- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 7, 2004

CHARLOTTESVILLE — Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen tried everything he could to motivate his players yesterday. All he got back were blank stares.

Instead of building upon the momentum from a monumental win a week ago, the Terrapins were manhandled 16-0 by Virginia at Scott Stadium. The Cavaliers ran all over the Terps, who looked nothing like the team that beat Florida State last week.

“It was a nightmare,” said Friedgen after Maryland dropped to 4-5 overall and 2-4 in the ACC. “It was like we were zombies. Nobody was here. … We were flat. I don’t know if it was because of last week or what it was. I have to evaluate myself. If I can’t get them up for this game, I don’t know what is wrong with me.”

The Terps are in danger of not reaching a bowl for the first time since Friedgen took over the program in 2001. Maryland, which has lost four of its last five, must win at No.18 Virginia Tech and beat Wake Forest at home just to become bowl eligible.

“This season has been a roller coaster,” Terps center Kyle Schmitt said. “There has been a lot to deal with, not just physically but mentally. It wears on you.”

The Cavaliers (7-1, 4-1) remained tied for first place with Virginia Tech, which beat North Carolina yesterday.

The Cavaliers dominated both lines and were especially effective on third downs before a stadium record crowd of 63,072. Tailback Alvin Pearman led the ground assault with 175 yards rushing, and Wali Lundy ran for 107. The Cavaliers racked up 295 yards on the ground and as a result nearly doubled Maryland’s time of possession.

“I could see from the first handoff that the holes were there and it was going to be a long day for Maryland,” said Lundy, whose team had 26 first downs to Maryland’s seven. “Our line was just pushing the defensive players back. They controlled the game.”

Friedgen’s version: “They just lined up and ran the ball down our throat.”

Meanwhile, the Terps offense, which appeared to right itself in last week’s 20-17 upset of then-No.5 Florida State, converted just three of 16 chances on third and fourth downs. It was the first time Maryland had been shut out since Notre Dame’s 22-0 win to open the 2002 season.

Maryland quarterback Joel Statham completed 12 of 23 passes for 163 yards and two interceptions. He wasn’t helped by the running game as the Terps totaled just 51 yards on 27 carries. Tailback Josh Allen, who had 257 yards in last season’s 27-17 win over the Cavaliers, finished with 39 on 10 carries.

The turning point came late in the first quarter after Chris Kelley’s first career interception gave Maryland the ball at the Virginia 36. The Terps drove to the 14 but couldn’t convert two plays with less than a yard to go. Statham tried quarterback sneaks on both third and fourth downs but fell short.

“It was this close [to get the first down],” said Friedgen, displaying his thumb and index finger. “You have to make that. I really want to go look at the tape.”

The Cavaliers promptly went on a 13-play, 86-yard touchdown drive, capped by Lundy’s 4-yard run with 12:02 left in the first half. Pearman had nine rushes for 49 yards on the drive, including a conversion on fourth-and-1 that kept it alive.

Allen ran for 9 yards on first down on Maryland’s next possession, but the Terps lost yardage on the next two plays. Virginia took advantage with a 10-play, 59-yard drive that ended with Lundy’s 15-yard scamper into the end zone. Virginia led 13-0 after Connor Hughes missed the extra point.

Hughes pushed the lead to 16-0 on a 27-yard field goal with 10:17 left in the third quarter, and Maryland, which hasn’t won in Charlottesville since 1990, never seriously threatened after that.

Statham suffered a collarbone injury late in the first half. He was X-rayed at halftime but returned.

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