COLLEGE PARK -- Contain Jermaine Lewis. That was the top priority for Virginia's defense.
And the Cavaliers did, but they didn't have to do anything different.
No trick defenses. No zones. Nothing.
"We really didn't have to play him today," Virginia defensive coordinator Rick Lantz said. "We were concerned about him. If he had a career day, we were prepared to go to a zone defense or something like that."
Last week against North Carolina State, Lewis had 231 yards of total offense and scored four touchdowns, splitting time at wide receiver and running back for the first time. However in the same offensive game plan against Virginia, Lewis touched the ball nine times for 3 yards.
It was only the fourth time in Lewis' four-year career that he was held under two receptions. And on his only catch of the day, for 1 yard, Lewis suffered a hip pointer with five minutes remaining in the third quarter.
"We were just hoping to contain him," said Paul London, a Cavaliers defensive back who had two of Virginia's four interceptions. "Coming in, we thought he would catch balls, but didn't want him to break into the open."
Lantz hinted that using Lewis as a running back helped Virginia.
"They couldn't beat us running the ball," Lantz said. "In that offense, I knew they could not physically beat us."
Rodgers rushes on
Buddy Rodgers, who rushed for 78 yards, increased his season total to 678 yards, which is the most by a Terps running back since Alvin Blount ran for 828 yards in 1985. Rodgers also scored his eighth touchdown, which is the highest single-season total by a Maryland back in nine seasons.
Like Rodgers, Geroy Simon is climbing into the Terps' record book. His season-best six receptions lifted his career total to 134, tying Frank Wycheck for second.
Home is where fans are
By drawing 45,720 fans at Byrd Stadium yesterday, Maryland raised its average home attendance to 42,121. That is 13,359 more per game and a 46.4 percent increase from last season.
A week after setting a school record with nine sacks against N.C. State, the Terps never got to Virginia quarterback Mike Groh. . . . For a third straight game, the Maryland defense did not force a turnover.
Next for Maryland
Opponent: Florida State
Site: Doak Campbell Stadium, Tallahassee, Fla.
When: Saturday, noon
Yesterday: Beat North Carolina, 28-12.