Rodgers held to one carry by sore thigh Said injury occurred last week vs. Duke

Maryland notebook

November 03, 1996|By Paul McMullen | Paul McMullen,SUN STAFF

CLEMSON, S.C. -- Coming off the best game by a Maryland running back in 11 years, Buddy Rodgers was supposed to be a featured part of the offense yesterday. He instead was limited to one carry, then said he had aggravated a pulled thigh muscle in the previous week's win over Duke.

"It started bothering me after Duke," Rodgers said. "I tried to give it a go, I couldn't."

Coach Mark Duffner did not include the injury in his weekly media briefing last Tuesday, and Rodgers did not say that he was ailing in a Wednesday interview.

Minus Rodgers, Brian Underwood accounted for more than two-thirds of Maryland's offense. His 14 carries netted 80 yards, and the Terps' total was 113. Maryland had crept up to No. 99 among the nation's 111 Division I-A teams in total offense, but it figures to again fall out of the Top 100.

Sacked six times by Clemson in last year's 17-0 loss, quarterback Brian Cummings was dropped eight times yesterday. He completed only five of 13 passes.

Both of Geroy Simon's catches went for first downs, but his prediction of victory came up way short. Simon, who is 13 catches shy of Jermaine Lewis' ACC career record, 193, and the other fourth-year seniors ended their careers without seeing Maryland score a touchdown against Clemson.

Joe O'Donnell's second-quarter field goal enabled Maryland to stay only on the positive side of the ACC record for consecutive shutouts. Clemson blanked the Terps the last three years, and the ACC record was set by Maryland from 1972-75, when it held Wake Forest scoreless for four straight years.

Defense hurt, too

Clemson came in ranked No. 81 in total offense, but it did enough good things to offset Maryland's defense, which was ranked 21st in the nation. The Tigers had touchdown drives of 52, 59 and 69 yards, before freshman Sam Zanders rambled 61 yards for a fourth-quarter touchdown.

"We choked," strong safety Andre Hentz said. "We can't point at anything Clemson did."

Miscellaneous

Maryland is 1-4 and has been outscored 126-35 on the road, the lone bright spot being a 22-19 victory at winless Duke. Clemson has won seven games in a row in orange pants. The Tigers impressed scouts from the Peach and Independence bowls.

Next for Maryland

Opponent: Georgia Tech

Site: Byrd Stadium, College Park

When: Thursday, Nov. 14, 8 p.m.

Record: 5-3

Yesterday: Lost to Fla. State, 49-3.

Pub Date: 11/03/96

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