CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- Virginia's first offensive play was the last of Jamie Bragg's career.
Four minutes into yesterday's game against Maryland, the Cavaliers' offense opened with a sweep right by Kevin Brooks. Bragg, a senior tackle from Severna Park, went down, left the field on a stretcher, and spent the night at University of Virginia Hospital with a fractured and dislocated right ankle.
Pins and a plate were inserted for stability, and Maryland trainers were to return here today and escort him back to College Park.
Bragg was an inspiration to the Terps after an 0-2 start, as he volunteered to switch from center to the defensive line.
Without Bragg, the Terps' defense still turned in a decent effort in a 46-21 loss to the Cavaliers, as mistakes by Maryland's offense and special teams led to Virginia's last four touchdowns.
Despite the disparity on the scoreboard, Virginia only out-gained Maryland 321 yards to 317. Only once this season have the Terps allowed fewer yards, and Lamont Gore's interception set up Maryland's last touchdown. The Cavaliers had a field goal to show for their first four possessions, but parlayed good field position into some momentum that Maryland couldn't counter.
"We played so badly last week, we wanted to prove ourselves," said sophomore linebacker Ratcliff Thomas, referring to a 47-45 loss to North Carolina State in which the Terps never stopped the Wolfpack.
Thomas led the Terps with 13 tackles.
Streak picked off
Junior quarterback Scott Milanovich had thrown four interceptions this season and none since the second quarter of an Oct. 1 loss to Clemson, but he was picked off three times in the second half by Virginia. It was the 13th straight game in which the Cavs had an interception.
Milanovich had 166 attempts without an interception before linebacker James Farrior stepped in front of a pass intended for sophomore Mancel Johnson. "I was kind of flushed out of the pocket," Milanovich said. "I saw the linebacker [Farrior], but I felt I could stick it in there. He proved me wrong."
Milanovich said the Terps' offense never got back into a comfortable rhythm after a 43-yard touchdown pass to Geroy Simon in the second quarter put Maryland ahead 14-3. Virginia dominated possession and field position over the next 18 minutes.
Milanovich set a Maryland record for career completions with 487, bettering Boomer Esiason's mark by one. He completed 32 of 51 for 351 yards, and broke the record on the last play of the game, a 5-yard reception to Russ Weaver. Milanovich went the entire way, even though Maryland was down by more than three touchdowns for most of the fourth quarter and his safety was endangered by Virginia's pass rush.
"We were doing everything we could to get back in the game as quickly as possible," coach Mark Duffner said.
Duffner had a cut over his left eye, and Weaver said it happened on the sideline, while he was encouraging one of the Terps after a big play.
"He [Duffner] likes to get right up with you," Weaver said. "He should probably wear a helmet too."
While Milanovich praised Virginia's defenders, offensive tackle Steve Ingram was more impressed with the Cavaliers' scheme.
"Their scheme was great, they always disguised what they wanted to do," Ingram said.
Lewis moves up
Jermaine Lewis opened the scoring with an 18-yard touchdown catch on Maryland's second possession. It was his sixth touchdown catch of the past four games and 17th of the junior's career, leaving him one shy of the Maryland record held by Greg Hill (1982-84).
Lewis finished with six catches for 135 yards, making him Maryland's all-time leader in receiving yardage with 1,926.
Lewis (122) and Weaver (114) rank Nos. 2 and 3 at Maryland in career receptions.
Kevin Plank got his first career carry in the second quarter, when "Black Thunder," the short-yardage offense, came on with the Terps at their 1-yard line after a Cavaliers drive came up short. He gained 6 yards. A junior who walked on three years ago, Plank earned a scholarship this year. . . . Virginia quarterback Mike Groh completed passes to eight players.