Third win satisfying for Duffner

October 24, 1994|By Paul McMullen | Paul McMullen,Sun Staff Writer

Coach Mark Duffner had a difficult time deciding which aspect of Maryland's 42-27 victory over Georgia Tech Saturday night he most enjoyed.

Was it the second straight strong performance from Scott Milanovich? The redshirt junior completed 22 of 31 attempts for 302 yards, the most by a Terps quarterback this year, and the fifth four-touchdown game of his career. A month after being benched, he resumed his assault on the career records held by Boomer Esiason, who was in attendance on a bye week for the New York Jets.

Was it Maryland's three interceptions? Two came in the span of three Georgia Tech plays early in the fourth quarter and set up Terps touchdowns that turned a 21-14 lead into a blowout.

Was it Allen Williams' second 100-yard rushing game of the season? Or the way redshirt freshman quarterback Brian Cummings, cornerback A. J. Johnson and wide receiver Jermaine Lewis shrugged off lost first-half fumbles to deliver big plays? Maybe the superb job done by the offensive line?

The big picture, and not the details, were what most pleased Duffner. The Terps' first night win in more than two years improved their record to 3-4, 2-4 in the Atlantic Coast Conference, and with four games to go, it's an improvement on last season's two victories.

"I'm very pleased," Duffner said, "but if we want to have a winning record, and a winning record at home, we can't stop now."

In the start of a three-game homestand at Byrd Stadium, which continues with Saturday's homecoming game against Tulane, Georgia Tech out-gained Maryland 509 yards to 470. But 185 of the Yellow Jackets' total came in the last 10 minutes, after the Terps had a 35-14 lead.

For a change, it was the opposition padding its numbers against a prevent defense, as reserve quarterback Graham Stroman threw for 181 yards in the final 17 minutes, after starter Tommy Luginbill left with a mild concussion.

Maryland's offense, meanwhile, narrowed its focus. Milanovich played only with the one-back, four-wide receiver set he prefers.

The Terps' basic offense was at its best after Tech had rallied from a 14-3 deficit to tie late in the third period. On third-and-four from the Yellow Jackets' 25-yard line, Maryland picked up the blitz and Milanovich lofted a timed pass to Russ Weaver in the left corner of the end zone. It was the first scoring catch of the season for Weaver, who led the ACC in receptions last season.

The short-yardage offense led by Cummings atoned for a fumble at the 1-yard line on the Terps' first possession by getting touchdowns on its two other appearances. Geroy Simon solidified his status as the ACC's most productive receiver with eight catches for 86 yards, and Lewis had five for 109 and two touchdowns, becoming the fifth Terp with more than 100 career receptions.

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