Dominating the Demon Deacons: MD/WF 2008

The week before the Demon Deacons, the Terps were crushed by UVA 31-0, the Terps beat Wake 26-0.

Coming off an embarrassing 31-0 loss at Virginia in October 2008, the Maryland Terrapins needed to rebound at home against No. 21 Wake Forest.

On the strength of a great defensive performance, a solid field goal kicker, and big plays in the passing game, the Terps did just that in routing the Demon Deacons 26-0.

The defense was spectacular, limiting the Wake Forest offense to only 219 total yards. They held quarterback Riley Skinner to 127 yards passing, allowing him to complete on only 14 of 30 attempts.

The Terps also sacked Skinner four times, and they were equally tough against the run. Wake Forest rushers gained only 77 yards on 33 carries, averaging a miniscule 2.2 yards per carry.

While the defense was stout throughout the contest, it was the offense that set the tone early on.

Following a good return on the opening kickoff that set the Terps up at their own 42-yard line, quarterback Chris Turner methodically marched the Maryland offense down the field. Turner connected on four of five passes, and lineman Edwin Williams fortuitously recovered a Da’Rel Scott fumble for a first down to set the Terps up in the red zone.

On a second down play at the 10-yard line, Scott hit wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey on a halfback pass to give Maryland the lead less than five minutes into the contest.

The defense then went to work, stalling the Demon Deacons four consecutive times in Maryland territory. Two of the drives started inside the Terps’ 30-yard line following Scott lost fumbles.

However, in both instances, the defense forced three-and-outs, and Wake Forest kicker Shane Popham failed on field goal attempts of 40 and 47 yards.

The Demon Deacons would regret these missed opportunities, as the Maryland offense started to pad its 7-0 lead in the second quarter.

Starting a drive from his own 30 with less than 10 minutes remaining in the second quarter, Turner connected with Heyward-Bey for a 41-yard pass play to set up the Terps deep in Wake Forest territory. The drive would stall after a costly clipping penalty, but beleaguered kicker Obi Egekeze hit an attempt from 40 yards to extend the lead to 10.

Egekeze would connect from 39 yards out with seconds remaining in the half after Turner passed for 57 yards in just under a minute to set up the opportunity.

The Terps’ senior kicker capped off Maryland’s first two drives of the second half with successful field goal attempts to push the lead to 19-0.

The Terps would strike the final blow midway through the fourth quarter.

After a holding penalty and two runs to start the drive, Turner hit wide receiver Danny Oquendo for a 50-yard touchdown. Oquendo caught three passes on the day for 90 yards, while Heyward-Bey reeled in 11 receptions accounting for 101 yards.

Despite the fumbles, Scott had a productive day out of the backfield, rushing for 73 yards on 18 carries. Freshman Davin Meggett chipped in with 44 yards on only six attempts.

The defense continued its dominance into the second half, forcing five punts and a turnover on downs. Much of the unit’s success can be attributed to holding the Demon Deacons to 3-15 on third down attempts.

The victory was the Terps’ second over a Top 25 opponent in 2008 and improved their record to 5-2 and 2-1 in ACC play.

The Terps will enter Saturday’s contest with the same overall and conference records that they left with after the 2008 game. However, the 2010 version of Wake Forest seems far less formidable than the squad from two years ago.

The Demon Deacons (2-5, 1-3 ACC) are coming off five straight losses, the latest a 52-21 drubbing at Virginia Tech.

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