Nov 3, 2001
By DAVID GINSBURG
AP Sports Writer
COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) - Ralph Friedgen feared the worst.
Coming off its first defeat of the season, No. 15 Maryland had a sluggish week of practice and then sleepwalked through pregame drills Saturday before facing unheralded Troy State.
"The stage was set for disaster to strike," said Friedgen, Maryland's highly successful first-year coach.
He needn't have worried. Shaun Hill threw for 228 yards and two touchdowns in an abbreviated stint as Maryland cruised to a 47-14 victory.
Proving they had effectively put last week's 21-point loss to Florida State behind them, the Terrapins (8-1) scored on six of eight possessions in building a 34-0 halftime lead.
"We had a lot of anger, a lot of built-up frustration from the FSU game," Maryland linebacker E.J. Henderson said. "Coach stressed all week to come out and take it out on Troy State, so we did today."
The fast start came as a surprise to Friedgen, who gathered his players shortly before the game to remind them that an upset loss could cost them a shot at a New Year's Day bowl game.
"They were kind of in a funk all week, then in warmups it was like they were in a trance," Friedgen said. "I got them together and said, `I'm begging you: Wake up!"'
The message apparently hit home. Maryland's defense, burned for 52 points by the Seminoles, limited Troy State to two first downs and 26 yards in the decisive first half.
Hill, who threw two costly interceptions at Florida State, went 15-for-22 with no turnovers before being removed in the third quarter with a sprained left ankle. It's unlikely that the injury will keep the senior quarterback out of next week's Atlantic Coast Conference clash against Clemson.
"He came out limping and told me, `I can go back in,"' Friedgen said. "I told him, `Not today, you're not."'
Playing its first season at the Division I-A level, Troy State (4-4) has lost to Top 25 teams Maryland, Miami and Nebraska by a combined 127-35 score. The Trojans came in with a three-game winning streak that included a 21-9 upset of Mississippi State.
But they were no match for Maryland, which last won eight games in a season in 1985.
"They've got some things they want to accomplish, like a 10-win season and winning the ACC," Troy State coach Larry Blakeney said. "They certainly took care of business today as far as stopping us and really keeping us from doing very much at all offensively."
The Terrapins took a 7-0 lead with less than five minutes elapsed. Marc Riley burst through a hole at right tackle on a third-and-1 play and ran for a 69-yard touchdown, his eighth score of the season.
"It was short-yardage situation, we blocked it well and Marc made a good cut and took off," Friedgen said.
The Trojans got their initial first down on the ensuing possession, but E.J. Henderson subsequently blocked a punt to give the Terrapins the ball at the Troy State 30. Six plays later, Bruce Perry took a screen pass 17 yards to make it 17-0.
After a Troy State punt, Perry capped a 46-yard drive with a 10-yard run up the middle, putting Maryland up 24-0. It was Perry's 11th touchdown, tied for eighth on the school's single-season list.
Minutes later, and Hill ended a 65-yard drive with a 15-yard TD pass to Daryl Whitmer. Troy State then punted again, leaving enough time for Novak to kick a 50-yard field goal on the final play of the half.
"The first half was pretty painful," Blakeney said.
It was 44-0 in the third quarter before Demontray Carter returned a kickoff 79 yards, which led to 17-yard touchdown pass from Brock Nutter to Heyward Skipper.
By that time, Maryland was already looking forward to Clemson.
"We're riding high, we're feeling good," Henderson said. "Now we can have a good week of practice and come out Saturday ready to play."