COLLEGE PARK -- Duke's Aaron Shaw knew his number would be called. What the senior tight end didn't know was how often.
L "I didn't know I was going to have a career day," Shaw said.
He did. In Duke's 17-13 victory over Maryland yesterday, Shaw caught 11 passes for 149 yards. His total production in Duke's first five games: 13 for 131.
"He's a heady player," quarterback David Brown said. "He wants the ball more than anyone else."
It wasn't that simple. There was more to it than that. Duke noticed last week that some Maryland defensive coverages might leave Shaw with an open lane to catch the ball.
"They put a linebacker on him, mostly, and were doubling the wide receivers," Brown said. "They were saying, 'If you're going to beat us, you'll have to do it with your tight end.' He came out clear and that let us chip away."
Shaw accounted for 149 of the team's 334 passing yards on a day when Duke had nothing to offer on the ground. The Blue Devils gained all of 34 yards rushing on 28 carries. Their leader was tailback Leroy Gallman, who had more yards on his five catches (27) than on his six runs (21).
Shaw, a 215-pound player from Winter Garden, Fla., did not appear out of the blue yesterday, however. Last season, he had 35 catches, high in the Atlantic Coast Conference among tight ends, for 383 yards and was acclaimed Duke's outstanding receiver by the coaches.
The victory, the Blue Devils' first in the ACC, raised their record to 4-1-1. With Georgia Tech next, their optimism is rising.
"I saw in The Sporting News before the season that Duke over Georgia Tech would be the upset of the year," Brown said, laughing. "I hope the guy is a fortune teller.
"This win was huge. The tie with South Carolina in the opener was big, but this was bigger. It might wake up the people. Four-one-and-one! Maybe we'll get some bowl scouts. The surprise with Duke is over."
Shaw agreed. Noting that the win spoiled Maryland's homecoming, he was suddenly reminded of Duke's ACC title in 1989.
"This was a typical Maryland-Duke game -- evenly matched," Shaw said. "Our last five are all ACC games. Maybe we can get another ring."