Allen, Terps burn Virginia, earn 27-17 win

Back rushes for 257 yards on 38 carries as Maryland avenges last year's loss

257 is 3rd best in UM history

`I wanted to carry the load tonight,' Allen says

November 14, 2003|By Kevin Van Valkenburg | Kevin Van Valkenburg,SUN STAFF

COLLEGE PARK - Two games ago, Josh Allen was a forgotten man. Standing on the sideline in Atlanta, Maryland's sophomore running back was little more than a spectator during the Terps' loss to Georgia Tech.

His line that night: five carries, zero yards.

Last night, he rushed his way into the Maryland history books.

Allen ran for 257 yards on 38 carries, and the Terps needed every one of them as they jumped out to a big lead and held on for dear life in an emotional 27-17 victory over Virginia in front of 51,027 at Byrd Stadium.

Allen's 257 yards were the third-best, single-game total in school history, and his 38 carries were the fifth most by a Maryland (7-3, 4-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) running back. It was a heavy workload, but a necessary one. Maryland lost both Bruce Perry and Sam Maldonado to injury in its 59-21 win over North Carolina on Nov. 1.

"I've been a Josh Allen fan my whole life," said Terps coach Ralph Friedgen. "He hasn't maybe put [big] numbers up, but that's because we've had other good backs. A lot of people think he's underrated as a result. I don't."

Said Allen: "I wanted to carry the load tonight. I was shocked to find out [how many yards I had]. I tip my hat to the offensive line. They made it happen."

The win was just the second for Maryland in 11 years against the Cavaliers (5-5, 3-4), who throttled the Terps, 48-13, last season in Charlottesville.

"We remembered how it felt last year," said Maryland quarterback Scott McBrien, who threw an 11-yard touchdown to Latrez Harrison on Maryland's opening drive. "It really hurt. We watched that game film so many times. All week, that was motivation to play well tonight."

For the first 30 minutes, Maryland absolutely steam-rolled Virginia. The Terps ran the ball with power, passed with precision, and gang-tackled on defense. Leading 24-7 at halftime, it looked like Maryland would cruise to its second straight blowout win.

But everything changed when the two teams came out of the locker room. Virginia scored 10 straight points to close to within 24-17, and the Terps' offense went nowhere.

But Allen, and Maryland's offensive line, simply wouldn't let it slip away when it counted. In the fourth quarter, with the Terps clinging to the lead, he rushed for 35 yards on what turned out to be the game's most crucial drive. Nick Novak kicked a 45-yard field goal with 3:42 to play to give Maryland some breathing room, and when the Terps held, forcing a punt, Maryland never gave up the ball again as Allen rushed for 45 yards to run out the clock.

"Josh Allen is a quality back," said Virginia coach Al Groh. "He did a great job tonight. He was faster than the guys that were chasing him, certainly. That was painfully evident as I had to stand there and watch him."

As usual, Maryland looked sharp at the beginning of the game, moving the ball 84 yards on their opening drive. When McBrien hit Harrison on a short out-pattern in the end zone, it was the ninth time in 10 games that the Terps have taken a first-quarter lead.

Virginia didn't do itself any favors on the drive. Twice the Cavaliers stopped the Terps' offense on third down, but an personal foul by Ahmad Brooks for roughing the passer, and an offside penalty, let Maryland keep the ball.

The Terps made it 14-0 on a 1-yard touchdown run by Allen in the second quarter, but it was Jafar Williams that made the difference on the drive, hauling in a 41-yard pass at the 6.

Virginia answered with a 4-yard touchdown run by Matt Schaub to make it 14-7, but on the next play, Allen gave his historic night a jump-start. On a play Maryland calls 42 Lead, Allen took a handoff at the 20, cut to his right and appeared to be stuffed at the line. But the sophomore kept his feet churning, bounced outside, and he didn't stop until he crossed the goal line 80 yards later.

"I thought he was tackled," McBrien said. "I was ready to walk back to the [huddle] when I saw him running down the sideline. ... Before the game, we were joking back and forth. I said, `How about 100 yards tonight, Josh?' He told me, `How about 200?' "

It was a different story in the third quarter as the Terps managed just 18 yards on the ground, and Schaub hit Alvin Pearman for a 14-yard touchdown. Virginia blocked a field goal attempt by Novak, then added a 43-yard field goal by Connor Hughes at the start of the fourth to make it 24-17. But from there it was all Allen.

"Josh had an unbelievable night," Friedgen said. "They were putting seven and eight men in the box, and he was still running the ball."

Running men

Josh Allen had the third-best rushing total ever by a Maryland player last night:

Player Opp Yr Yds

LaMont Jordan Va. '99 306

Bruce Perry Wake '01 276

Josh Allen Va. '03 257

Willie Joyner UNC '82 240

George Scott V'nva '77 237

Next for Terps

Matchup: Maryland (7-3, 4-2) vs. N.C. State (7-3, 4-2)

Site: Carter-Finley Stadium, Raleigh, N.C.

When: Nov. 22, noon or 3:30 p.m.

Radio: WBAL (1090 AM)

Saturday: N.C. State plays at Florida State.

Virginia 0 7 7 3 - 17

Maryland 7 17 0 3 - 27

First quarter M-Harrison 11 pass from McBrien (Novak kick), 8:24. Second quarter M-Allen 1 run (Novak kick), 12:16. V-Schaub 4 run (Hughes kick), 8:31. M-Allen 80 run (Novak kick), 8:17. M-FG Novak 33, :32. Third quarter V-Pearman 14 pass from Schaub (Hughes kick), 6:00. Fourth quarter V-FG Hughes 43, 9:15. M-FG Novak 45, 3:42. A-51,027.


First downs 14 23

Rushes-yards 32-108 48-278

Passing 186 191

Comp-Att-Int 13-26-0 14-21-0

Return Yards 0 0

Punts-Avg. 5-34.8 3-28.0

Fumbles-Lost 0-0 1-0

Penalties-Yards 4-46 6-45

Time of Possession 24:35 35:25

Rushing-Virginia, Lundy 16-56, Pearman 11-53, Schaub 3-1, D.Williams 1-(minus 2). Maryland, Allen 38-257, Parson 1-15, McBrien 6-10, Merrills 1-2, team 2-(minus 6). Passing-Virginia, Schaub 13-26-0-186. Maryland, McBrien 14-21-0-191. Receiving-Virginia, Pearman 5-31, Sawyer 3-25, Lundy 2-66, Anderson 2-25, Miller 1-39. Maryland, Harrison 4-63, Dugan 3-40, Suter 3-23, J.Williams 1-41, Fiddler 1-11, Walker 1-7, Allen 1-6.

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