TAMPA, Fla. — Before the play, fullback Kenny Goins (Gilman) was on the Maryland football team's sideline, yelling to his teammates: "Let's make a play."
As it turned out, Goins was the one to make the play, bulling through a blocker to block a South Florida punt and help Maryland escape Saturday with a 24-17 win over the Bulls despite six Terps turnovers.
Reserve linebacker Avery Thompson recovered the blocked punt in the end zone for a touchdown, which gave the Terps a 21-17 lead early in the fourth quarter. They they had trailed the entire second half until that point.
"That was the turning point," Terps coach Randy Edsall said. "That was what got us going, because we needed a spark, and we weren't getting a spark because we were killing ourselves all the time on offense. And defensively, we were doing a good job in the second half of shutting them down.
"And then for [Goins] to come through … it wasn't even a block called. He was just going hard and doing his job all day long, and that's what happens. It's a great lesson for our team. If you play every play like it's the last play you're going to play, if you do that, you've got a chance to be successful."
Diggs' injury not serious
Maryland star wide receiver Stefon Diggs was injured early in the fourth quarter and needed help from trainers just to walk to the sideline.
But the injury is not serious, and Diggs returned to the game later and had a 15-yard catch.
"I think he just got kneed in the back," Edsall said.
Big game for Leak
In his first start as the Terps' third wide receiver, Marcus Leak caught two touchdowns and an 18-yard catch that converted a third-and-17.
Leak stepped into the third-receiver role after Maryland lost Taivon Jacobs to a season-ending meniscus injury last week against James Madison.
"It was great to see Marcus do that today," Edsall said.
Leak was out of football last year, but he returned after last season and has worked his way back into form since returning to the team.
His first touchdown Saturday was a 10-yard grab in the back of the end zone. The second came on a third-and-4 late in the first quarter, with Leak turning a short catch into a 44-yard touchdown.
"It felt pretty good," Leak said. "I'm just excited we came out with the win."
Cudjoe-Virgil sits again
Outside linebacker Yannik Cudjoe-Virgil (Towson High) sat for a second straight game because of a foot injury he suffered during preseason practice.
Sophomore Yannick Ngakoue started in Cudjoe-Virgil's place and had three tackles, all for losses, and a sack.
A week after rushing for 275 yards and four touchdowns against Football Championship Subdivision school Western Carolina, South Florida running back Marlon Mack was limited to 73 yards on 22 carries, an average of just 3.3 yards per carry. … Defensive lineman Andre Monroe led the Terps with eight tackles and was key in slowing down Mack. Monroe also had a sack. … Starting running back Brandon Ross fumbled twice after also fumbling against James Madison. Edsall said after the game that Ross' fumbling problems, which date to preseason practice, are a concern. Ross finished the game with six carries, just one of which came in the second half.