Bulger gets last laugh on Terps QB lines up under guard, but then comes on strong

Maryland notebook

October 12, 1997|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

West Virginia quarterback Marc Bulger walked confidently up to the offensive line and prepared to take his first snap of the game. Just one problem: He lined up under the right guard.

But the last laugh came at Maryland's expense as Bulger played mistake-free for the remainder of the game, completing 18 of 28 passes for 193 yards.

Bulger continually confused the Maryland defense with deceptive play-action and showed his athleticism with his roll-out passing. He excelled on third-down conversions with six of nine passing for 70 yards.

"I took what the defense gave me," Bulger said. "The primary receiver seemed to be open for most of the day and I didn't have to look to the other options."

On the other sideline, Brian Cummings didn't have the same leisure. He rarely seemed settled in the pocket and finished as the Terps' top rusher with 48 yards on several scrambles, including a career-best 31-yard run.

West Virginia, which has accounted for eight of Cummings' 17 career interceptions, again played havoc. Barrett Green picked off Cummings on the second play of the second quarter, returning it 49 yards for a touchdown.

"Seventy-five to 80 percent of the time, we execute,," said Cummings, who had an interception returned for a touchdown against West Virginia two years ago. "Then there's the other 20 percent of the time, when we lose our heads."

Zereoue recovers

West Virginia tailback Amos Zereoue made his statement in the second half.

After being shut down in the first half, Zereoue ripped the Maryland defense for 109 yards in the final two quarters. He finished with 145 yards rushing -- his exact figure against the Terps last year -- as the Mountaineers raised their record to 10-0 when he eclipses 100 yards.

On one third-quarter drive, he ran the ball nine times for 55 yards, which took six minutes off the clock as West Virginia increased its lead to 24-7 with a field goal.

"Before the game, some of my teammates told me some of the guys on the Maryland team thought I was too small," said Zereoue, who is 5-foot-10, 200 pounds. "That's the only thing they remember about playing us last year. I took that as an offense and just wanted to show them how small I was."

He also established a school record with his first-quarter touchdown. His sixth consecutive game with a rushing touchdown breaks Robert Walker's mark of five straight in 1993.

Hull's mixed results

Maryland freshman tight end Mike Hull redeemed himself slightly in the fourth quarter.

He caught an 8-yard touchdown pass from Cummings to bring the Terps within 24-14 just 3: 40 into the quarter. It marked the first touchdown by a Terps tight end since David Carr scored on a 54-yard catch in 1989 against North Carolina -- a string of 85 games.

However, Hull cost Maryland some points in the third quarter with the Terps trailing by two touchdowns.

Taking a lateral from Cummings, wide receiver Doug Patterson found Hull at the West Virginia 22-yard line. But Hull couldn't hold onto the ball after a hit by Nate Terry, resulting in an interception by Mountaineers cornerback Perlo Bastien.


Buddy Rodgers carried the ball for the first time since being injured against Florida State a month ago, rushing for 41 yards. The return of Rodgers coincides with the loss of Brian Underwood, Maryland's second-leading rusher who missed the game with a leg injury. Defensive end Eric Ogbogu, Maryland's leader with four sacks, sprained his left ankle on West Virginia's point after touchdown midway through the third quarter and did not return. The crowd of 31,210 was the largest at Byrd Stadium this season but still fell 16,845 of a sellout. Clifton Crosby replaced Terps starting left cornerback Lynde Washington for the entire second half, but still didn't spell a vulnerable Maryland secondary. Maryland allowed a season-low two sacks. Terps linebacker Eric Barton, who has a broken middle finger on his right hand, played with a cast and made five tackles. West Virginia now leads the series with Maryland, 17-16-2.

Pub Date: 10/12/97

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