Terps trounce Troy State, 47-14

UM gets first 44 points, runs its record to 8-1

November 04, 2001|By Christian Ewell | Christian Ewell,SUN STAFF

COLLEGE PARK - No ramifications. No real crowd. No problem.

No. 15 Maryland, playing a nonconference game against a no-name team in front of the smallest Byrd Stadium crowd of the season, calmly walked over Troy State, 47-14, yesterday.

No one among the announced crowd of 38,415 saw brilliance, but they did see the Terps (8-1) score the game's first 44 points in as much a workmanlike manner as you could expect for such a task.

In between a 52-31 loss to Florida State last week and next Saturday's game against Clemson, Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen worried about his team's listless state over the past five days, all the way through sluggish pre-game warm-ups. He begged his team: "Wake up."

"It's harder to get up for a game like this," offensive guard Todd Wike said, comparing yesterday to higher-profile games like last week at Florida State. "We were fired up. Maybe not as much as last week, but we knew what we had to do and came out and got it done."

The Terps didn't allow Troy State (4-4) to get going at all until the Trojans scored two late touchdowns. Otherwise, the game had all the trappings of a mismatch, with the Terps outgaining the Trojans, 509-271, and piling up eight sacks.

Maryland quarterback Shaun Hill threw for 228 yards and two touchdowns, reserve tailback Marc Riley ran for 86 yards on seven carries and a touchdown, and the defense allowed only 32 first-half yards, bringing the team within two games of being the school's first 10-win squad since the 1976 team went 11-1. By beating Clemson next week, Maryland would win its ninth game, something it hasn't done since 1985.

However, for Maryland to win the Atlantic Coast Conference title outright, it needs victories over Clemson and N.C. State, combined with a Florida State loss to either N.C. State or Georgia Tech.

Earlier in the year, Friedgen said he was content to let the postseason cards fall where they may. But with poll rankings as one of the tie-breakers for the ACC representative in a BCS game, the coach made a sly plea for more respect on behalf of the Terps after the victory.

"The number one and number two teams in the country struggled with this team," Friedgen said in his post-game news conference, referring to previous Troy State opponents Miami and Nebraska. "We didn't. That's got to say something."

The main setback was a high left ankle sprain for Hill, who is expected to recover. Otherwise, the game's biggest drama came on the opening kickoff, when the Trojans seemed to have recovered an onside kick. Of course, it turned out that the wind moved the ball off the tee, not place-kicker Drew Boteler, who had to kick off again when the play was nullified.

That sequence was the only near-break for Troy State, which looked merely decent on defense and weak on offense, constantly struggling to avoid delay-of-game penalties.

Troy State did contain Maryland's bread-and-butter running game early, but allowed the Terps to get untracked anyway when Riley bounced outside to the right on a third-and-1 play and ran 69 yards for a touchdown and a 7-0 lead with 10:11 left in the first quarter.

Maryland had sporadic production for the rest of that opening quarter, garnering all of 49 yards. Forty-two came on a Hill pass to Scooter Monroe (John Carroll), setting up a Nick Novak field goal from 33 yards, putting the Terps up 10-0 at the 4:35 mark.

On defense, however, Maryland had already started to take over, holding the Trojans to 27 first-quarter yards, and it only got worse as they went from starting at their 47 on their first drive to constantly starting inside their 20 over the next six possessions. Maryland allowed only five yards on nine plays in the second quarter.

A big part of that was the Terps' ability to pressure Trojans quarterback Brock Nutter, posting five of their sacks in the first half.

"Most of their offense is getting the ball to their receivers," said linebacker E.J. Henderson, who had nine tackles, including one sack. "Once we were able to get someone in their face, that helped us out a lot."

That meant consistently good field position for the Terps, who started to turn the screws after Henderson blocked a Jeremy Schatz punt, which was recovered by Marlon Moye-Moore at the Troy State 31.

Five plays later, Bruce Perry took a screen pass from Hill and went 17 yards for his first touchdown catch this season with 12:51 left in the second quarter. Nearly six minutes later, Perry sliced up the middle for a 10-yard touchdown run, giving Maryland a 24-0 lead at the 7:01 mark.

Hill's second touchdown pass of the game came with 1:30 left in the half, to Daryl Whitmer from 15 yards, making the score 31-0. Finally, as time expired for halftime, Novak hit a 50-yard field goal.

"The first half was pretty painful," Troy State coach Larry Blakeney said. "All we asked them to do was come back and try to salvage something at halftime."

Said Friedgen: "Eight-and-one is pretty nice to be at right now. We have to take them one at a time, and hopefully we can get number nine next week."

Troy State 0 0 7 7 - 14

Maryland 10 24 10 3 - 47

Next for Maryland

Opponent: Clemson

Site: Byrd Stadium, College Park

When: Saturday, 7 p.m.

Record: 5-3

Yesterday: Lost to Florida State, 41-27

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