University of Maryland senior outside linebacker Jack Bradford left the game in the third quarter with a bruised left knee, an injury that was extremely costly to the Terps.
Bradford, from Wilde Lake High, was the Terps' second-leading tackler after two games, with 17. He also was the team leader in "big plays," a category invented by the Maryland coaches, with 12. After Bradford left the game, Clemson used more sprint-out passes and passes to the flat.
"Losing him hurt us a lot," said Maryland defensive tackle Lubo Zizakovic. "There is no one that comes close to him in big plays. He is a very big part of our defense."
Bradford is expected to play Saturday against North Carolina Sate.
*Maryland coach Joe Krivak said he implemented the shotgun formation this week because of Clemson's big defensive line and pass rush.
"We've had it in our offense for a while but never used it," said Krivak. "It gives you a second or more of time to look over the defense."
Maryland center Mitch Suplee seemed to have trouble snapping the ball to quarterback Scott Zolak, which cost Maryland a a safety in the third quarter when Suplee sent the ball over Zolak's head and into the end zone.
It was just one of a number of Maryland offensive problems yesterday, including scoring down inside Clemson territory.
"It took us a while to get going, to find our rhythm because they were colliding with our receivers at the line of scrimmage," said Zolak. "Also, you have to remember that once you get inside the 20, defenses change and the field shrinks down. They're not giving you anything easy."
*Maryland nose guard Ralph Orta filled in for injured starter Rick Fleece (sprained ankle) yesterday and led all Maryland defenders with 12 tackles.
Terps defensive tackle Larry Webster also won his duel with Clemson all-everything offensive tackle Stacy Long. Webster finished with nine tackles, most of those in the first half.
*Maryland players say they'll be ready for N.C. State on Saturday despite an emotional letdown after yesterday's loss.
"There are guys in the shower taking the loss kind of hard," said Maryland wide receiver Barry Johnson. "But they're also talking about playing N.C. State next week. We'll be ready. That's the type of team this is."
*Maryland sophomore running back Andre Vaughn played in his first game yesterday after two years of nursing a knee injury.
Vaughn, from Oakland Mills, only returned kickoffs yesterday, returning one for for 29 yards.
*The disappointing crowd of 39,255 was the smallest by more than 15,000 in the eight appearances Maryland has made at Memorial Stadium.
According to athletic department spokesman Herb Hartnett, several factors led to the sparse crowd, including the number of seats with obstructed or restricted views, the return of tickets by Clemson, the lack of Maryland students and what appeared to be a small walk-up sale yesterday.
"Whenever you have 8,000 available seats the Tuesday before the game, it's not a good sign," Hartnett said.
*Florida Citrus Bowl scout Marshall Vermillion was at the game, and said that the bowl had representatives at all Atlantic Coast Conference games.
This is the second year in a four-year contract between the ACC and Florida Citrus Bowl, and both have a chance being in the national-championship picture if Virginia stays unbeaten for the season.
"The ACC champion will come to us if we can make a competitive payout with the Cotton, Sugar and Orange Bowls," said Vermillion.
As expected, Vermillion was pleased by Friday's announcement that Florida State will join the ACC beginning next year for basketball and in 1993 or 1994 in football.
The Seminoles just signed a two-year agreement to play Notre Dame, with one of the games scheduled for the Citrus Bowl.
"It really enhances the ACC for football," Vermillion said.