COLLEGE PARK -- Another game, another opportunity to win, another loss.
That's been the story of Maryland's football team two games intthe 1992 season.
How close were the Terps yesterday to a victory? Maybe one toenail, a few fingertips and a couple of inches.
Final score: North Carolina State 14, Maryland 10, before 27,55at Byrd Stadium.
It was the second straight loss for the Terps (0-2 overall, 0-ACC), who a week ago gave up 16 fourth-quarter points in a 28-15 loss to Virginia.
"This is real frustrating to let two wins slip out of our hands,Maryland quarterback John Kaleo said. "We have now outplayed our second straight Top 20 team, and we lose again.
"But this team is definitely going to survive. We're not in this fothe heartbreak. One day it's going to come. One day we're going to get the breaks."
As for yesterday, Maryland's hopes faded with the Wolfpacscoring on a 38-yard touchdown pass from Terry Jordan to Eddie Goines with 11:31 left. The Terps' hopes were --ed completely when N.C. State strong safety Mike Reid knocked down a pass from Kaleo intended for Richie Harris, who had a step on Reid inside the Wolfpack 5-yard line as time expired. Maryland had begun the drive at its 49 with 1:08 remaining and no timeouts.
But the Terps say they'll turn it around. Head coach Mark Duffneguaranteed it.
"All I can tell you is I've never been more proud of a group ocoaches or players than this bunch right here," said Duffner, Maryland's first-year coach, his voice cracking. "We're going to get better, and we're going to get it. I promise you that. We're going to get it. We're going to get it.
"You need to make your own breaks," said Duffner, who is threlosses away from the total he had in six seasons at Holy Cross. "We have to learn to do that instead of being concerned about the outcome of one play, whether it was good or not."
Of its ACC-record 105 plays yesterday, Maryland, with itrun-and-shoot offense, made a number of good ones. The Terps had 501 yards total offense compared with 312 for N.C. State (3-0, 1-0), and they controlled the ball for almost 16 minutes more. Mark Mason rushed for 163 yards, the most by any Maryland running back in the last three years.
But the Terps had trouble scoring inside the 20-yard line, coming up empty five times. One of the biggest plays came on the last drive. With 19 seconds left and the ball on the Wolfpack 14,
Kaleo fumbled a snap from the shotgun formation and recovered it at the 17. On the next play, Kaleo stopped the clock by slamming the ball into the turf, but 14 seconds had expired.
It left the Terps with one play, the pass attempt to Harris, whicReid got an outstretched hand on.
Reid had intercepted the ball on the Wolfpack 23 with 1:35 left on a similar play with the ball intended for Harris.
More opportunities gone.
"The fumble just kind of rolled off my fingertips," said Kaleo, whcompleted 31 of 56 passes for 264 yards, but had three interceptions. "It was a low snap, but it was my fault because I was trying to get out of there real quick because they were sending a lot of people."
It was that kind of day. Maryland advanced into Wolfpack territory on six of its seven possessions in the first half, but the Terps came away trailing 7-3.
The Terps were hurt by two big plays in their last series of the half. On first and goal from the Wolfpack 17 with nearly 20 seconds left, Kaleo completed a pass to wide receiver Dan Prunzik near the back line of the end zone.
The Terps thought they had a touchdown, but a referee rulePrunzik was out of bounds. Television replays were inconclusive, but Prunzik said he thought that his first foot to land, the left one, was out of bounds and that he got the right one in. According to NCAA rules, once the first foot is outside the line, the player is out of bounds.
Prunzik said: "I thought the left foot was out, but it was close. was hoping the official's view got blocked by the goal post."
A play later, Maryland place kicker Dave DeArmas' 34-yard field goal attempt was wide right by an inch as time expired.
"I thought the field goal was good, and our linemen thought it was good," said DeArmas, who raised both of his arms after the kick. "But the bottom line is that I shouldn't have given the officials the opportunity to say it was bad. It was a great snap, a great hold. I should have hit it better."
"My position wasn't as good as the referees on the field, but thcatch [by Prunzik] looked good to me," Duffner said. "The field goal also looked good. Instead of driving the field and coming away with points at the half, we get nothing."
More opportunities gone.
The Terps were fortunate N.C. State was just as ineffective. ThWolfpack scored on its first possession, going 58 yards in six plays. The drive ended with tailback Anthony Barbour sweeping left for a 10-yard touchdown with 10:42 left in the first quarter. The drive was set up by Wolfpack cornerback Dewayne Washington's interception.