Terps back on the short end Mistakes, injuries sting in 28-26 loss

October 11, 1992|By Mike Preston | Mike Preston,Staff Writer

COLLEGE PARK -- It's midseason now, but the same problems that hurt Maryland earlier this year recurred yesterday.

That win against Pittsburgh was only a one-week reprieve. Maryland was hurt by four interceptions, an inconsistent offense, some bad luck, a few big plays and a questionable coaching decision in a 28-26 loss to No. 17 Georgia Tech before 26,250 at Byrd Stadium.

"Maybe we should become an Irish school. We could sure use a little luck," said Maryland quarterback John Kaleo.

Maryland (1-5 overall, 0-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) probably could use a few more quality players, too. The Terps lost four to injuries yesterday, but none is expected to miss any substantial playing time. They all will be examined again today.

Kaleo banged up his left shoulder in the first half, but returned to lead Maryland to a fourth-quarter scoring drive.

Senior starting strong safety Andre Vaughn, from Oakland Mills, had to leave in the first half with a bruised shoulder, and so did Terps starting outside linebacker Jaime Flores, from Poly, with a sprained knee. Maryland wide receiver Marcus Badgett did not play in the second half because of a bruised left shoulder.

But the Terps were not making any excuses.

"Three big plays, three big plays, that was the difference in the ballgame," said Maryland senior inside linebacker Mike Jarmolowich. "Other than that, we totally shut them down."

Kaleo said: "This season is really starting to hurt now. We're a team that easily could be 5-1, instead we're 1-5. It's really painful tonight because I threw some dumb interceptions. They were real stupid."

Two of Kaleo's interceptions killed scoring drives in the first half. In the second half, Maryland's offense was out of sync as the Terps had only 156 total yards compared with 244 in the first half.

Kaleo had hurt his left shoulder with 23 seconds left in the first half, but he still started the second half, only to be replaced by redshirt freshman Scott Milanovich with 1:50 left in the third quarter.

Kaleo came back with 4:55 left in the game to pass 37 yards to wide receiver Richie Harris down the right sideline to the Georgia Tech 1-yard line. Kaleo then dove over on a sneak as Maryland cut the deficit to 28-26 with 4:20 remaining in the game.

Georgia Tech drove to the Maryland 29 but kicker Scott Sisson's 46-yard field goal was wide right with 33 seconds left in the game.

Maryland, trying to get in field-goal range, got as far as the Yellow Jackets' 46 as time expired.

With 7:35 left in the fourth period and Maryland trailing, 28-19, the Terps decided to gamble and go for a first down on fourth-and-1 at the 6 instead of attempting a field goal.

Milanovich, with the Terps using two tight ends, rolled to his right but got pressured by Georgia Tech outside linebacker Marlon Williams.

Milanovich tried to throw back across the field to tight end Brett Stevenson, who was wide open at the 2, but his pass was short.

"I felt at that point that if we got seven points, it would be our quickest and surest way to win," said Mark Duffner, Maryland's coach. "We will continue to play that way in the future, giving ourselves a chance to win."

Maryland had plenty of chances to take control of this game in the first half. But one of Kaleo's interceptions led to a Georgia Tech touchdown as Marlon Williams returned it to the 50 with 9:08 left in the first quarter.

Two plays later, Georgia Tech went ahead, 7-0, on a 44-yard pass from quarterback Shawn Jones to split end Jason McGill with 8:53 left in the first quarter. Jones gave a play-action fake, rolled to his left and threw to McGill, wide open at the 5.

Maryland tied the score, 7-7, when wide receiver Jermaine Lewis blocked a Jason Bender punt at the Yellow Jackets 42, then scooped up the ball and ran 25 yards for a touchdown with 6:20 left in the first quarter.

Maryland got another break on Georgia Tech's next possession. Maryland cornerback Gene Green intercepted a Jones pass and Maryland took over at its own 42.

Maryland advanced to the Georgia Tech 12 before Lewis dropped a pass in the end zone on third-and-4. Dave DeArmas kicked a 29-yard field goal to put Maryland ahead, 10-7, with 2 1/2 minutes left in the first quarter.

Maryland had another opportunity to score, but Kaleo, with 11:64 remaining and facing a first-and-10 from the Georgia Tech 32, threw into double coverage at the 2-yard line, and had his pass intended for Badgett picked off by free safety Mike Williams.

Fortunately for Maryland, the Terps held for three downs and took over at the Georgia Tech 32. In three plays, Kaleo took the Terps down to the 6. On first-and-goal, superback Doug Burnett ran a 6-yard trap for a touchdown that gave Maryland a 17-7 lead with 9:12 remaining in the second quarter.

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