Terps outgun Pitt, 47-34 Maryland wins 1st

Mason out for year

October 04, 1992|By Mike Preston | Mike Preston,Staff Writer

COLLEGE PARK -- Maryland players hugged each other an they cried. Wide receiver Marcus Badgett was striking a Heisman pose. Terps first-year coach Mark Duffner, his shirttail out and his hair matted, high-fived everyone within arm's range, including the water boy. Duffner finally got the Gatorade bath from his players and was mobbed by fans on the field as he tried to give a post-game interview.

The Terps won a shootout with Pittsburgh last night to end a nine-game losing streak and give Duffner his first win at Maryland.

The Terps (1-4) defeated Pitt (2-3), 47-34, before 35,891 at Byrd Stadium, but it was a costly victory. Maryland's leading rusher, -- junior running back Mark Mason, fractured his left shoulder blade in the first quarter and may be out for the season.

Mason suffered the injury while being tackled with nearly nine minutes left in the period. Initial reports from the Terps sidelines had Mason, who had 516 yards rushing and led the Atlantic Coast Conference in total yards (178 per game) before the game, out for the season.

Duffner said he will confer with team doctors today about Mason and sophomore running back Larry Washington, from Randallstown, who left with a knee sprain in the second quarter. Last year, Mason was knocked out for the season in the fifth game. He broke his right leg against Georgia Tech.

"We expect Larry back in practice next week, and we'll get a decision on Mason tomorrow," Duffner said. "He was on his way to having another great game."

The teams combined for 1,109 yards. Van Pelt, operating from Pitt's one-back set, completed 26 of 46 passes for 395 yards and four touchdowns. Maryland quarterback John Kaleo, out of the run-and-shoot offense, completed 24 of 37 passes for a school record 415 yards and three touchdowns. Two of the touchdowns were to Badgett, who had 11 receptions for a school record 251 yards.

It was a wild game, one with 55 first downs. Maryland's 47 points were the most for the Terps since 1982, and the game lasted three hours and 45 minutes.

But it didn't stop the Terps from celebrating. Maryland had the nation's longest losing streak in Division I-A before last night's game, tied with Minnesota. Minnesota also won last night, beating Illinois, 18-17.

"The atmosphere in the locker room was just indescribable in terms of the love and care everyone had for each other," Duffner said. "It was just an outpouring of emotions."

The Terps said they are onto something big, too. They are hoping last night's win will start the Terps on a roll.

"Look at other programs that have been rebuilt," said Maryland senior cornerback Scott Rosen. "They all started out losing, and then one win turned their season and programs around. It happened at Georgie Tech. It happened at North Carolina. It can happen here."

"Now the players know why we work so hard, why the coaches drill us so much," Rosen said. "Each week we've gotten better, and we're beginning to feel more comfortable with each other. We don't have those blank stares when we're lining up in certain situations."

Pitt scored on a 12-yard pass from quarterback Alex Van Pelt to wide receiver Chris Bouyer with 2:18 left, but by then, the shootout had been decided. Maryland running back Doug Burnett scored on a 9-yard run with 3:49 left to seal the victory.

In 26 seconds in the third period, Pitt went from its own 24 to the Maryland end zone.

Panthers wide receiver Bill Davis caught a 41-yard touchdown pass over the middle from Van Pelt with 3:37 remaining in the quarter. The nearest Maryland defender was safety Andre Vaughn, and he was trailing by 15 yards. Van Pelt then completed a pass to Davis for the two point conversion to put Pitt ahead, 27-24.

Maryland came back with a quick strike of its own. On third and 12 from the Maryland 44, Badgett hauled in a 54 yard pass from Kaleo down to the Pitt 1. On the next play, Kaleo dove over from the one to complete the 5 play, 69 yard drive that lasted 1:34 and gave Maryland a 31-27 lead.

The Terps did play some defense on the Panthers next series. Or maybe Van Pelt just made a mistake. Anyway, Van Pelt's screen pass for Colicchio was short and intercepted by Maryland outside linebacker Jaime Flores, from Poly, who returned it 25 yards to the Pitt 35. Three plays later, Kaleo passed to wide receiver Wade Inge over the middle for a 15-yard touchdown. DeArmas missed the extra point with 14:49 left in the game which broke the Terps Atlantic Coast Conference record of 190 consecutive extra points. But Maryland still led, 37- 27.

DeArmas, though, kicked a 35-yard field goal with 9:40 remaining as the Terps built a 40-27 lead.

Pitt scored on its first possession. Van Pelt completed three of his first five passes for gains of 19, 7 and 8 yards. He took the Panthers from their 27 to the Maryland 4 before he overthrew wide receiver Chad Askew on a fade pattern on third and goal from the 4. Sean Conley kicked a 21-yard field goal to put Pitt ahead, 3-0, 5:12 into the game.

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