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Updated: Thursday, January 1, 2004 7:17 PM EST
NCAA FOOTBALL RECAP
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(24) Maryland 41, (23) West Virginia 7
WEST VIRGINIA MOUNTAINEERS
West Virginia Mountaineers
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MARYLAND TERRAPINS
Maryland Terrapins
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JACKSONVILLE, Florida (Ticker) -- Scott McBrien assured another impressive finish for Maryland.

McBrien passed for a school bowl-record 381 yards and three touchdowns as the 24th-ranked Terrapins routed No. 23 West Virginia, 41-7, in the Gator Bowl.

Maryland (10-3) earned its second lopsided win of the season against its border rival. It defeated West Virginia, 34-7, on September 20 and dominated the rematch as well.

The Terrapins reached double figures in wins for the third time in as many seasons under coach Ralph Friedgen and beat the Mountaineers (8-5) for the fourth straight time.

Strong finishes are becoming a trademark for the Terrapins, who routed Tennessee, 30-3, in last year's Peach Bowl. In each of the last two seasons, Maryland won 10 of its last 11 games.

"It's kind of hard to imagine a better ending," McBrien said. "You couldn't write a better script. It's hard to believe it ended like this. When we were 0-2, a lot of people were writing us off."

A West Virginia transfer, McBrien completed 21-of-33 passes. He had TDs of 31 and 22 yards to Jafar Williams in the first half, when the Terrapins opened a 24-0 lead.

McBrien tacked on a two-yard TD run that made it 31-0 with 8:40 left in the third quarter, then capped the rout with a 14-yard TD strike to JoJo Walker in the fourth.

"These are things he does every single day," said Maryland running back Bruce Perry, who rushed for 67 yards on 20 carries. "It's really not surprising that he comes out and accomplishes things like he did today."

"It was just one of those days," McBrien said. "I felt like I was seeing the whole field."

Making their first Gator Bowl appearance since 1975, the Terps cooled off a West Virginia team that had won seven in a row following a 1-4 start. The Mountaineers got their only points on quarterback Rasheed Marshall's 15-yard TD run in the third period.

Maryland held Quincy Wilson, who rushed for 1,331 yards in the regular season, to just 49 on 12 carries, and also contained dual threat Marshall for the second straight meeting.

Marshall rushed for only 35 yards on eight attempts and was 10-of-16 for 87 yards. In the first meeting, he was a meager 2-of-7 for 25 yards through the air.

McBrien's 31-yard TD strike to Williams gave Maryland a 10-0 lead on the final play of the first quarter. The Terrapins forced a three-and-out and increased their lead to 17-0 when Steve Suter returned a punt 76 yards 75 seconds into the second period.

"It's a great momentum shift for us," Suter said. "I love doing it and I had great blocks all the way down the field."

West Virginia continues to flop in the postseason, having lost 10 of its last 11 bowl games, including both under Rodriguez. The Mountaineers lost two fumbles and trailed 17-0 before picking up their initial first down early in the second quarter.


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