Terps dissolve in 44-21 loss N.C. State gets the better of Maryland offense, defense

November 14, 1993|By Paul McMullen | Paul McMullen,Staff Writer

RALEIGH, N.C. -- The excuses were ready-made.

The records, Maryland's youth and North Carolina State's bowl aspirations added up to the Terps' arriving at Carter-Finley Stadium yesterday as two-touchdown underdogs. An already thin Maryland lineup had been depleted further by a run of injuries that took its top receiver and three defensive starters.

The difference in talent doesn't explain totally the Wolfpack's 44-21 whipping of the Terps, however. Maryland had a 7-0 lead after the first quarter, but from then on, it slid into a familiar rut, giving in on both sides of the ball. With victory within reach, the offense totaled 51 yards on its next four possessions and the defense allowed N.C. State points seven of the next eight times it had the ball.

As in earlier visits to Georgia Tech and Clemson, it was a case of Maryland's falling apart after a solid start. Coach Mark Duffner simply pointed to a lack of execution, but the quarterback and defensive coordinator Larry Slade, who said "after a while, it's like 'here we go again,' " looked a little deeper.

"I'm pretty down, and I hope everyone else is," sophomore

quarterback Scott Milanovich said. "It seems like we take losing too much for granted, like it's something that's supposed to happen. The last three years [the Terps are 6-26 since 1991], losing so much, it's almost like par for the course.

"We have to do something to turn this around, and that's where the young thing comes in. It's hard for young guys to be leaders when you've only been here for two or three months."

N.C. State (7-3) made the big play when it had to, and even though they finish the regular season at angry Florida State, the Wolfpack's sixth victory over a Division I-A opponent probably sealed their sixth straight bowl bid. Maryland (1-9), meanwhile, will try to avoid becoming the first Terps team to lose 10 games when it finishes at Wake Forest next Saturday.

The Terps never had more than two seniors on the field, but it wasn't as if they were facing a Wolfpack crew that is going to dominate the Atlantic Coast Conference all-star balloting. N.C. State showed its mettle with four straight narrow wins after a 2-2 start; meanwhile, Maryland keeps stumbling against teams it thinks it can compete against.

The Terps made quarterback Terry Harvey, who was yanked a week earlier in a loss at Duke, look better than he really is. The sophomore completed 21 of 37 passes for 264 yards and two touchdowns. Toss in 276 yards rushing, and it added up to 540 yards against a Maryland defense that is perilously close to setting an NCAA record for yards allowed in a season.

The Wolfpack defense, which got 11 tackles from junior linebacker Damien Covington, gave the Terps 413 yards, but forced five turnovers and registered three sacks.

Defensively, Maryland started four players who didn't arrive on campus until August. Four offensive starters are in their first year of Division I-A football, and one of them, junior-college transfer Allen Williams, had a game-high 93 yards on 17 carries. The Terps dominated the first 13 minutes, and trailed only 13-7 at the half despite a dismal second quarter.

The Wolfpack's halftime edge came courtesy of a snap over Milanovich's head and lost fumble that set up N.C. State's first field goal; a 95-yard touchdown drive that ate up more than half of the second quarter; and a missed interception by freshman Andre Martin that enabled Steve Videtich to hammer a 44-yarder on the last play of the half.

During the previous six weeks, the Wolfpack had left first-year coach Mike O'Cain sweating over some late rallies that didn't always end successfully, but N.C. State put the Terps away in the third quarter.

Videtich turned the third of Maryland' four lost fumbles into a 25-yard field goal five minutes into the second half, and the Maryland defense that had been bending finally broke after Milanovich and company could gain only 3 yards in three plays.

On first down from the N.C. State 29-yard line, junior split end Eddie Goins got behind the Maryland secondary. He had to wait for a bomb from Harvey that became a 71-yard touchdown.

For the first time since the first quarter, the Terps' offense was back in sync, as Milanovich dioved 1 yard to complete an 11-play, 80-yard touchdown drive that got Maryland within 23-13.

The Wolfpack, which reached its season high for scoring, moved 64 and 87 yards for touchdowns the next two times it had the ball. Milanovich and Jason Kremus hooked up on a 17-yard touchdown pass 5:18 from the end, but the Wolfpack turned one last Terps turnover into a 31-yard scoring run by bench-warmer Kevin Matier, whose totals had been three carries for 7 yards.

While N.C. State thinks of another bowl game, Maryland was left with a long bus ride home.

"We played hard in the first half, but in the second half, we didn't execute on either side of the ball," Duffner said. "The goal is to play a complete game. You can't play for 30 or 35 minutes and expect to beat anyone. Losing doesn't help anyone right now. We've got one more game coming up, and we don't want to get down right now."

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