No. 15 Maryland sacks hapless Troy State, 47-14

Published 12:00 am Sunday, November 4, 2001

Special to the MESSENGER

COLLEGE PARK, MD-Troy State senior quarterback Brock Nutter set two school records yesterday afternoon. Nevertheless, he probably will not have many positive memories of the day.

Nutter was sacked seven times, rushed for minus-54 yards and ran for his life until he was mercifully pulled in the fourth quarter, as 15th-ranked Maryland easily defeated the Trojans, 47-14, before a crowd of 38,415 at Byrd Stadium.

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With his 41st career start, Nutter broke the school’s career starts record held by Danny O’Toole, and with his fourth pass attempt, Nutter broke Sim Byrd’s school career pass attempt record. That pass, like several others for Nutter, symbolically fell incomplete.

"I don’t even think about [the records] to be honest," Nutter said. "A win would’ve been better, and 28 points would’ve even been a little bit better, just to be respectable."

The Trojans, who scored two touchdowns in the second half to make the final score look better cosmetically, lost the game during a catastrophic first half. Troy State (4-4) was out-gained 323-32 in total yards over the first two quarters, gained just two first downs-while Maryland (8-1) had 14-and punted after three plays on six of seven possessions.

The Trojans had minus-19 yards rushing on 16 attempts, Nutter completed 3-of-10 passes for 51 yards and Troy State had a punt blocked in the first half. The Trojans’ 34-0 intermission deficit was the largest in the 10-year tenure of head coach Larry Blakeney.

"The first half was the most frustrating by far this year," Nutter said. "We were just getting our butt whipped. We were missing balls, couldn’t get a drive going and came out flat. We didn’t make any plays, and the next thing you know you look up, the defense can’t get off the field and it’s [24-0]."

While Troy State could not get started, Maryland could not be stopped. The Terrapins scored on six of eight first-half drives, and put the game away with a 24-point second quarter. Maryland quarterback Shaun Hill completed 15 of 22 passes for 228 yards and two touchdowns, and the Terrapins amassed 277 yards rushing as a team. Senior running back Marc Riley led with 86 yards on seven carries, including a 69-yard touchdown run less than five minutes into the game.

"We knew they were a damn good team when we came here," Nutter said. "And when we mess around like we did in the first half, they’re going to bury us. That’s what they did.

"They’re a little better than I thought. After last week, I thought maybe they would have a little bit of a letdown and might not be quite up for this game. We definitely had a chance to beat them, but we didn’t come ready to play in the first half…. All three phases, we didn’t get it done in the first half."

In all, Maryland out-gained Troy State 509-271, the Terrapins sacked Trojans’ quarterbacks eight times and Troy State finished with minus-one yard rushing on 26 attempts. Nutter finished the afternoon completing 14 of 27 passes for 184 yards and a 17-yard, third-quarter touchdown pass to junior wide receiver Heyward Skipper.

He was taken out on the Trojans’ second series of the fourth quarter, and redshirt freshman backup quarterback Hansell Bearden went 5 of 9 for 88 yards, with one touchdown and one interception, to finish the afternoon. Bearden found junior wide receiver Eric Felton on a 33-yard touchdown pass with 9:18 remaining in the game.

"Thirty-four to nothing [at halftime] is pretty painful," said Blakeney. " All we asked them to do is come back and try to salvage something and try to get better as a football team."

Another bright spot for the Trojans was senior running back Demontray Carter. Although Carter rushed for just 27 yards on 10 carries, his 79-yard kickoff return in the third quarter setup Troy State’s first touchdown. He also had a 57-yard kickoff return in the fourth quarter to give the Trojans field position in Maryland territory.

But like on the several other occasions yesterday afternoon, the Terrapins’ defense was too tough.

"They certainly took care of business today from the standpoint of stopping us, and really keeping us from doing very much at all in the first half offensively," Blakeney said. "Their defensive front and their schemes gave us problems. We’re a young football team up front anyhow, and we’re not a team that can give much up and have a chance to win. Certainly we gave too much up today."