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Virgina's defense stifles Maryland before record crowd

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) -- Virginia is feeling good about
itself and its chances in the Atlantic Coast Conference again, and
just in time.

A dominating 16-0 victory against Maryland on Saturday allowed
the No. 12 Cavaliers to put the sting of a washout loss at Florida
State behind them, and prepare for another chance to prove
themselves, this time in a week at home against Miami with both
teams' ACC championship hopes on the line.

"I think we should be back to where we were" before losing
36-3 at Florida State, guard Elton Brown said of Virginia's
confidence after running for 295 yards and limited the Terrapins to
214 total yards.

"We put up over 200 yards against a stingy run defense and our
defense shut them out. We should be pretty close," the senior
captain said.

Wali Lundy ran for his 13th and 14th touchdowns and Virginia
(7-1, 4-1) remained in a first-place tie by winning for the 11th
time in 13 games in the series that's grown more intense since Al
Groh took over as the Cavaliers coach four years ago and Ralph
Friedgen took over at Maryland. The teams have split the last four,
each winning at home.

Friedgen's team was coming off a stunning 20-17 victory against
then-No. 5 Florida State last week, a win that restarted talk of
bowl games and finishing strong, then just didn't show up against
the Cavaliers.

"We were flat. We just didn't have anything in the tank,"
Friedgen said. "It was like the walk of the zombies. No one was
home. We were talking to them, trying to motivate them. Nothing was
registering."

That wasn't the case for the home team, which treated a crowd of
63,072, the largest in Scott Stadium history, to a determined
ground game used rotating tailbacks to wear out the Terrapins (4-5,
2-4 ACC).

Alvin Pearman led the way with 170 yards on 31 carries, and
Lundy added 107 on 24 attempts, including scoring runs of 4 and 15
yards.

"We knew something had to give," Lundy said, noting that
Virginia came into the game with the league's top running game and
Maryland had the stingiest run defense. "And we knew it wasn't
going to be us."

Virginia's defense also did its job, not allowing quarterback
Joel Statham to follow up his 333-yard performance in the victory
against Florida State, or Josh Allen to kill them again from his
tailback spot.

Statham was 10-for-17 for just 115 yards with two interceptions
before being replaced by Jordan Steffy in the fourth quarter. Allen
gained just 39 yards after riddling the Cavaliers for a career-best
257 last season.

"Two picks. Forced a fumble. You couldn't ask for better,"
quarterback Marques Hagans said of the defense before also praising
his own line.

"They just took over. They just kept grinding and coming at
them."

The game started slowly with a scoreless first quarter that
featured a fumble and interception by Virginia, and interception by
Maryland and a stop by the Cavaliers when Maryland went for a
fourth-and-1 at the 14.

Maryland twice tried to get the yard on sneaks by Statham, but
each time he wound up on a pile that never penetrated the line of
scrimmage.

"If you can't make inches, you're going to have trouble winning
football games," Friedgen said.

Behind Pearman and Lundy, the Cavaliers responded impressively.

Pearman ran nine times for 49 yards and caught a dump pass for
another 13 yards as Virginia took over and drove 86 yards. Lundy
capped the drive with a 4-yard run, his 13th rushing touchdown this
year.

After Maryland gained only 6 yards in three plays and punted,
Lundy took over at tailback and ran for 47 of the Cavaliers' 59
yards in a 10-play scoring drive. On a 15-yard TD run, Lundy
started left, found his path filled with Terrapins, then cut back
right and scored easily.<
^Notes: Virginia placekicker Connor Hughes, who missed only twice in
25 field goal tries all of last season, missed from 53 and 35 yards
Saturday, and hit the outside of the left upright on his second
extra point try. ... Ahmad Brooks had both interceptions, the first
with a one-handed grab. He became the first Cavaliers player with
two interceptions in a game since Jerton Evans in 1999 against
Brigham Young. ... With two sacks, Darryl Blackstock passed
Lawrence Taylor for fifth in ACC history among linebackers with 22.
... Pearman has rushed for 393 yards in the last two games, the
most for Virginia since Thomas Jones had 434 in 1999.