His longest pass was the most valuable for Maryland. With Maryland trailing at the end, O'Brien hit Kevin Dorsey (eight catches for 124 yards) for 52 yards to the Miami 22. The Terps then moved to the 14 before Ferrara's go-ahead field goal with 1:39 left.

Edsall said he had faith in Ferrara, who had missed an earlier chip shot from 23 yards.

"I was going to kick the field goal. I have a lot of confidence in Nick," the coach said.

Maryland had begun the evening night by racing onto the Byrd Stadium field with new uniforms and gaudy red, white, gold and black helmets. The Terps then spent the evening trying to live up to their flashy uniforms.

The new helmets had been a surprise. The helmets were not unveiled during a "fashion show" last month and had not been publicly seen.

"That makes me prouder than anything, that we could be that quiet [about the helmets]," Edsall said.

Maryland took the opening kickoff and drove 79 yards for a touchdown on its first series of the season. Senior receiver Ronnie Tyler took a swing pass and raced 10 yards, diving on the pylon for the score.

Leading 7-0, the Terps missed a red-zone opportunity when O'Brien -- who was intercepted only eight times last season -- was picked off in the end zone by Vaughn Telemaque.

But the Terps recovered a fumble by Morris and drove 62 yards in 11 plays, taking a 10-0 lead on a 24-yard Ferrara field goal. Maryland had 14 first downs by then to only three for the Hurricanes.

Miami cut the margin to 10-7 on a 1-yard run by Mike James in the second quarter.

jeff.barker@baltsun.com

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