Football Falls to West Virginia


Sept. 19, 1998

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) - West Virginia proved its offense is more than just Amos Zereoue.

Marc Bulger passed for 293 yards and three touchdowns and Zereoue rushed for 135 yards and two scores as No. 19 West Virginia rolled over Maryland 42-20 Saturday night.

Zereoue, the nation's third-leading rusher last season, was held to 77 yards in a season-opening loss to Ohio State. He had 91 yards by halftime against Maryland (1-2) and went over 100 on his first carry of the third quarter.

As good as Zereoue was, it was Bulger who guided the Mountaineers to their first three touchdowns as he completed 18 of 21 passes for 274 yards in the first half.

"Amos was going to have a good day regardless, but once we got a couple of big passes, that really opened it up," Bulger said.

West Virginia (1-1) had a week off after the loss to Ohio State and entered the game as the only Top 25 team without a victory. The Mountaineers had lost five of their last six games dating back to last season.

"If felt kind of funny getting the win. It's a shame to say but we haven't had a win in a long time," said West Virginia defensive tackle John Thornton, who had two sacks.

"It's a lot more fun to be here when you win than when you lose," said West Virginia coach Don Nehlen.

West Virginia took a 7-0 lead as time expired in the first quarter when Bulger found Khori Ivy for a 9-yard scoring pass. Bulger and Ivy had connected for 28 yards to the Maryland 25 five plays earlier to set up the touchdown.

Maryland (1-2) failed to capitalize on two West Virginia turnovers in the first quarter - fumbles by Bulger at the Maryland 28 and Zereoue at midfield.

Maryland, however, gained just 20 total yards on both possessions and was penalized twice for 15.

After Maryland pulled within 7-3 on the first of two 43-yard field goals by Brian Kopka, West Virginia went up 14-3 on Zereoue's 5-yard touchdown run. It was the first touchdown of the season for Zereoue, who scored 18 in 1997.

West Virginia took a 21-3 lead on its next possession when Bulger hit Shawn Foreman with a touchdown pass on a 14-yard fade to the corner of the end zone.

The Mountaineers went up 28-3 when David Carter blocked a punt by Maryland's Russ Edwards inside the Terrapins' 5. The ball rolled into the end zone, where Carter picked it up for a touchdown with 1:33 left before halftime.

After giving up 549 yards in the loss to Ohio State, West Virginia held Maryland to 262 yards, much of it coming after the Mountaineers had put the game out of reach. The Mountaineers held Maryland starting quarterback Ken Mastrole to 3-of-9 passing for 27 yards.

Mastrole has not thrown a touchdown pass this season and was lifted for Randall Jones in the third quarter. Jones' fumble on his second play from scrimmage was recovered by West Virginia on the Maryland 13. Zereoue scored his second touchdown from 3 yards out for a 42-3 West Virginia lead.

"It was tough. I had a rush in my face most of the time and I was scrambling around there trying to make some plays," Mastrole said. "But in a situation like that, when things break down, it kind of all collapses on you."

Running back Matt Kalapinski scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns for Maryland on runs of 15 and 2 yards.

Maryland coach Ron Vanderlinden said West Virginia's week off was a disadvantage for his team.

"You get to work the same plays over and over again. They're a very aggressive and penetrating group on defense. They had good answers for us," Vanderlinden said.

West Virginia was penalized twice when fans threw a bottle and golf balls onto the field, incidents that upset Nehlen. West Virginia was penalized 14 times for 141 yards.

"That's absolutely ridiculous. A lack of class and everything else," Nehlen said. "That has no place in college football."

Zereoue has rushed for more than 100 yards in each of his three career games against Maryland. Zereoue now has 14 career 100-yard games, breaking the school record of 13 set by Artie Owens from 1972-75.