3:30 PM ET, November 6, 2004
Scott Stadium, CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) -- Virginia is feeling good about itself and its chances in the Atlantic Coast Conference again, and just in time.
A dominating 16-0 victory against Maryland on Saturday allowed the No. 12 Cavaliers to put the sting of a washout loss at Florida State behind them, and prepare for another chance to prove themselves, this time in a week at home against Miami with both teams' ACC championship hopes on the line.
"I think we should be back to where we were" before losing 36-3 at Florida State, guard Elton Brown said of Virginia's confidence after running for 295 yards and limited the Terrapins to 214 total yards.
"We put up over 200 yards against a stingy run defense and our defense shut them out. We should be pretty close," the senior captain said.
Wali Lundy ran for his 13th and 14th touchdowns and Virginia (7-1, 4-1) remained in a first-place tie by winning for the 11th time in 13 games in the series that's grown more intense since Al Groh took over as the Cavaliers coach four years ago and Ralph Friedgen took over at Maryland. The teams have split the last four, each winning at home.
Friedgen's team was coming off a stunning 20-17 victory against then-No. 5 Florida State last week, a win that restarted talk of bowl games and finishing strong, then just didn't show up against the Cavaliers.
"We were flat. We just didn't have anything in the tank," Friedgen said. "It was like the walk of the zombies. No one was home. We were talking to them, trying to motivate them. Nothing was registering."
That wasn't the case for the home team, which treated a crowd of 63,072, the largest in Scott Stadium history, to a determined ground game used rotating tailbacks to wear out the Terrapins (4-5, 2-4 ACC).
Alvin Pearman led the way with 170 yards on 31 carries, and Lundy added 107 on 24 attempts, including scoring runs of 4 and 15 yards.
"We knew something had to give," Lundy said, noting that Virginia came into the game with the league's top running game and Maryland had the stingiest run defense. "And we knew it wasn't going to be us."
Virginia's defense also did its job, not allowing quarterback Joel Statham to follow up his 333-yard performance in the victory against Florida State, or Josh Allen to kill them again from his tailback spot.
Statham was 10-for-17 for just 115 yards with two interceptions before being replaced by Jordan Steffy in the fourth quarter. Allen gained just 39 yards after riddling the Cavaliers for a career-best 257 last season.
"Two picks. Forced a fumble. You couldn't ask for better," quarterback Marques Hagans said of the defense before also praising his own line.
"They just took over. They just kept grinding and coming at them."
The game started slowly with a scoreless first quarter that featured a fumble and interception by Virginia, and interception by Maryland and a stop by the Cavaliers when Maryland went for a fourth-and-1 at the 14.
Maryland twice tried to get the yard on sneaks by Statham, but each time he wound up on a pile that never penetrated the line of scrimmage.
"If you can't make inches, you're going to have trouble winning football games," Friedgen said.
Behind Pearman and Lundy, the Cavaliers responded impressively.
Pearman ran nine times for 49 yards and caught a dump pass for another 13 yards as Virginia took over and drove 86 yards. Lundy capped the drive with a 4-yard run, his 13th rushing touchdown this year.
After Maryland gained only 6 yards in three plays and punted, Lundy took over at tailback and ran for 47 of the Cavaliers' 59 yards in a 10-play scoring drive. On a 15-yard TD run, Lundy started left, found his path filled with Terrapins, then cut back right and scored easily.< ^Notes: Virginia placekicker Connor Hughes, who missed only twice in 25 field goal tries all of last season, missed from 53 and 35 yards Saturday, and hit the outside of the left upright on his second extra point try. ... Ahmad Brooks had both interceptions, the first with a one-handed grab. He became the first Cavaliers player with two interceptions in a game since Jerton Evans in 1999 against Brigham Young. ... With two sacks, Darryl Blackstock passed Lawrence Taylor for fifth in ACC history among linebackers with 22. ... Pearman has rushed for 393 yards in the last two games, the most for Virginia since Thomas Jones had 434 in 1999.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||2-12||6-14|
|4th Down Conversions||1-4||1-2|
|TD||12:02||WALI LUNDY 4 YD RUN (CONNOR HUGHES KICK)|
Drive info: 13 plays, 86 yards.
|TD||5:25||WALI LUNDY 15 YD RUN (MISSED KICK)|
Drive info: 10 plays, 59 yards.
|FG||10:17||CONNOR HUGHES 27 YD FG|
Drive info: 11 plays, 66 yards.