Make it 23 in a row for Milanovich

November 09, 1994|By Paul McMullen | Paul McMullen,Sun Staff Writer

COLLEGE PARK -- Scott Milanovich's record-setting passing

night against North Carolina State is aging nicely.

A review of Saturday's 47-45 loss to the Wolfpack showed that a 9-yard gain in the first quarter by Allen Williams came after a forward pass from Milanovich, not a lateral. As a result, Milanovich's numbers were revised to 33 completions in 38 attempts, and he gained sole possession of two NCAA Division I-A records instead of just one.

Milanovich completed his last four attempts against Tulane on Oct. 29 and his first 19 against N.C. State; the 23 consecutive completions bettered the previous NCAA record of 22 set by Brigham Young's Steve Young in 1981 and equaled by Iowa's Chuck Long in 1984.

Milanovich didn't need the new-found pass to break the NCAA record for completion percentage for a quarterback with 30 to 39 completions in a game. His percentage improved from .865 to .868, and the old mark was .833 (35 of 42) by San Diego State's Todd Santos in 1987.

The redshirt junior's five incompletions against N.C. State included a drop, a ball thrown away from a covered superback and a flea-flicker bomb that took too much time to develop after two reverses.

Milanovich has thrown 148 attempts without an interception, and something will have to give Saturday (1 p.m.) at Virginia, because the Cavaliers have picked off a pass in 12 straight games.

The Terps are getting strong play from superback Williams and the wide receiver quartet of Mancel Johnson, Geroy Simon, Jermaine Lewis and Russ Weaver, but Milanovich and coach Mark Duffner said the offensive line also is playing a large role in the streak of attempts without an interception.

"There are times when you're under a lot of pressure," Milanovich said. "Instead of looking downfield, you're looking out the corner of your eye for the defensive end who's been hitting you all day. The offensive line has been doing a good enough job of keeping distance between the defensive line and me, and I'm just standing back there by myself.

"Most interceptions take place when somebody is in your view, and I'm seeing the field well."

Milanovich is still a considerable distance from the NCAA record for consecutive attempts without an interception. Tampa Bay backup Trent Dilfer got up to 271 for Fresno State last year.

Scene of the crime

One final defensive breakdown and the last-minute loss to N.C. State denied Maryland its first victory over a winning team since 1992.

The challenge is bigger at No. 21 Virginia. The Terps will be trying to beat a ranked team for the first time since 1990, when they upset the Cavaliers, 35-30, in Charlottesville. That loss triggered a series of late-season swoons by Virginia, which lost three in a row at the end of 1990, four straight in 1992 and four of their last five a year ago.

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