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Allen rushes for 257 yards, two TDs

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) -- Josh Allen picked the ideal stage to
shed his image as Maryland's "other" running back.

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.

Bruce Perry, the sixth-leading rusher in Maryland history, could
not play because of a severe ankle sprain. It didn't matter,
though, because Allen carried the load all by himself in the
nationally televised contest.

"Josh Allen had an unbelievable night," Terrapins coach Ralph
Friedgen said. "He really came through for us big-time."

Allen ran for 154 yards 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 effort ranks
third in school history and was nearly twice his previous career
high of 136 yards.

"I wanted to make sure I could carry the load like my team
needed me to," he said. "The offensive line played a great game.
My performance is just a reflection of what they did."

His numbers may have surprised the 51,027 fans and the TV
audience, but Virginia coach Al Groh knew Allen had the potential
to shred any defense.

"He's been doing it for quite a while," Groh said. "Unless
you've been out of the country, you know that Josh Allen is a
quality back. He played like one tonight."

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 passed
for 186 yards to overtake Shawn Moore as the school's career leader
in passing yardage.

"We gave it a good go, but in our business there are no medals
for trying. It looked to me like another chapter in the same
story," Groh said. "Once again we just made it too hard on
ourselves."

Schaub's 14-yard touchdown pass to Alvin Pearman got the
Cavaliers to 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 Maryland's 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.