Mark Duffner took a couple of steps to shake up his Maryland football team yesterday.
The Terps (5-3, 3-2 in the Atlantic Coast Conference) were shut out in their past two games with sophomore Brian Cummings at quarterback, but Duffner announced that senior Scott Milanovich will start Saturday at North Carolina State (2-5, 1-3).
Milanovich replaced Cummings with 12 minutes left in a 31-0 loss at Louisville on Saturday, the Terps' third defeat in their past four games. Milanovich has been ineffective after a four-game gambling suspension, but he was superb against N.C. State last year, completing 33 of 38 passes for 341 yards and five touchdowns.
"I think it's time for Scott to get a go at it," Duffner said. "We're looking for something to give us a lift."
Milanovich, who returned to the team and started in a loss to Georgia Tech, and Cummings were unavailable for comment.
The consecutive shutouts were Maryland's first since 1969. The malaise spread to the defense at Louisville, and yesterday Duffner had his team practice in pads the day after a game for the first time in his four seasons at Maryland.
"It was the most intense practice I've seen this year," said senior back Kevin Plank. "It was a day late."
Two Terps who showed a little too much fire at Louisville will miss the first half Saturday. Cornerback A. J. Johnson was ejected for fighting. Johnnie Johnson, his brother, left the bench to join the fracas, and though he wasn't ejected, Duffner said he would serve the same penalty.
* Joe Blair, the Terps' football publicist who became ill on Friday's flight, remained at a Louisville hospital. A Maryland spokesman said there was "some improvement" but the nature of Blair's illness wouldn't be disclosed until today at the earliest.