COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Justus Pickett ran for a 6-yard touchdown with 9:52 left in the fourth quarter, and Brad Craddock added the tie-breaking extra point to give Maryland a 7-6 victory over William & Mary in the season opener for both teams Saturday.
Maryland gave a sloppy performance against its Football Championship Subdivision opponent, which led most of the game before losing its opener for the 10th time in 11 years.
The Terrapins won despite turning the ball over four times and missing a short field goal.
Freshman quarterback Perry Hills, in his first collegiate start, completed 16 of 24 for 145 yards and directed the winning 10-play, 69-yard drive, but he threw three interceptions.
Maryland defensive back Dexter McDougle was called for three pass-interference penalties. Two of them came in the first quarter, when Maryland had many of its problems.
The Terrapins turned the ball over three times in the first quarter, when the Tribe took a 6-0 lead on two Drake Kuhn field goals.
Maryland missed a short field goal in the second quarter and left the field at halftime to loud boos from the Byrd Stadium crowd.
Hills threw an interception on Maryland’s second play of the game. DeAndre Houston-Carson picked if off to give the Tribe possession at the Terrapins’ 34-yard line.
The Maryland defense held and Kuhn kicked a 30-yard field goal for an early 3-0 lead. Later in the quarter, Brian Thompson intercepted Hills as he was being hit and returned the ball 32 yards to the Maryland 9-yard line.
The Terrapins held again, and Kuhn’s 22-yard field goal gave William & Mary a 6-0 lead with 2:56 left in the quarter.
Maryland turned the ball over a third time in the first quarter when Albert Reid fumbled on a run. The Tribe started driving but got a bad break when quarterback Brent Caprio’s pass was bobbled by Keith McBride and grabbed by defensive end Joe Vellano at the Maryland 22.
Hills then directed Maryland’s best drive of the first half midway through the second quarter. He moved the Terrapins 63 yards in 12 plays to a third-and-6 at the William & Mary 7, but missed a wide-open Devonte Campbell in the back of the end zone.
Craddock came on but missed a 25-yard field goal wide left.