- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 13, 2003

Maryland was worried that one healthy running back wouldn’t be enough. Instead Josh Allen proved too much for Virginia all by himself.

Allen rushed for 257 yards and two touchdowns on 38 carries as Maryland outlasted Virginia 27-17 last night before 51,027 at Byrd Stadium. The sophomore eclipsed his career best after an 80-yard touchdown run gave him 154 yards by halftime. The Cavaliers finally countered with five linemen, but Allen finished with the third most yards by a Terrapins runner all-time.

“Josh Allen had an unbelievable night,” Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen said. “He plays with everything — heart and toughness. He hasn’t put up these kinds of numbers because we have other good backs.”

Maryland (7-3, 4-2 ACC) remained in contention for the ACC co-championship with Florida State (8-2, 6-1). Maryland must win its remaining two games, and Florida State would have to lose to N.C. State tomorrow. The Terps visit N.C. State (7-3, 4-2) on Nov.22, when they could seal at least second place and a Gator Bowl bid with a victory.

“We have two games left, and they will define us as a team,” Friedgen said.

Maryland finished 6-0 at home, its second undefeated season at Byrd in three years under Friedgen, who is 19-1 at home. The Terps also won their first Thursday night game after dropping two this season.

Virginia (5-5, 3-4) plays host to Georgia Tech (5-4, 3-3) on Nov.22 hoping to gain one of the ACC’s minor bowl bids before finishing against Virginia Tech on Nov.29.

The low-key Maryland-Virginia rivalry showed some spark before the game when the Terps received an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty after losing the coin toss.

Virginia misplayed the toss. The Cavaliers opted to kick off and force Maryland to face the gusty wind. Virginia gambled Maryland would stall to give the Cavaliers good field position. Instead, Maryland scored and regularly forced Virginia into poor field position in the second quarter that led to three straight Terps scores.

Maryland quarterback Scott McBrien continued to blossom after an uneven start this season. In his home finale on Seniors Night, McBrien played well for the second straight game by hitting his first five passes into the wind and 14 of 21 overall for 191 yards and one touchdown. McBrien even tormented the Cavaliers defenses by escaping three pursuers to throw a dart into the end zone that was dropped.

“I can see Scott getting better and better,” Friedgen said.

Maryland grabbed a 7-0 lead after twice benefiting from Virginia’s third-down penalties on its first drive. Terps receiver Latrez Harrison shook off Cavaliers cornerback Almondo Curry in the right corner on an 11-yard touchdown catch with 8:24 remaining in the first quarter.

The Terps used the wind at their backs for a quick scoring drive in the second quarter. McBrien hit receiver Jafar Williams on a 41-yard reception to the Cavaliers 6. McBrien nearly scored on a 3-yard keeper before being stopped by Virginia linebacker Ahmad Brooks. Allen dived into the end zone on the following play for a 14-0 lead with 12:16 remaining in the first half.

Virginia countered on a 4-yard touchdown run by Matt Schaub to close to 14-7 with 8:31 left in the first half. Wali Lundy’s 62-yard reception set up Schaub’s third-down scramble.

One play later, Allen slipped down the right side for an 80-yard touchdown for a 21-7 advantage, Maryland’s longest run this season. Kicker Nick Novak added a 33-yard field goal 32 seconds before halftime for a 24-7 lead.

Alvin Pearman almost single-handedly led Virginia’s opening second-half drive. He gained 30 yards on five carries and 29 yards on three catches with a 14-yard touchdown reception, closing Virginia’s deficit to 24-14 with six minutes left in the third quarter.

After Novak’s 47-yard field goal attempt was blocked, Virginia’s Connor Hughes converted a 43-yarder into the wind to enable the Cavaliers to close within 24-17 with 9:15 remaining. However, Novak countered with a 45-yarder with 3:42 left.

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