Maryland was moments removed from allowing in excess of 100 yards more than it gained.
It completed a tick over a third of its pass attempts.
It punted eight times in 11 possessions before it could run out the clock.
The Terrapins also won, a 21-16 defeat of Duke to surge to 4-1 overall entering the team's bye week.
"Well, it wasn't pretty," coach Ralph Friedgen said.
But guess what? Maryland doesn't care.
"At the end of the day, we're 4-1 and winning ugly is much better than losing ugly," quarterback Danny O'Brien, who wasn't sharp but also didn't throw an interception. "We did a lot of that last year. I'd rather have this performance in a win than a great performance in a loss."
There are several common themes throughout the last seven years in College Park, a time during which Maryland is 39-39.
One is a general inability to pummel opponents, a fact Friedgen referenced as he explained surviving a rally from the Blue Devils.
"I don't have many Morgan State games here," he said. "Don't know if you've checked the record, but it's been 10 long years."
No, there aren't many 62-3 shellackings of late. Maryland fans would have liked a handful of 41-17s or 45-24s along the way. They rarely happened.
That was the giant asterisk in the 2006 season, a year when the Terps repeatedly were outgained and still managed nine victories. There were times players and coaches bristled at their reputation for grinding out unsightly victories, even if it was clear an occasional blowout would prove a good demonstration of might.
But attitudes change. And nothing does that better than a 2-10 season.
Maryland clearly values each victory, not so much as a step closer to bowl eligibility (the Terps need merely a 2-5 finish to make that happen) but as a way of pushing 2009 deeper into the recesses of their memory banks.
Well, maybe that's not accurate. Certainly, a sluggish win is savored a bit more --- particularly when it comes against a team that dealt Maryland a close loss last year.
"Going 2-10 last year, everybody in the ACC has a target on their
chest from us," center Paul Pinegar said. "It's payback time for just about everybody, and Duke was the first team to get their payback."
There's an interesting counterpoint to this as well. Fans following a perennial 7-5ish team would like to see a next step. Those following a program coming off a dreadful year are just happy to collect victories and move along to the next game.
"It's ugly, but you don't get scrutinized as much," tailback Da'Rel Scott acknowledged.
For a night the common theme out of the Terps' camp was easy to pick up.
Sure, Maryland didn't play great. No, it won't do very often the rest of the way.
But no one is in a rush to hand back a victory, regardless of what anyone else thinks.
Not after last year.
"Looking back on it, I'm just glad we won, first and foremost," O'Brien said. "Obviously, you don't want to have these types of nights. I think good teams can win ugly games, and we won ugly tonight against a pretty good team. I think if we can start clicking again, it'll make it a little less stressful on everyone."