- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 4, 2001

After being thoroughly embarrassed a week earlier at Florida State, Maryland's defense carried a chip on its shoulder yesterday against Troy State.
The Trojans took the brunt of the Terrapins' aggravation and felt more pressure than in Homer's "Iliad." The 15th-ranked Terps recorded a season high eight sacks, and allowed minus-one rushing yards in a 47-14 romp before 38,415 at Byrd Stadium while erasing any doubt whether they could successfully rebound from their first loss.
The victory boosted the Terps' record to 8-1 and marked the first time they had won eight games since 1985, when Maryland captured its last ACC title.
"We just wanted to come back and get after them," said junior linebacker E.J. Henderson, who blocked a punt, forced a fumble, recorded one sack and had nine tackles, (two for losses). We had a lot of built-up animosity, and we took it out on them."
Maryland's defense and special teams set up great field position for the offense, which took full advantage. The Terps, who did not turn the ball over after four giveaways last week at Florida State, were precise and on target behind quarterback Shaun Hill, who threw for 228 yards and two touchdowns on 15-for-22 passing.
Tailback Bruce Perry caught the first touchdown pass of his career, a 17-yard flare on which he split defenders to the end zone, and rushed for 45 yards on 10 carries and one touchdown although he didn't get a touch after halftime. Maryland executed five touchdown drives, three of them starting in Troy State territory.
Maryland tied a season high for sacks by halftime (five) and led 34-0 at the break. It was the most points Troy State has allowed after two quarters under coach Larry Blakeney, who took over in 1991.
The Trojans (4-4), a Division I-A newcomer this year, lost big at No.2 Nebraska and No. 1 Miami earlier this season but was competitive early. This was not the case yesterday as Maryland rattled quarterback Brock Nutter with its front four, choosing not to blitz as much as in previous games. This allowed the defensive backs to sit back in a zone for most of the game.
Maligned cornerback Dennard Wilson, who was picked apart by Florida State quarterback Chris Rix, had deep help from safety Randall Jones most of day, and was not burned long. Troy State looked shaky operating its no-huddle, shotgun offense, and finished with 272 yards passing, 221 of them in the game's final 20 minutes against many Maryland backups playing prevent defense.
"We didn't have any problems with [Troy State]," Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen said. "I think that says something about our football team on a national standpoint. … The number one and number two teams in the country struggled against this team and we didn't, so that's got to say something."
Hill left the game with a sprained left ankle with 6:16 remaining in the third quarter. Backup Latrez Harrison had 47 yards rushing on seven carries but struggled through the air, completing two of seven for two yards. Hill told Friedgen he could have returned, but the seriousness of his injury will not be known until today.
Tailback Marc Riley finished with a career-high 86 yards rushing, including a 69-yard first-quarter run that opened the scoring. Freshman Jason Crawford shouldered the Terps' ground game in the second half, carrying 13 times for 49 yards and one touchdown.
Nick Novak continued to be superb in the kicking game, nailing all four of his field goals, including a 50-yarder to end the first half. He has made eight of his last nine attempts, with the only miss a 50-yarder against Duke that glanced off the upright.
"We played them at a time when you should be down in between a big game coming up [Clemson at home Saturday] and after a big game," Friedgen said. "The stage was set for a disaster to strike today … but our kids responded well."


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