Maryland Downs Another Ranked Team, Defeats Wake Forest, 26-0
Oct. 18, 2008
Turtle Power: With its win over No. 21 Wake Forest, Maryland has now won five consecutive games over ranked opponents, having also beaten No. 23 California and No. 20 Clemson this season, as well as No. 8 Boston College and No. 10 Rutgers in 2007. The Terps are the only team in the nation to have knocked off three ranked opponents thus far during the 2008 season.
Shutout: The Terps' shutout marked the first time it has held a ranked opponent scoreless since Sept. 24, 1955, when No. 5 Maryland beat No. 1 UCLA 7- 0 at Byrd Stadium. Saturday's shutout is the Terps' first at home since keeping The Citadel off the scoreboard in 2003 and the team's first shutout of an ACC opponent at home since holding Wake Forest scoreless in 1996.
Redemption: Maryland has responded to a shutout loss by shutting out an opponent the following game for the first time since 1957. In that season, Maryland lost to Duke 14-0 (10/5/1957) before responding with a 27-0 win over Wake Forest the following week (10/12/1957).
Home Sweet Home: The confines of Chevy Chase Bank Field at Byrd Stadium have proven friendly indeed for the Terps of late. Maryland has now won five consecutive home games, having not lost in College Park for nearly a year (last home loss: Oct. 27, 2007 versus Clemson). The Terps now stand 29-25-1 all-time in conference home openers, having won three in a row. During the Ralph Friedgen era, Maryland has now won 38 of 49 home games.
61 and Counting: Maryland's victory on Saturday improved Friedgen's career mark to 61-33 (.649). With 61 career wins, the Terps' eighth-year head coach has now equaled both his jersey number from his playing days at Maryland and his age.
Good Company: By beating the Demon Deacons, the Terps are 5-2 for the first time since 2006, when the team finished 9-4 and beat Purdue in the Champs Sports Bowl.
Big Day for Heyward-Bey: WR Darrius Heyward-Bey has been a catalyst for the Terps' offense all season, but he enjoyed a career day of sorts against Wake Forest. The junior wideout recorded a career-high 11 receptions for a season-high 101 yards against the Demon Deacons, including his fourth receiving touchdown and fifth total touchdown of the season on a 9-yard pass from RB Da'Rel Scott during the game's opening drive. The performance marked the fourth 100-yard receiving game of his career. In the opening half alone, Heyward-Bey caught a career-high eight balls for a season-high 94 yards. His single-game receptions total ranks tied for sixth on Maryland's all-time list.
Maryland Single-Game Receptions Leaders
Incredible Catch: Darrius Heyward-Bey adjusted at the last second to make an acrobatic 41-yard catch in double coverage on a pass from QB Chris Turner during the second quarter. The play gave the Terps the ball at the Demon Deacons' 14-yard line and set up Maryland's second score of the game - a 40-yard Obi Egekeze field goal.
Chart Climber: With his 9-yard touchdown reception during the first quarter, Darrius Heyward-Bey moved into a tie with Gary Collins (1959-61) for fourth place in school history with his 12th career receiving touchdown. His 11 receptions against Wake Forest enabled him to pass Guilian Gary (1998-2001) to move into fifth place on the Terps' all-time receptions list with 119 for his career. The junior wideout still ranks fourth all-time in Maryland history with 1,856 career receiving yards following his performance on Saturday.
Maryland Career Receiving Touchdowns
Rk. Player (Years) Touchdowns 1. Jermaine Lewis (1992-95) 21 2. Greg Hill (1982-84) 18 3. Gulian Gary (1998-2001) 13 4. Darrius Heyward-Bey (2006-present) 12 Gary Collins (1959-61) 12 5. Marcus Badgett (1989-92) 11 Barry Johnson (1987-90) 11
Through the Uprights: PK Obi Egekeze connected on four field goals against Wake Forest, including a season-long 40-yard field goal during the second quarter. He added a 39-yard field near the end of the first half and field goals of 35 and 26 yards during the third quarter, setting a career high for field goals in a game. Egekeze's performance marked the first four field-goal game for Maryland since PK Dan Ennis connected on four at Boston College on Nov. 18, 2006. He now has converted his last nine field goal attempts and has connected on 19 of 20 field goal attempts (.950) during ACC play in his career.
Turner on Target: QB Chris Turner completed a career-high 28 of 41 passes for a season-high 321 yards, including a 50-yard touchdown strike to WR Danny Oquendo. With his 10-yard completion to Oquendo during the second quarter, Turner became the 14th Maryland signal-caller to surpass 3,000 passing yards for his career. He now has thrown for at least 200 yards in 10 of the last 12 games in which he has started. Turner improved to 4-0 when starting against ranked teams, and has played a key role in each of Maryland's five consecutive victories over such opponents.
Putting on a Passing Display: Chris Turner's performance on Saturday came against a Wake Forest defense that was leading the nation in defensive pass efficiency entering the game. Maryland's 330 total passing yards are the most given up by the Demon Deacons this season. Their previous high came when Wake Forest surrendered 253 passing yards to Ole Miss on Sept 6.
Dominant Defense: Wake Forest entered Saturday's game ranked second in the ACC in pass offense, but the Terps defense managed to keep the Demon Deacons' attack in check. The Terps held the Demon Deacons scoreless in the first half, despite a pair of Wake Forest drives that started at the Terps' 25 and 30 yard lines. For the game, Maryland limited Wake Forest to 219 total yards and 14 first downs, the latter of which represents the lowest total for a Maryland opponent this season.
Offense Firepower: The Terps offense had a productive day against Wake Forest, netting season highs with 22 first downs and 330 passing yards. Maryland's 470 total yards are its second-most of the 2008 campaign.
Williams' Clutch Play: Offensive linemen rarely get fanfare, but C Edwin Williams came up big for the Terps on their opening scoring drive. The senior leader recovered a fumble at the Demon Deacons 13-yard line to keep the drive alive, and Maryland proceeded to score its first touchdown of the game two plays later.
Tackle Machine: As has been the case all season, LBs Alex Wujciak and Dave Philistin paced the team in tackles against Wake Forest. Wujciak tallied a game-high 13 tackles while Philistin notched 10 tackles and one sack. Maryland is now 4-0 when Wujciak and/or Philistin have double-digit tackle performances this season.
Opposing Quarterbacks Beware: As part of Maryland's impressive defensive effort, LBs Trey Covington, Moise Fokou and Dave Philistin and DL Dean Muhtadi registered sacks of Wake Forest QB Riley Skinner. Fokou's sack gave him a team- and career-high four on the season.
Terp Trickery: Under first-year offensive coordinator James Franklin, Maryland's offense has developed into one for which the quarterback is not necessarily the only player to throw the ball. RB Da'Rel Scott's 9-yard touchdown pass against Wake Forest came three games after WR Danny Oquendo connected with a fellow WR Isaiah Williams for a 43-yard score during a win over Eastern Michigan. The Terps also gained 45 yards in their last game against Virginia on a catch-and-run play that included two lateral passes.
Great Scott: Da'Rel Scott has been Maryland's leading rusher all season, but his role in the offense expanded on Saturday. The sophomore took a handoff during the Terps' opening drive and completed a 9-yard touchdown pass to WR Darrius Heyward-Bey. The play marked the first career pass completion and touchdown pass for Scott, who threw an incomplete pass earlier this season. Scott added 73 rushing yards on 18 carries.
Gronk' Going Strong: TE Dan Gronkowski had another strong performance against Wake Forest, notching career highs with six receptions for 52 yards to build on what has already become a career season for the senior. Gronkowski currently ranks second on the team in receptions and receiving yards.
Breaking Up is Easy to Do: Led by DL Jeremy Navarre, the Maryland defense posted five pass-breakups against Wake Forest. Navarre had two while DBs Nolan Carroll, Terrell Skinner and Kenny Tate each contributed one pass-breakup. For Tate, a true freshman, it marked the first pass-breakup of his career.
Streaks continue: Several Terps extended streaks on Saturday. DL Jeremy Navarre has now played in 44 consecutive games, and his 42 career starts are the most on the team. OL Edwin Williams has now started 33 consecutive games, tops on the offense.
Series record: Maryland improved to 41-15-1 all-time versus Wake Forest, and the Terps' winning percentage of .732 against the Demon Deacons marks its best versus any ACC opponent. Maryland is now 20-8 all-time in home games against Wake Forest.