Passing game earns passing grade


October 06, 1991|By Mike Preston | Mike Preston,Sun Staff Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- Despite inconsistency in yesterday's 24-20 loss to No. 17 Pittsburgh at Pitt Stadium, Maryland's passing offense was the best it has been all season.

The Terps (1-3) passed for 229 yards as quarterback Jim Sandwisch completed 22 of 47 for 230 yards. Maryland also got its wide receivers involved, as they accounted for nine catches for 157 yards. The Terps finally got big-play specialist Gene Thomas into the offense.

Thomas had three receptions for 29 yards. Wide-out Marcus Badgett had two receptions for 70 yards, including a 58-yard touchdown catch.

Sophomore Jason Kremus was the Terps' biggest surprise, catching two passes for 40 yards, including a 23-yard touchdown, a college-career first.

"I was a little nervous when I got in the game, but I felt pretty good once I made that first catch," said Kremus.

Sandwisch said: "It's the first time we really started spreading things around. I think we're going to get better."

* One of Maryland's main objectives entering the game was to slow the Panthers' pass rush, particularly defensive tackle Keith Hamilton, a projected early-round NFL draft choice.

Hamilton finished with seven tackles, including two sacks. Sandwisch was sacked five times.

"My body feels like it was in a street fight," said Sandwisch.

* Maryland's Larry Washington, a true freshman from Randallstown High, had four carries for 20 yards. If the Terps don't go to a two-back set, before the season is over, they probably will next year with Washington and Mark Mason.

Mason had 118 yards on 17 carries, the first Terps running back to go over 100 yards this season.

* Maryland has lost three straight games, but the players don't sound dejected.

"We made a respectable showing against a nationally ranked team," said Maryland center Mitch Suplee, one of the team's tri-captains. "When we lost to West Virginia, some people were writing us off. Now don't think I'm happy with respectability, because I'm not. I'm just saying we're going to make it through this."

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