By DAVID GINSBURG
AP Sports Writer
COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) - Josh Allen ran for a career-high 257 yards and two touchdowns, and Maryland kept its Atlantic Coast Conference title hopes alive by defeating Virginia 27-17 Thursday night.
Allen gained 154 yards rushing in the first half, when the Terrapins scored on four of five possessions to take a 24-7 lead. That proved to be enough offense to provide Maryland with its second win over the Cavaliers in 11 tries since 1991.
The Terrapins (7-3, 4-2) can finish tied atop the ACC if North Carolina State beats league-leading Florida State on Saturday and Maryland wins its final two games.
A year ago, Maryland's bid for a second straight ACC title was ruined by a 48-13 loss to Virginia. Not only did the Terrapins extract a measure of revenge, but they finished unbeaten (6-0) at home for only the 19th time in the 111-year history of the program.
Allen, a sophomore, carried 38 times. The 257-yard performance ranks third in school history and was nearly twice his previous career high of 136 yards.
Matt Schaub ran for a touchdown, threw for a score and nearly brought the Cavaliers (5-5, 3-4) back in the second half. He threw for 186 yards to overtake Shawn Moore as the school's career leader in passing yardage.
Schaub's 14-yard touchdown pass to Alvin Pearman to make it 24-14 with six minutes left in the third quarter, and he directed a 46-yard drive that produced a field goal with 9:15 left.
But Nick Novak kicked a 45-yard field goal with 3:42 to go after a 19-yard run by Allen produced a first down at the Virginia 29.
The game was played in a 40 mph wind, and the temperature dipped near freezing.
Maryland took the opening kickoff and moved 84 yards in 11 plays to go up 7-0. Allen ran eight times for 38 yards and the Virginia twice extended the drive with third-down penalties before Scott McBrien threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to Latrez Harrison.
The Terrapins made it 14-0 early in the second quarter when Allen scored from 1 after Jafar Williams outleaped Virginia safety Jermaine Hardy on a 41-yard completion.
At that point, Maryland held a 168-53 advantage in total yardage.
Virginia quickly remedied that, moving 80 yards in nine plays to close to 14-7. A well-timed screen pass to Wali Lundy covered 62 yards, setting up a 4-yard touchdown run by Schaub on a quarterback draw.
It took Maryland only 14 seconds to restore its 14-point cushion - the amount of time it took Allen to cover 80 yards after squeezing through a tiny hole on the right side.
After a Virginia punt, the Terrapins moved 45 yards and went up 24-7 on a 33-yard field goal by Novak with 32 seconds left in the half.