Orangemen weather 'Thunder' storm

MARYLAND NOTEBOOK

November 20, 1994|By Paul McMullen | Paul McMullen,Sun Staff Writer

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- The "Black Thunder" offense that was booed at Byrd Stadium in October was perfect at the Carrier Dome yesterday.

The short-yardage backfield of quarterback Brian Cummings and three other freshmen, which struggled in midseason, made the most of three appearances against Syracuse with two first downs and a touchdown. The score came in the fourth quarter, two minutes after Cummings ran 17 yards on a fake punt to keep alive Maryland's comeback hopes.

The Orangemen held on for a 21-16 victory that completed a disappointing day and season for Maryland, particularly its seniors.

Two mainstays from that class couldn't participate, as two-way lineman Jamie Bragg watched from a wheelchair with a broken ankle, and left guard Jade Dubis finally was held out by a back injury that has affected him all season.

The Terps entered assured of their fourth straight losing season, while Syracuse nearly blew its shot at a bowl game. The Orangemen, eyeing the Carquest and Aloha bowls, finish the regular season Thanksgiving night at West Virginia.

"We've been out of whack the last two weeks, and it was refreshing to do what we had to do," said Syracuse coach Paul Pasqualoni, whose team had risen to a No. 10 ranking before losing to Miami and Boston College.

Maryland defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle, who spent the past three seasons at Syracuse, didn't think that experience was the factor Pasqualoni made it out to be.

"When I was here, it's not like I was preparing to stop the freeze option, which Syracuse runs," Coyle said. "I've never paid much attention to what our offense is doing either."

Coyle's unit toughened after Syracuse scored on its first three possessions, and held the Orangemen without a point over the final 39 minutes.

"It wasn't so much adjustments as the fact we started tackling and containing the quarterback," Coyle said. "We hit on a couple of blitzes, got them [Syracuse] off-schedule."

The record book

For the third straight year, Maryland's run-and-shoot offense left its mark on the record book.

The Terps out-gained the Orangemen 365 yards to 364, as junior quarterback Scott Milanovich completed 35 of 49 passes for 285 yards. His only touchdown pass went to junior Jermaine Lewis. It was Lewis' ninth touchdown catch of the season and the 18th of his career, equaling the school record in both categories.

Sophomore Geroy Simon had 10 catches for 80 yards, and Maryland might argue that one of his three rushing attempts was forward pass. It matters, because Simon finished with 74 catches, one shy of the single-season standard set by Marcus Badgett two years ago.

Lewis (127) and Simon (93) will begin next season Nos. 2 and 9, respectively, on the Terps' all-time receiving list, while senior Russ Weaver (120) ended No. 3.

Miscellaneous

Maryland, which ran the ball effectively in its four wins, was out-rushed 295-81 yesterday. . . . Senior superback Allen Williams was limited to 34 yards on 13 carries, but his seasonal total of 649 yards is the second-best by a Terp since 1985. . . . Williams had 11 receptions yesterday and 51 on the season, second on the team to Simon. . . . Maryland scored fewer points only once this year, in a shutout loss at Clemson.

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