- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 6, 2002

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. Scott McBrien took the snap out of the shotgun, faked the handoff and took off for the goal line. The Maryland quarterback scored untouched against his old team on the 21-yard scamper, and the Terrapins were on their way to a landmark victory in surprisingly easy fashion.
The Terps earned their first quality win with a 48-17 thrashing of West Virginia before 55,146 yesterday at Mountaineer Field. McBrien, who transferred last year to Maryland, had a happy return as Maryland built a 28-0 lead in the first quarter and left with a momentum-building victory heading into the heart of the schedule.
"We passed a tremendous hurdle in our season," said Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen, whose team scored three touchdowns in less than four minutes of the first quarter. "A young football team going on the road against a very good football team to come out of the chute that way and score so many points. I thought our defense just played a great game."
The defense particularly tackle Randy Starks and All-American linebacker E.J. Henderson held the nation's leading rushing offense in check. The country's leading rusher, Avon Cobourne, had only 39 yards on 14 carries when the Terps went up 35-0 in the second quarter. Cobourne finished with 123 yards, but most came too late as West Virginia (3-2) saw its two-game winning streak snapped in embarrassing fashion. Many of its fans left at halftime.
The Terps improved to 4-2, but it was the first win this year over a team it didn't pay a hefty sum to come to College Park as a patsy.
Although Maryland's defense has been strong all season, it was the offense that made the big plays it had lacked in one-sided losses to Notre Dame and Florida State. Freshman Josh Allen (116 yards, two touchdowns) had a 70-yard touchdown run that made it 14-0. McBrien connected with Jafar Williams on a 45-yard touchdown strike that made it 21-0. And Steve Suter, who constantly put Maryland in good field position with his returns, took a punt back 80 yards to give the Terps a 28-0 lead with 10 seconds left in the first quarter.
"I was shocked to the point of thinking, 'What's going on?'" offensive lineman Lamar Bryant said of Maryland's best offensive quarter since a 29-point outburst against Duke in 1982. "It was like, 'Oh my God! We're up 28-0.' We had to settle down and remember we still had three quarters left."
Maryland set the tone after it won the coin toss and elected to defer to the second half. The defense promptly stuffed West Virginia on three plays, and a 19-yard punt return by Suter gave Maryland the ball at the Mountaineers 44. McBrien connected with Rich Parson on third-and-8 by dropping the ball into the middle for a 21-yard gain. On the next play, McBrien rolled right and faked an inside handoff to James Lynch. The defense bit, and the quarterback strolled 21 yards into the end zone.
The quarterback, who did not speak to the media following the game, showed uncharacteristic emotion after the score, celebrating with high-fives. McBrien, who left the Mountaineers in the preseason of 2001 after a contentious relationship with coach Rich Rodriguez, temporarily silenced a crowd that went on to harass him all afternoon with the longest touchdown of his career.
"The first touchdown got the monkey off his back," said Bryant, whose line paved the way for 215 yards rushing. "I could sense he was a little nervous earlier in the week because he was playing against West Virginia. When he scored that first touchdown, he was all loose and like, 'I'm just out here to play football now.'"
McBrien completed eight of 18 passes for 162 yards and no interceptions. His only touchdown pass came against one of his best friends. With Maryland up 14-0, Madieu Williams intercepted a tipped ball, and McBrien struck on Maryland's next play. From the West Virginia 45, McBrien lofted a deep pass down the right sideline. Williams beat McBrien's friend, cornerback Brian King, caught the ball in stride at the 5 and scored easily.
"It was two best friends going at it," King said. "Today he got the best of me."
The junior struggled with the option, tossing two pitches to the turf losing one and would have had a third fumble had another pitch not been ruled a forward pass. But the Terps' defense erased most of the mistakes with five sacks, two by Henderson. The unit rendered quarterback Rasheed Marshall ineffective. He finished with 105 yards passing, two interceptions and one touchdown.
Suter, meanwhile, delivered perhaps the biggest blow with a weaving 80-yard punt return at the end of the first quarter. The 5-foot-9 sophomore cut right before picking up a sealing block from Latrez Harrison, cut left and used another block by D'Qwell Jackson on his second punt return for a touchdown this season. Suter finished with 140 yards on punt returns and two receptions for 34 yards.
Allen gave Maryland a 35-0 lead, carrying the ball eight times on a 54-yard drive and scoring from a yard out with 6:18 remaining in the second quarter.
The Mountaineers scored the game's next 17 points. Cobourne had a 6-yard touchdown run with 4:25 left in the first half, then West Virginia capitalized on a fumble on a pitch from McBrien that hit Chris Downs in the chest. Todd James made a 37-yard field goal as the half expired.
The Mountaineers kept the momentum in the second half when Tory Johnson's 4-yard touchdown run made it 35-17 with 8:20 left in the third. However, Nick Novak hit a pair of field goals, and Downs' 72-yard touchdown run provided the final score.
"This was a game that really could help springboard us," said Friedgen, whose team now has an off week before playing host to Georgia Tech on Oct.17. "Our kids need something like this. I'm hoping it's what we're looking for."
Notes
Henderson finished with 15 tackles, while Stark had 11 and one sack. Andrew Henley started at outside linebacker for Maryland in place of Leroy Ambush, who served a one-game suspension for violating undisclosed team rules.


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