No QB controversy in Terps' 30-20 triumph Mastrole, Jones get shots

Jordan rushes for 2 TDs in victory over Temple

September 27, 1998|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN STAFF

COLLEGE PARK -- They came to see a battle of two Maryland quarterbacks last night, junior veteran Ken Mastrole and elusive freshman Randall Jones.

Mastrole once again showed off his strong right arm and Jones was at his scrambling best at times, as the two players alternated on virtually an equal basis throughout the game.

Call it a draw in their fight to be No. 1.

But it was explosive tailback LaMont Jordan and slender sophomore field-goal kicker Brian Kopka who stole the show as the Terps outclassed Temple, 30-20, in a final tuneup at Byrd Stadium for seven straight ACC opponents.

"There is no quarterback controversy, " said Maryland coach Ron Vanderlinden. "Just two guys with different styles. And I like the way both of them performed tonight."

Jordan twice dazed the winless Owls (0-4) with quick touchdown strikes of 26 and 27 yards off the right side while rolling up a career-high 138 yards on 22 carries.

Kopka continued to be one of the hottest kickers in the nation, hitting three straight field goals to run his streak to 10 in a row since missing his first try of the season.

Kopka split the uprights with kicks of 23, 42 and 29 yards.

Mastrole thrilled the crowd of 27,047 early in the fourth quarter when he lofted a perfectly thrown 39-yard touchdown pass to Bruce James down the right sideline, running the Maryland (2-2) lead to 30-14.

It was only the second touchdown pass of Mastrole's career. He wound up the night 7-for-13 for 104 yards and one touchdown pass. Jones pulled off a miraculous escape of an apparent sack by Temple's Michael Tripp and bounced outside for a 12-yard gain in the second quarter.

Jones also pulled off some razzle-dazzle on Temple on the second play of the fourth quarter when he pitched out to Jordan, who threw the ball back to Jones on the left side for a 15-yard gain.

It was an example of another way Jones can use his athleticism to beat opponents.

Jones finished the game with six carries for 24 yards and 1-for-2 passing for 16 yards.

Jones left the fans buzzing in the second quarter when Tripp came barreling down on him, grabbed him in a bear hug and was prepared to slam him to the ground.

But Jones suddenly broke free for a first down and even Vanderlinden was still talking about the play after the game.

"That was unbelievable the way Randall broke out of that tackle," said Vanderlinden. "He just does so many things."

Vanderlinden also handed out plaudits to Mastrole. "Ken ran the option better than he has at any time this year and that throw for a touchdown to Bruce James was perfect," Vanderlinden said. "Ken is so big that when he gets to moving on that option he can cause some damage."

Vanderlinden gave Mastrole the start because of his "experience" but basically alternated the two players for two series the remainder of the night.

"The two quarterbacks worked just the way we liked it," said Vanderlinden. "You couldn't draw it up any better. Randall has a miscue or two but that's going to happen with a freshman. We took the pressure off Randall by starting Ken and then brought in Randall on the third series. After that we were going to change based on the flow of the game."

But it basically came down to each quarterback getting two series, except for a third-and-long situation in which Mastrole came in to replace Jones because the junior has a stronger arm.

"We know Randall can throw the ball but Mastrole just has more experience," said Vanderlinden.

It was third-and-eight at the Temple 39-yard line in the fourth quarter when Mastrole came in for Jones and launched the 39-yard touchdown pass to James which would be his first touchdown pass since 1996.

No wonder Mastrole went racing down the field to the end zone to congratulate James.

Vanderlinden said he planned to continue using both quarterbacks and would make a decision late in the week on a starter for next week's battle against No. 10 Florida State at Byrd Stadium.

"I thought LaMont ran the way we're all accustomed to seeing him run, hard on the inside and with speed on the outside," said Vanderlinden. "And I was very encouraged with the play of our defense. It was a shame they had 20 points on the scoreboard. But our first-team defense only gave up one touchdown against a team that is seventh in the nation in rushing with an average of 250 yards a game. We held them to 37 rushes for 92 yards."

Maryland's second-team defense gave up one touchdown late in the game and Temple's LeVar Talley returned a Maryland fumble 10 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter.

"It was the first time since I've been at Maryland that we've been able to get our second defense on the field," said Vanderlinden.

Jordan said: "I finally just decided to start running like a big back and stop trying to rely on speed. That was my mind-set going into the game."

Next for Maryland

Opponent: No. 10 Florida State

Site: Byrd Stadium, College Park

When: Saturday, 1 p.m. Record: 3-1

Yesterday: Beat No. 18 USC, 30-10.

Pub Date: 9/27/98

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.