COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) — Maryland coach Randy Edsall summarized his team's 7-6 win over William & Mary on Saturday rather neatly at the start of his post-game press conference.
"It wasn't pretty, but it's a win," Edsall said. "We've got so many things that we can take from this game to improve upon, and we will."
William & Mary, a Football Championship Subdivision team, led most of the game in the season opener for both teams. But Maryland's 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.
The Terrapins won despite turning the ball over four times, missing a short field goal and making a number of mistakes. 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.
"I'm excited for the win, (but) there's a lot of things I can improve on," Hills said. "Whenever I was out there, I wasn't really overwhelmed or anything, wasn't nervous. Just a couple of silly mistakes that I shouldn't have made, but that won't happen again."
Maryland defensive back Dexter McDougle was called for three pass interference penalties, including two in the first quarter, when the Terrapins committed three of their turnovers.
Two of the turnovers set up William & Mary field goals, but the Terrapins kept the Tribe out of the end zone and shut them out for the final three quarters.
"I was definitely happy with how we handled the situation because they could have scored touchdowns in every last one of those situations," said Maryland linebacker Demetrius Hartsfield. "We didn't let them score one touchdown, so letting them come away with a field goal isn't a bad thing."
Hartsfield led the Terps with 13 tackles and a fumble recovery. Defensive end Joe Vellano added 11 tackles plus his first career interception off a bobbled ball that popped into his hands and stopped a Tribe drive.