Terps keep it simple without Cummings Half of playbook used when Mastrole takes over

Maryland notebook

September 15, 1996|By Paul McMullen | Paul McMullen,SUN STAFF

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- What's Maryland without a quarterback controversy?

Maryland won its first two games by 24 points, but second-team quarterback Ken Mastrole saw scant action in romps over Northern Illinois and Alabama-Birmingham. A shoulder injury to Brian Cummings forced Mastrole into the Virginia game yesterday, and coach Mark Duffner was asked if he regretted not giving the redshirt freshman more playing time in the first two games.

"Maybe we would've been better," Duffner said, "but this is the situation we faced today."

Mastrole, who played at Cardinal Gibbons High in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., made some cameo appearances in the first two games, but didn't attempt his first college pass until yesterday.

"Our goal was to be as simple as possible," Duffner said about the strategy once Cummings left. "We used a little more than LTC half of our game plan, in terms of what we felt comfortable with."

Good day for A. J.

Virginia had just as much trouble at quarterback as Maryland.Neither Tim Sherman nor Aaron Brooks could move the Cavaliers. They combined for only five completions; Maryland cornerback A. J. Johnson caught as many balls as any Virginia receiver.

Johnson had the second two-interception game of his career. He has 10 for his career, tied for sixth in Maryland history.

The defense was lifted by the return of left linebacker Ratcliff Thomas.

Another northern Virginia product, middle linebacker Eric Barton, led the Maryland defense with 12 tackles.

"If we had played as good as we wanted, we would've won," said Barton, who said that the Terps achieved their goal of slowing Tiki Barber. "He wasn't going to have one of those days against us."

Miscellaneous

Punter Russell Edwards sidestepped James Farrior and scrambled 14 yards for a first down in the first quarter, then boomed a 76-yarder in the second quarter, the Terps' longest punt in 24 years. . . . Maryland won the turnover battle, 4-3. . . . It was Virginia's 31st straight game with an interception, and the second straight week its defense scored.

Next for Terps

Opponent: West Virginia

Site: Mountaineer Stadium, Morgantown, W.Va.

When: Sept. 28, 6 p.m.

TV/Radio: ESPN2/WBAL (1090 AM)

Record: 3-0

Yesterday: Beat East Carolina, 10-9.

Pub Date: 9/15/96

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