Oct. 30, 2010
COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) - Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen challenged his players to make a statement, and this was their proclamation:
The Terrapins are worthy of playing in a bowl game, and any resemblance between this team and the one that went 2-10 last year is purely coincidental.
The Terrapins (6-2, 3-1 ACC) scored on their first four possessions and blocked two punts in taking a 27-7 halftime lead. During a 28-point third quarter, Tate and Donohue sandwiched their scores around a touchdown pass by O'Brien to assure Wake Forest (2-6, 1-4) its sixth straight defeat.
"I thought we played a complete game tonight," Friedgen said. "I asked our kids to make a statement, and I think they did."
It was Maryland's most lopsided ACC win since a 59-7 rout of North Carolina in 2002, and the 62 points tied the school record for a conference game, set in 1975 in a 62-24 win over Virginia.
O'Brien, a redshirt freshman, went 13 for 20 for 168 yards before being lifted in the third quarter. He has seven touchdown passes in his last two games and 12 overall.
Davin Meggett ran for 94 yards and a touchdown for the Terrapins, whose sixth win made them bowl eligible for the seventh time in 10 years under Friedgen. Last season, of course, was an exception.
But this is a different year, a far superior team.
"It's a great bunch of kids we work with," Friedgen said. "Just thinking of where we were last year, to me, it's a lesson in perseverance. Now we're bowl eligible, and these next four weeks will probably be the most important in our players' lives."
Maryland has no intention of coasting to the finish, especially since it now stands a half-game behind Florida State in the Atlantic Division.
"Obviously our goal is not to win six games, but it's a good accomplishment for this part of the season," linebacker Alex Wujciak said. "We've got to keep building on it. The ACC is wide open right now."
Wake Forest freshman quarterback Tanner Price completed 16 of 31 passes for 156 yards and a touchdown. Backup Skylar Jones played briefly in the third quarter, but one of his three passes was picked off by Donohue, who took it 25 yards into the end zone.
"I was hopeful that Sky could come in and get some reps and give us a spark," coach Jim Grobe said.
It didn't happen. Wake's running game was even worse, finishing with minus-3 yards on 21 attempts. Josh Harris, coming off a 241-yard rushing performance against Virginia Tech, was limited to 24 yards on nine carries.
In other words, essentially nothing went right for Wake Forest.
"Maryland is a very good team and they are playing with a lot of confidence," Grobe said. "Our kids are doing the opposite - they are not playing with confidence."
The loss dropped Wake Forest into a last-place tie with Boston College in the Atlantic Division. The Demon Deacons had won their last four games coming off a bye, but they fell flat in this one.
"It's rough because we mentally prepped for them so many times," center Russell Nenon said. "But you have to give credit to Maryland for coming out with some stuff that we weren't capable of taking care of."
Wake Forest wasted little time in falling behind 10-0. After Maryland converted a blocked punt into a field goal, O'Brien threw a 17-yard touchdown pass to Torrey Smith after a third-down personal foul against the Demon Deacons kept the drive alive.
Price then completed three passes for 64 yards during an 85-yard drive that ended with a 6-yard touchdown run by Harris.
The Terrapins followed with a run of 45 straight points, beginning with a 28-yard TD pass from O'Brien to Quintin McCree for a 17-7 lead. After Nick Peterson blocked a Wake Forest punt, O'Brien threw a 3-yard scoring pass to Haroon Brown.
It got worse for the Demon Deacons at the start of the third quarter. On Wake Forest's initial offensive play, Price threw a pass in the flat that Tate picked off and took in for an 8-yard score.
A 24-yard touchdown pass from O'Brien to LaQuan Williams made it 41-7, and touchdowns by Donohue and Meggett followed.
Terrapin Replay: Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic is scheduled to show a replay of the ESPNU telecast of the Maryland-Wake Forest game at 7:30 p.m. Sunday. A replay of The Ralph Friedgen TV Show airs at 7 p.m. Sunday.