Going for two was always Terrapins' plan in OT

Bill Rabinowitz
Maryland Terrapins running back Javon Leake (20) scores a rushing touchdown against Ohio State Buckeyes during the 2nd quarter of their game at Capital One Field at Maryland Stadium in College Park, Maryland on November 17, 2018. [Kyle Robertson/Dispatch]

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Maryland made so many big plays against Ohio State on Saturday.

But the Terrapins couldn’t convert the final one.

The upset bid of Ohio State failed when Tyrrell Pigrome misfired on a two-point conversion attempt in the Buckeyes’ 52-51 victory at Maryland Stadium. Pigrome had Jeshaun Jones open in the end zone, but his throw was too far to his right.

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“I made the decision before we scored,” Canada said of his decision to go for the win instead of kicking an extra point.

He said he talked with Pigrome and picked between two plays they liked.

“We called it, and we were just a little bit off,” Canada said.

As disappointed as he was, his tone after the game was more of pride. Maryland’s season has been played under a cloud this year after the death of offensive lineman Jordan McNair from heatstroke following an offseason conditioning session. The fallout eventually cost coach DJ Durkin his job.

“This season we’ve all learned more than anybody could have imagined,” Canada said. “We’ve learned how you can stick together. We’ve learned how to believe in each other.”

On their senior day, Maryland came oh-so-close to pulling off what would have been its biggest Big Ten victory since it joined the conference in 2014.

“I think the challenge this week was to go out and play our best football and not worry about who we were playing against,” Canada said.

From the start, Maryland landed body blow after body blow. Freshman Anthony McFarland ran for early touchdowns of 81 and 75 yards on his way to gaining 298.

“We blocked them pretty good,” Canada said. “We did a pretty good job looking at some things they did, and we had a chance to cut him loose.”

And so they did. But Maryland’s defense, ranked 30th out of 129 teams nationally entering the game, surrendered 688 yards and couldn’t stop the Buckeyes when it needed to.

“It’s tough to lose,” Canada said, “but I’m not going to lose sight of how special they are and how hard they played.”


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