AUSTIN, Texas - As the third quarter ticked down, Maryland led 23rd-ranked Texas 37-34 in what had been a touchdown fest.
Terrapins quarterback Tyrrell Pigrome had accounted for 239 yards and three scores and was scrambling up the middle on the last play of the quarter. It was then his right knee buckled as he tried to make a cut on a five-yard run.
The injury thrust true freshman Kasim Hill into the game; undoubtedly much sooner than the Maryland coaching staff could have ever anticipated. None of that mattered to Hill.
On his second drive of the game, the St. John's grad converted on a third-and-19 with a 40-yard pass to D.J. Moore, and later scampered into the endzone from three yards out to push the lead to 10. From there the Terps' defense held the Longhorns' offense in check and won 51-41 to secure the program's first top-25 victory since 2010.
"No one said a word," said Head Coach D.J. Durkin. "There was no one like, 'oh no.' Kasim came in there and just handled the moment. That's a hard spot. True freshman coming into the game - his first ever college football game on the road - third-and-19 and he goes and strokes the ball to D.J. Moore. So that tells you a little bit about him."
Hill finished the game 3-for-3 passing for 44 yards while adding 14 yards on five carries. As of Monday, Maryland had not released an update on Pigrome's status.
"I'm proud of him," Durkin said. "He made some great throws down the field, obviously ran the ball well, and I thought he was moving the offense really well for us."
Texas jumped on Maryland less than a minute into the game when Pigrome was picked off by Holton Hill. Hill returned the ball 31 yards for a score and an early 7-0 lead. Still, Pigrome responded and led Maryland to consecutive scores to give his team a 14-7 lead heading into the second quarter.
The second quarter was filled with crazy special teams plays from both sides. First, Maryland's Derwin Gray blocked a Texas field goal attempt and saw teammate Antione Brooks scoop the ball up and run it back for a touchdown. Texas returned the favor six minutes later when Hill picked up a blocked kick and returned it for a score. The Longhorns also returned a punt for a touchdown - a 91-yard turn from Reggie Hemphill-Mapps midway through the third. The score was 30-27 at the time.
The teams traded scores over the next two possessions before Pigrome got hurt toward the end of the third. Hill's run, along with a Jake Funk 12-yard score with 2:13 to go, put the game out on reach.
Ty Johnson led Maryland in rushing with 132 yards and a touchdown on just 12 carries. Lorenzo Harrison picked up 45 yards, while Funk finished with 15 on two carries.
"It was one of the craziest games I have been in," Johnson said. "Coach said all week that we would face adversity on the road. When adversity hits us we need to keep driving and not worry about anything."
Moore had a big day as well, finishing with seven catches for 133 yards and a score. Jacobs added a touchdown and 80 yards on three catches.
"It was a breakthrough moment because we worked so hard for this," Moore said. "Nobody really knew what to expect when we came out there. But we just went out and gave it our all."
Maryland gashed Texas on the ground. The Terps pounded out 263 yards and four touchdowns on 43 carries - an average of 6.1 yards-per-rush. Meanwhile, the Longhorns did their damage through the air with 52 pass attempts and 375 yards.
The win was Maryland's first over a top-25 opponent since November 2010 when the Terps went to NC State and won.
Maryland will welcome Towson next Saturday at noon.