Football Gives Virginia Test

September 12, 1998

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - Aaron Brooks threw for 225 yards and two touchdowns and Thomas Jones had a 21-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter as No. 12 Virginia defeated surprisingly tough Maryland 31-19 on Saturday.

Virginia (2-0, 1-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) opened with a shutout at Auburn, earned its highest ranking ever going into the second game, and was supposed to stroll to its seventh straight victory over Maryland.

But the outcome was in doubt until Brooks directed an 80-yard touchdown drive capped by Jones' run with 7:37 remaining and the Cavaliers stopped the Terrapins on their final two possessions.

Maryland (1-1, 0-1) scored first and stayed close despite setting up a Virginia touchdown and a field goal with fumbles and throwing an interception near the Virginia goal line.

After a Maryland field goal, Brooks directed a 73-yard touchdown drive with 12:07 left in the second quarter. Duane Fisher then stripped the ball from Cliff Crosby on the kickoff return and Brooks hit Kevin Coffey between two defenders for a 29-yard TD that quickly put Virginia ahead 14-3. The Cavaliers added a field goal to lead 17-3 at halftime.

The Terrapins opened the second half with a 65-yard scoring drive capped by their first rushing touchdown against Virginia since 1995. Harold Westley scored on a 30-yard run up the middle, slanting outside and going virtually untouched into the end zone.

Terrence Wilkins returned the kickoff close to midfield, and a few plays later Brooks found fullback Tyree Foreman wide open for a 28-yard touchdown and Virginia was back ahead by two touchdowns.

The Terrapins gained 42 yards rushing on 42 carries in their opener against James Madison, a Division I-AA school, while Virginia held then-No. 25 Auburn to 18 yards rushing.

But late in the third quarter, Matt Kapalinski burst through the Virginia defense for a 53-yard run, and Kenny Rogers plowed into the end zone from four yards. On Maryland's next possession, a 37-yard pass reception by Jermaine Arrington set up Brian Kopka's 25-yard field goal to get Maryland to 24-19.

Maryland finished with 188 yards rushing.