College Football '91

September 06, 1991

MARYLAND OPPONENTS

VIRGINIA

* Byrd Stadium, tomorrow, noon.

* Coach: George Welsh (58-44-2 in 9 years; 113-90-3 in 18 years overall).

* 1990 record: 8-4.

* Starters returning: offense 4, defense 5.

* Outlook: The receiving corps is decimated: Ace Herman Moore gone and there is no wide receiver or tight end returning who had 10 or more catches last year. Gone, too, is quarterback Shawn Moore, leaving the job to basketballer Matt Blundin, who passed for 553 yards in two career starts. The Cavs are strong at tailback with All-Atlantic Coast Conference pick Terry Kirby (1,020 yards) and Nikki Fisher (averaged 7 yards a carry).

SYRACUSE

* Byrd Stadium, Sept. 14, 7 p.m.

* Coach: Paul Pasqualoni (first year at Syracuse; 34-17 in 5 years overall).

* 1990 record: 7-4-2.

* Starters returning: offense 6, defense 8.

* Outlook: In The Sporting News' Big East preseason rankings, Syracuse is second behind Miami. Dick MacPherson, now with the New England Patriots, didn't leave the cupboard bare for Pasqualoni. The secondary and pass rush should carry the Orange defense a long way. Quarterback Marvin Graves last year was the first freshman to start regularly since the

reinstatement of freshman eligibility in 1972.

WEST VIRGINIA

* Byrd Stadium, Sept. 21, 4 p.m.

* Coach: Don Nehlen (81-46-2 in 11 years; 134-81-6 in 20 years overall).

* 1990 record: 4-7.

* Starters returning: offense 8, defense 8.

* Outlook: Most of the players are back, not necessarily good news for a team that went 4-7. The Mountaineers are loaded at running back: Ex-Terp Mike Beasley, the rushing leader last year, has been moved to wide receiver part time. The offensive line averages 6 feet 5, 279 pounds, led by John Ray (6-10, 320). The quarterback situation is muddled; there were 12 candidates last spring.

PITTSBURGH

* Pitt Stadium, Oct. 5, 1:30 p.m.

* Coach: Paul Hackett (3-7-1 in 1 year).

* 1990 record: 3-7-1.

* Starters returning: offense 11, defense 5.

* Outlook: Quarterback Alex Van Pelt will continue his assault on Dan Marino's school records behind an offensive line that returns intact. Van Pelt was sacked only six times last year. The Panthers need a tailback after Curvin Richards defected early to the NFL. The secondary was leaky at times. Pitt needs impact players at nose guard and inside linebacker.

GEORGIA TECH

* Bobby Dodd Stadium in Atlanta, Oct. 12, 1 p.m.

* Coach: Bobby Ross (23-21-1 in 4 years; 86-71-2 in 14 years overall).

* 1990 record: 11-0-1.

* Starters returning: offense 8, defense 8.

* Outlook: After sharing the national title and winning Tech's first ACC title, the question is: What next? First, Ross must rebuild the offensive line and find a fullback and an inside linebacker. He will depend on one of the nation's best quarterbacks in junior Shawn Jones, who had a rough night in Tech's 34-22 loss to Penn State last week. Redshirt freshman Jimy Lincoln is the leader at tailback to replace William Bell, who is suspended for the season.

WAKE FOREST

* Groves Stadium in Winston-Salem, N.C., Oct. 19, 1 p.m.

* Coach: Bill Dooley (18-24-2 in 4 years; 151-114-5 in 24 years overall).

* 1990 Record: 3-8.

* Starters returning: offense 7, defense 10.

* Outlook: The Deacons have lost 12 straight ACC games, the last five by an average of 30 points, and have won only five games in two years. Dooley might retire if there isn't improvement. Anthony Williams led the ACC in all-purpose yards and John Henry Mills had 46 catches. Opponents completed an ACC-high 58.4 percent of their passes last fall.

DUKE

* Byrd Stadium, Oct. 26, 1:30 p.m.

* Coach: Barry Wilson (4-7 in 1 year).

* 1990 record: 4-7.

* Starters returning: offense 8, defense 10.

* Outlook: In a program best known for offense, Duke may feature defense this time. Ten defensive starters return, including Preston Anderson, Erwin Sampson, Darrell Spells and Scott Youmans. Yet the pieces are in place for a potent offense with tailback Randy Cuthbert, receivers Walter Jones and Marc Mays and quarterback Dave Brown.

NORTH CAROLINA

L * Kenan Memorial Stadium in Chapel Hill, N.C., Nov. 2, noon.

* Coach: Mack Brown (8-24-1 in 3 years, 25-52-1 in 7 years overall).

* 1990 record: 6-4-1.

* Starters returning: offense 11, defense 10.

* Outlook: The Tar Heels have 21 returning starters after posting their first winning season in four years. They may have enough talent to play New Year's Day. Rugged Natrone Means and fleet Randy Jordan complement each other at tailback. Inside linebackers Dwight Hollier and Tommy Thigpen are as good as any in the ACC.

PENN STATE

* Memorial Stadium in Baltimore, Nov. 9, noon.

* Coach: Joe Paterno (229-60-3 in 25 years, all at Penn State).

* 1990 record: 9-3.

* Starters returning: offense 6, defense 8.

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