Sub QB Milanovich rallies from a rough beginning

Maryland notebook

September 27, 1992|By Mike Preston and Ken Murray | Mike Preston and Ken Murray,Staff Writers

UNIOVERSITY PARK, PENNSYLVANIA — UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Maryland redshirt freshman Scott Milanovich, the Terps' possible quarterback of the future, played in his first college football game yesterday.

Milanovich replaced injured starter John Kaleo, who went down with a sprained right knee in the third period, as Maryland lost, 49-13, to Penn State. Milanovich, 6 feet 4 and 220 pounds, from Butler, was edged out by Kaleo, a senior, for the starting job in preseason practice.

Milanovich completed seven of 15 passes for 128 yards, including a 30-yard touchdown to slot receiver Frank Wycheck in the fourth period.

But Milanovich got off to a rough start. His first pass was intercepted, and his second was batted down at the line of scrimmage. He also said he had problems seeing the entire field.

"I think I was OK, but I would have liked to have played better because I expected a lot more from myself," said Milanovich. "I was definitely a little nervous, and Penn State disguises its coverage as well as anybody we've seen this year."

Kaleo is expected to practice this week, but Maryland coach Mark Duffner said he was pleased with Milanovich's performance.

"John will fight through this just like he fought through challenging for the starting quarterback job," Duffner said. "I think Milanovich came in under a somewhat adverse situation and performed well. We would have liked to get him in in a better environment, but as far as getting him into the ballgame, I felt like he came in and did a pretty good job."

Eternal optimist

Duffner hasn't become discouraged with Maryland's losing streak, now at nine games including 0-4 this season.

Duffner was 60-5-1 in six years at Holy Cross before taking the Maryland job in January.

"It's making me more and more determined," said Duffner. "I'm leading this team and that's the way it's going to be. Sure, we would like to be 4-0 right now, but we're not. We're 0-4, and we are going to work like crazy and have a tremendous week of preparation for Pittsburgh. We've got seven more games left starting Saturday night."

Said senior Scott Rosen, Maryland's starting cornerback: "He told us he was tired of losing, pure and simple. He said he wasn't used to it. If there's one person in the country that's going to turn this program around, it's Coach Duffner."

Same old story

Penn State leads the Maryland series 34-1-1, and the Terps will get one more shot at the Nittany Lions next year in College Park before the series ends.

The series, however, may continue shortly after the year 2000, according to Maryland athletic director Andy Geiger, who said

some tentative dates have been set.

Good demonstration

Coach Joe Paterno credited his scout team -- or "demonstration team," as he calls it -- with a big assist in Penn State's success against Maryland's run-and-shoot offense.

"The problem was being able to make all the adjustments on the line of scrimmage -- signals, time we'd have, keeping people fresh," Paterno said. "The substitution thing was a big thing.

"Basically, I think the game was won in practice. Our demonstration team probably won the game. The coaches did a great job of preparation. It's the first time we've ever played a no-huddle offense."

Derek Bochna, the Nittany Lions' "Hero" back in the secondary, said Penn State's hitting took its toll on Maryland.

"We're an attack team," Bochna said. "They'll get their yards, but we're going to come and hit them when they do. It took its toll after awhile. They were tip-toeing up to the line because our linebackers and defensive linemen were hitting them."

Said linebacker Phil Yeboah-Kodie: "Our main goal today was to get in the quarterback's face."

Mason's trifecta

Maryland halfback Mark Mason had 102 yards rushing on 22 carries. He is the first Terps runner to rush for 100 yards in three consecutive games since Charlie Wysocki during the 1979 season. Randallstown High product Larry Washington, a sophomore, had 31 yards on four carries.

Package deal

Maryland sophomore center Jamie Bragg, from Severna Park, was a fullback in Duffner's T-formation short-yardage package. He teammed with Mason and halfback Doug Burnett in what Duffner calls his robust package.

"He put it in two weeks ago," said Bragg. "There was no one around and the coach told me to go in and play fullback. I should have done a lot better than I did today. I was a little indecisive and it may have hurt us. I was waiting for them to call the dive play to me."

Slow starter

Penn State quarterback John Sacca completed only one of his first six passes before getting untracked in the second quarter. He completed 12 of 23 for 195 yards and two touchdowns.

"Once I completed a few passes, the whole offense just picked up," Sacca said. "[His teammates] were just waiting for me to throw the ball [accurately]. That opened up the running game."

Penn State's first three offensive series ended in two punts and a fumble by Sacca. Then the Nittany Lions scored touchdowns on seven of their next nine possessions.

They had six touchdown drives of 60 yards or longer, and five drives of 73 yards or more.

Bragging rights

What did Penn State's victory mean to defensive tackle Tyoka Jackson, who grew up in the Washington suburb of Forestville, Md.?

"I can go down I-95 now and smile when I get to the Beltway because we took care of the Terrapins," he said.

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