Maryland Routs N.C. State 37-0 to Gain Bowl Eligibility
Posted November 24, 2007
RALEIGH, N.C. — N.C. State came into Saturday hoping to reach a bowl.
Instead, the Wolfpack was bowled over in a stunning verdict at Carter-Finley Stadium.
Maryland breezed to a 37-0 victory as State finished its first season under Tom O'Brien 5-7 overall and 3-5 in ACC play.
"I’m trying to hold in my tears right now; it’s real rough, man," senior defensive end Martrel Brown said. "That’s the only way I can explain it, it's bad."
For Maryland, linebacker Dave Philistin remembered how the Terps' last visit to N.C. State ended - with the Wolfpack celebrating a close victory that sent them to a bowl game and kept the Terrapins from a postseason berth of their own.
Two years later, Philistin and the Terps turned the tables on them.
Maryland held N.C. State to 10 yards rushing. Andre Brown rushed for 9 yards for State and Jamelle Eugene for 7.
The Terps, meanwhile, received two touchdowns apiece from Lance Ball and Keon Lattimore in a 37-0 rout of the Wolfpack on Saturday.
"It was definitely big because they needed it, too," Philistin said. "It wasn't like they were playing for nothing. They were playing for a bowl game, too. Just having a win here, finally, a goose-egg, definitely, it's good."
The Terrapins (6-6, 3-5 ACC) posted their first shutout since 2004 and became bowl eligible for the second consecutive year. They scored on four straight possessions in the first half.
"We seemed to get down a little bit and we never seemed to come back from it – so it was just a tough day a tough day for the seniors," O'Brien said. "We almost got it back after digging ourselves a hole – we have to look to the future know, evaluate some things, and personnel and go from there."
Chris Turner was 19-of-24 for 206 yards and had a 41-yard keeper that set up a touchdown for Maryland, which ran for a season-high 249 yards.
"When you can run the ball, it makes my job so much easier," Turner said. "I just hand the ball off and watch them run."
N.C. State was shut out for the first time since a 14-0 loss to Baylor on September 23, 1995, a span of 150 straight games that was the longest active streak in the ACC.
"You want to finish on top of your game, and we didn't capitalize on our opportunity to get to a bowl game and finish well," defensive lineman DeMario Pressley said.
Maryland faced a nearly identical situation before its most recent visit to Carter-Finley Stadium in 2005, with both teams entering their regular-season finale one victory shy of the six needed to qualify for a bowl. N.C. State won and advanced to the Meineke Car Care Bowl, while Maryland's season ended.
Before the game, coach Ralph Friedgen reminded the Terps of their loss to Wake Forest in their home finale in 2006, a defeat that kept them from reaching the ACC championship game.
"Last year, we were playing for a bid to go to Jacksonville, at home, and I said, 'We let it get by us,'" Friedgen said. "It was all the same things that North Carolina State had. I told them, 'Now you're going in the opposite situation. You're going down there, this is a game that's going to be for a bowl game. Who wants to go to the bowl more?'"
The Terrapins helped themselves this time, outscoring N.C. State 21-0 in the second quarter and using big plays to set up their three touchdowns.
Turner's keeper through the left side set up a 1-yard touchdown run by Lattimore. On the next drive, Turner's 38-yard pass to Isaiah Williams came three plays before Ball ran for a 15-yard touchdown to make it 17-0.
Da'Rel Scott then rushed 33 yards up the middle to open a possession that ended with Ball's second TD, a 2-yard burst around right end that gave the Terps a 24-0 lead with 4 minutes left before halftime. By then, some fans were headed for the exits.
Obi Egekeze kicked three field goals for Maryland.
It was a rare rout in a series that had been dominated by close games, with the previous seven meetings decided by an average of fewer than 6 points.
"We never thought in a million years this would be the outcome," Wolfpack linebacker Ernest Jones said.