Tigers toppled by Terps

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CLEMSON, S.C. --- Thoroughly dominated for a half, Maryland needed a special play to steal momentum from No. 20 Clemson.

Who else to call on than perhaps the Terps' most special player, Darrius Heyward-Bey.

With Maryland (4-1, 1-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) down 17-6, the former high school track star took off on a 76-yard reverse that set up the first of two second-half TDs in a 20-17 win Saturday.

"I just remember, 'Just run,' " Heyward-Bey said.

On first-and-10 from Maryland's 20, Heyward-Bey ran around an open right side, cutting back through the middle of the field to the left sideline. By the time he was forced out, Heyward-Bey was on the Tigers 4.

"I wanted to score, but I put my team in position to score," he said.

Two plays later, Chris Turner found Torrey Smith on a 6-yard touchdown pass to close the gap and fire up his teammates. Da'Rel Scott had the winning score, a 1-yard run, early in the fourth quarter. But there was no minimizing the lift the Terps got from Heyward-Bey's run, the longest allowed by Clemson (3-2, 1-1) in eight years.

"It made us feel like we could win this game," Heyward-Bey said. "We knew if we could break one big play, things would start rolling for us."

The loss ended Clemson's three-game winning streak and brought back the scars of its opening-week loss to Alabama. The fading ACC favorites have 12 days before their next test, a road game against Wake Forest.

"Ten days of hearing how terrible we are and how we can't win," Spiller said. "But we'll come together."

It likely won't be easy after this one, the Tigers' second consecutive stunning Death Valley defeat to the Terps, a double-digit underdog.

Davis had a 38-yard TD run and Spiller a 35-yarder to build the lead. Clemson's defense also looked strong, limiting Scott to just 19 yards in the opening period.

Maryland's defense, porous early on, didn't give up a point in the second half, forcing four punts and the crunching fourth-down stop on quarterback Cullen Harper with 5:36 remaining. Davis and Spiller got just 31 yards between them the final two quarters.

"We self-imploded today," Clemson coach Tommy Bowden said. "We didn't play sharp today and that was the reason we lost."

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sctex
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sctex 09/28/08 - 11:40 am
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Go turtles!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! where are you tigerman?

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