 14-13 victory over the Hurricanes in an Atlantic Coast Conference contest.
The win was the fifth in a row for Maryland (8-2, 5-1 ACC Atlantic), which is in sole possession of first place in the Atlantic Division, one-half game ahead of Wake Forest, which plays at Florida State on Saturday night. The Terrapins host Wake Forest on November 25.
"This means a lot," said Maryland linebacker Erin Henderson, who had 13 tackles. "We know that if we won this and our next two games, we'll be in Jacksonville for a chance to get to our ultimate goal and play in Miami (in the Orange Bowl)."
Miami (5-5, 2-4 Coastal) played just four days after the murder of defensive tackle Bryan Pata and lost its third straight game - all to ranked opponents - for the first time since 1999.
An already difficult season for the Hurricanes took a tragic turn when Pata was shot and killed outside his apartment complex on Tuesday. A day later, Miami coach Larry Coker announced the team would play its scheduled game against Maryland.
"This was a tough week with lots of distractions," Coker said. "We played the game because that's what was best for our therapy."
"I take my hat off to Miami. They played really well under a very tough situation," Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen said. "We were able to make two big plays and that was enough to win the football game. But I think they played great defense and I told Larry I admired how his kids played."
In honor of Pata, the Hurricanes wore decals with his No. 95 on their helmets and then outplayed Maryland most of the way, running 73 plays to 37 for the Terps, who managed just six first downs. But Miami also committed two turnovers and gave up the two big plays to Heyward-Bey.
The first one came just 3:15 into the game when Sam Hollenbach hit Heyward-Bey with a 65-yard scoring pass down the left sideline.
Then with 12:58 left in the second quarter, Hollenbach lofted a 96-yard touchdown pass down the right sideline to Heyward-Bey, who caught the ball at the Maryland 40 behind cornerback Glenn Sharpe and raced the rest of the way to the end zone, giving the Terps a 14-0 lead.
Along with being the longest play in school history, eclipsing a 92-yard touchdown from Stan Levine to Ed Bolton in a game against South Carolina in 1949, it was also the longest play ever surrendered by the Hurricanes.
"The big plays (to Heyward-Bey) were unconscionable," Coker said. "Other than that, we played great defense. They only had about 50 yards rushing."
Hollenbach completed 11-of-16 passes for 202 yards. Heyward-Bey accounted for 175 of those yards on six catches.
Miami played without quarterback Kyle Wright, who is sidelined with a thumb injury. Sophomore Kirby Freeman made his first start and threw for 140 yards, including a 28-yard touchdown pass to Ryan Moore, and rushed for 51 yards.
Jon Peattie kicked a 32-yard field goal with 7:08 left in the second quarter to cap a 12-play drive which lasted nearly six minutes to put Miami on the board.
Freeman's TD pass to Moore with 2:25 remaining in the half pulled Miami within 14-10.
The Hurricanes consumed more than 10 1/2 minutes in the second half with a 19-play, 77-yard drive. But after Ryan Hill dropped a pass in the end zone, they had to settle for a 25-yard field goal by Peattie with 11:02 remaining.
On Miami's next possession, outside linebacker Trey Covington intercepted a pass by Freeman at the Maryland 32 to end the drive.
"On that drive before the interception, we had several guys saying, 'Let's win this thing for Bryan,'" Freeman said. "All of us were close to him. That's the most important thing right now. It's not losing the game. It's that we don't have one of our brothers."
Maryland guard Donnie Woods suffered a neck injury in the third quarter and was taken off the field on a stretcher.
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