5-6 Terps lament unfulfilled promise Wallace: 'Whole season has been disappointment'

Maryland notebook

November 24, 1996|By Paul McMullen | Paul McMullen,SUN STAFF

MIAMI -- Maryland started the season picked to finish sixth in the Atlantic Coast Conference. That's where the Terps finished, tied with North Carolina State with a 3-5 record, but a squad that included 22 seniors, including 12 starters and a specialist, expected more.

"This whole season has been a disappointment to everyone," senior captain Al Wallace said after the Terps closed the season 5-6 overall.

Geroy Simon, the senior receiver from Johnstown, Pa., echoed Wallace's statement, and said that coach Mark Duffner had done the same in the locker room afterward.

"He [Duffner] said he was disappointed in the season," Simon said. "He said we could've played a lot harder."

Simon led the Terps with four catches for 74 yards. He ended his career No. 2 at Maryland in both categories, his 185 receptions and 2,059 being bettered only by Ravens rookie Jermaine Lewis.

Ratcliff Thomas, the left linebacker, had five tackles, and finished his career with 429, third in Maryland history behind only Eric Wilson (1981-84) and Chuck Faucette (1983-86).

Middle linebacker Eric Barton led the Terps with nine tackles, and had 103 for the season to become only the third sophomore to lead Maryland in tackles, Thomas and Faucette being the others.

Cornerback Chad Scott had the first two-interception game of his career, but was on the wrong end of the play of the day. He tipped a Thad Busby pass in the end zone, but Peter Warrick made a circus catch for a 44-yard touchdown to put the Seminoles ahead 14-7.

Florida State kicker Scott Bentley became the all-time leading scorer in Atlantic Coast Conference history on a 49-yard field goal on the last play of the half. He finished the game with 320 points. Warrick Dunn had 109 yards rushing, giving him 3,774 for his career, a Seminoles record.

Endangered QBs

Busby left the game in the second quarter with a strained knee ligament, after he became entangled under Wallace following an incompletion. Maryland quarterback Brian Cummings was sacked seven times, and was knocked down by Seminoles pass rushers at least that many times.

Busby is expected to play Saturday, when No. 1 Florida goes to Tallahassee for a showdown with the Seminoles, who should move up to No. 2 after Ohio State's loss to Michigan yesterday.

Cummings suffered a separated shoulder and a concussion on late hits earlier this season, and said he's frustrated by what linemen have gotten away with this season.

"I got beat up pretty good out there," Cummings said.

"It was the same old stuff by the refs. Their guys [Florida State's] are good enough, they're going to hit me. They don't need any help."


Tommy Polley, The Sun's Athlete of the Year in 1995-96 from Dunbar High, practiced as a linebacker and tight end with Florida State until Oct. 15, then joined the Seminoles basketball team. It was the 11th time in Maryland's past 18 games that the Terps scored no more than one touchdown.

Pub Date: 11/24/96

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