CHAPEL HILL, North Carolina (Ticker) -- Maryland is not going to give up its Atlantic Coast Conference title without a fight.
Chris Downs rushed for 157 yards and four touchdowns on 19 carries as the surging Terrapins routed North Carolina, 59-7, for their seventh straight victory.
Maryland (7-2, 3-1 ACC) will carry plenty of momentum into next week's showdown against undefeated North Carolina State.
Although the Terrapins lost to Florida State in Week Two, they shave a chance in the ACC because the Seminoles also will face the Wolfpack.
North Carolina (2-7, 0-5) took a 7-0 lead on C.J. Stephens' one-yard keeper with 8:34 left in the first period, but Maryland responded with 59 unanswered points.
The Terrapins tied the contest on Scott McBrien's 80-yard TD pass to Scooter Monroe with 23 seconds left in the first half, then broke it open with 24 points in the second period.
Downs had TD runs of six and 36 yards in the quarter, while Steve Suter also returned a punt 77 yards for a score.
In the third period, Downs tacked on short TD runs of one and six yards.
Stephens completed 17-of-30 passes for 179 yards for the Tar Heels, who were held to only 79 yards on the ground.
McBrien completed just 6-of-11 passes for 190 yards. Maryland wore down North Carolina by rushing for 388 yards.