Nov. 23, 2002
By HANK KURZ Jr.
AP Sports Writer
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - Anger and emotion proved to be a powerful combination for Virginia.
The Cavaliers used a near-flawless game by Matt Schaub and big plays by its defense to stun No. 18 Maryland 48-13 Saturday night.
Schaub threw three touchdown passes and Wali Lundy scored three times for the Cavaliers, who came in angry that Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen compared them to lowly Duke.
"They compared us to Duke!" linebacker Merrill Robertson said, referring to a comment from Friedgen that the Terps expect to beat teams like Duke and Virginia. "That really ticked us off. We put it on 'em."
Virginia (8-4, 6-2 Atlantic Coast Conference), picked to finish eighth in the league in the preseason, instead wrapped up second place and likely enhanced its bowl stake with Peach and Tangerine bowl officials watching.
The loss ended Maryland's eight-game winning streak.
Schaub was 23-for-27 for 249 yards, becoming the Cavaliers' single-season yardage leader with 2,751 and extending his TD pass record to 26.
Billy McMullen caught seven passes for 92 yards, becoming only the third player in ACC history to get 200 career receptions. He has 205, and he also threw a touchdown pass.
"I think we beat the fight out of them after a while," McMullen said of the Terrapins (9-3, 5-2), who came into the game eyeing a chance to repeat as ACC champions and wound up yielding second place to Virginia.
"With four or five minutes left, they just gave up," McMullen said.
Maryland drove easily downfield on its opening possession, using eight plays to go 80 yards and taking a 7-0 lead on Scott McBrien's 11-yard pass to Chris Downs. Before the Terps scored again, they trailed 34-7.
"They beat our butts," Friedgen said, adding that he was "crushed" that his team failed to take advantage of the chance to share the league title after North Carolina State's 17-7 victory over Florida State.
"How many times do you have an opportunity like that to win a conference championship and maybe go to a BCS game?" Friedgen said.
A 20-point second quarter by Virginia set the tone, and two touchdown drives in the first half of the third quarter gave Virginia a 34-7 lead.
The Terps came out for the third quarter expecting to rally, but Virginia kept its momentum going.
"I thought we'd do something, try to put a couple a big plays together, but it didn't happen," Maryland linebacker E.J. Henderson said. "Virginia stayed on top of its game and kept us down."
The first touchdown of the third quarter came on a second-and-7 play from the Maryland 37. McMullen got the handoff on a double reverse and ran right into the face of Terps lineman Durrand Roundtree, somehown spun free and hit a wide open Michael McGrew with a leaping line drive pass.
"I looked like Randall Cunningham out there," McMullen said, laughing.
The Cavaliers forced Maryland to punt and soon faced third-and-21 from the Terps' 24. They escaped when Lundy took a screen pass all the way.
Lundy ran for 84 yards and caught four passes for 54 yards.
Virginia, which has won five games after trailing at halftime, used its explosive second quarter to take a 20-7 lead into the break.
Connor Hughes started Virginia's scoring with a 47-yard field goal, the first of his career, on the first play of the second quarter.
Then, the momentum changed in a hurry.
First, Scooter Monroe let what would have been an 80-yard touchdown pass go through his hands and off his knees. Two plays later, Jermaine Hardy intercepted McBrien's pass and returned it to the Terps' 27.
"I thought it was thrown farther," Monroe said. "It got in on my wrists. I didn't take my eye off it. I saw it the whole way."
On the first play after the interception, Schaub hit Jason Snelling in the left flat and the fullback dodged tacklers and dove for the TD.
That gave the Cavaliers a 10-7 lead - and gave Schaub a school record with scoring passes in 12 consecutive games.
The Cavaliers forced Maryland to go three-and-out and then drove 69 yards in 13 plays to set up a 27-yard field goal by Hughes.
Angelo Crowell forced a fumble three plays later and Chris Canty recovered at the Terps' 22. Schaub then hit Lundy with a 7-yard scoring pass.