Terrapins pull switch at QB, but Clemson turns out lights Md. falls again to Tigers in Death Valley, 23-0

Jones, Mastrole ineffective

October 11, 1998|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN STAFF

CLEMSON, S.C. -- Freshman quarterback Randall Jones represents the future of a Maryland program that wants to forget the recent past.

Junior quarterback Ken Mastrole certainly has more ties to the past than to the future.

Yesterday, Maryland coach Ron Vanderlinden opted for the past, calling on Mastrole to replace Jones early in the fourth quarter when the Terps still had a chance to beat Clemson in Death Valley for the first time in 13 years.

The move didn't work for the second-year coach, and Clemson went on to shut out Maryland, 23-0, ending a four-game losing streak for the Tigers in this battle of Atlantic Coast Conference teams that were in desperate need of a win.

"We needed to make some plays in the fourth quarter," said Vanderlinden. "And we believed Ken could come in and make some throws. We felt that the way Clemson was packing it in inside, was forcing us to throw the ball and that is what Ken does best."

Vanderlinden said Jones would still be the starting quarterback next week against Wake Forest.

Jones said, "We were moving the ball but something always seemed to go wrong. They were taking me out on the option, making me pitch the ball a lot. I wasn't disappointed to come out. The coach was going with something he thought would get us started."

For Mastrole, the fourth quarter was a disaster as he tried to rally the team.

Mastrole replaced Jones in the opening minutes of the quarter when the Terps (2-4 overall, 0-3), who were trailing 10-0, took possession at their 4-yard-line.

He was sacked three times for losses of 23 yards in the quarter and finished the game 2-for-6 with 11 yards passing.

Mastrole also had taken over for one series in the final minutes of the first half, when he was sacked and threw an interception.

The explosive Jones didn't get a chance to finish what he started, even though costly penalties nullified several long gainers and Vanderlinden had said earlier this week that Jones "is our guy at quarterback. He's taking the reins. His time has come. He's ready for it and so is our team. He deserves a chance to move the team."

The Terps moved all of 80 yards in the air and 90 on the ground. As a result they have lost seven straight games in Death Valley by a combined score of 216-33 since posting a 34-31 victory at Clemson in 1985 under coach Bobby Ross.

The Terps have not scored a touchdown here since 1991 and their only score in the last 19 quarters here was a field goal.

And that didn't change despite the elusive Jones running the show for a young team that had supposedly gained a lot of confidence last week by playing No. 8 Florida State tough before losing, 24-10.

Also, Clemson was off to its worst start in 23 years going into this game, and junior quarterback Brandon Streeter was benched last week in favor of redshirt freshman Woody Dantzler.

Streeter returned to his starting role yesterday and completed 13 of 22 for 191 yards and two touchdowns in a three-wide-out set that Clemson used in 1995 to shut out Maryland, 17-0.

"We went back and did some things we've done in the past," said Clemson coach Tommy West, who has come under close scrutiny this season. "Our players watched film of that 1995 game when we outgained them, 395-171. Today I believe it was virtually the same in total yardage [399-172]."

As usual, Jones was not overly impressive on the statistical chart. He completed seven of 18 passes for 69 yards and rushed six times for 4 yards.

Penalties, however, contributed to his undoing, as Maryland was called for six for 77 yards. Two Maryland penalties totaling 31 yards occurred in the first quarter to blunt promising drives.

"I am bitterly disappointed we lost this game," said Vanderlinden. "Our No. 1 problem was penalties. I felt we would have been ahead of schedule in our rebuilding program with a win, but we didn't. Overall, I thought our defense played well enough to win."

Maryland sophomore tailback LaMont Jordan rushed 14 times for 82 yards and also was disappointed by the loss.

"We're so close," said Jordan. "I'm going to keep saying it until we do it. We have to find a way to score points and win a game."

Maryland played the game without starting sophomore strong safety Shawn Forte, who returned to his Poughkeepsie, N.Y., home Friday due to the death of his brother.


Out of the zone


With yesterday's 23-0 loss to Clemson, the Terps continued to have difficulty getting into the end zone in Death Valley. Maryland has not scored a touchdown at Clemson since 1991, when they were defeated, 40-7. A look:

Year .... Score

1993 .... Clemson 29, Maryland 0

1994 .... Clemson 13, Maryland 0

1996 .... Clemson 35, Maryland 3

1998 .... Clemson 23, Maryland 0

Next for Maryland

Opponent: Wake Forest

Site: Byrd Stadium, College Park

When: Saturday, 1 p.m.

Record: 2-3

Yesterday: Lost to Duke, 19-16

Pub Date: 10/11/98

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