- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 26, 2009

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — George Johnson recovered a Maryland fumble in the end zone to give Rutgers the lead, and the Scarlet Knights also scored on an interception return Saturday in a 34-13 victory over the bumbling Terrapins.

It was the third straight win for Rutgers (3-1), which took advantage of five Maryland turnovers, including three interceptions and a fumble by senior quarterback Chris Turner.

The Scarlet Knights outscored the Terrapins 24-0 in the second half. Touchdown runs by Joe Martinek of 29 and 61 yards in the final five minutes turned a close game into a blowout.

The Terrapins have committed 13 turnovers in four games and are 1-3 for the first time since 1997.

The Scarlet Knights couldn’t have gotten off to a better start. On the first play from scrimmage, Rutgers linebacker Antonio Lowery picked off a Turner pass in the flat and took it 36 yards into the end zone.

Down 13-10 in the third quarter, Rutgers took over at the Maryland 17 after an interception by Billy Anderson. Although the drive was extended when the Terrapins were called for pass interference on third-and-11, Jordan Brooks was stuffed by Alex Wujciak on fourth down from the 1.

But it wasn’t long until Maryland gave away the ball again, and this time it resulted in a Rutgers touchdown. Turner fumbled in the end zone when hit by blitzing safety Joe Lefeged, and Johnson smothered the ball with 2:59 left in the quarter.

Minutes later, a fumble by Terps running back Da’Rel Scott was recovered by Rutgers on the Maryland 41, setting up a field goal for a 20-13 lead.

After Maryland failed on a fourth-and-3 from the Rutgers 49, Martinek capped a three-play drive with a 29-yard touchdown run to clinch it was 4:53 left.

The Scarlet Knights played without freshman quarterback Tom Savage, who sustained a head injury in last week’s game against Florida International. He was replaced by fifth-year senior Dom Natale, who went 4 for 12 for 42 yards.

But Natale didn’t throw an interception, and the Scarlet Knights didn’t lose a fumble, either.

Despite doubling Rutgers’ yardage (200-95) in the first half, Maryland led only 13-10 at the break.

After Lowery’s interception return, Turner immediately completed a 45-yard pass to Torrey Smith to set up a field goal.

It was 10-3 before Maryland moved 68 yards in three plays a 40-yard completion to Smith, a 4-yard run and a 24-yard touchdown pass from Turner to LaQuan Williams.

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