Terps don't see coach's silver lining Frustrated players think 2-9 looks likely again

Maryland notebook

November 10, 1998|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN STAFF

COLLEGE PARK -- The sun suddenly broke through the clouds here yesterday as Ron Vanderlinden tried to paint a bright future for the Maryland football team.

"Just like paradise," said Vanderlinden of the bright skies. "It's hard for me not to be enthusiastic and optimistic because I see a lot of good things. I see all the steps that need to be taken. It hasn't shown up in wins yet, but it will."

When?

Maryland tailback LaMont Jordan and defensive end Peter Timmins have grown tired of waiting for a big win this season and openly expressed their frustration after Saturday's 24-13 loss to North Carolina.

Jordan said: "It looks like we're headed there [matching last year's 2-9 record] now. It didn't mean anything to me to score two touchdowns since we lost the game."

Timmins said, "Some guys are already looking ahead to next year."

Jordan and Timmins are two of the hottest players on this 2-7 team, and if they start to flinch in the face of five straight losses and 11 in a row in the ACC, it can't help the cause.

Jordan, a sophomore, is the second-leading rusher in the ACC with 90.6 yards a game, and he is coming off a 136-yard, two-touchdown performance in the North Carolina loss.

Timmins, a junior, leads the team in sacks (3.5) and is third in tackles (70).

Back to musical QBs

Vanderlinden said yesterday the lack of consistency in the play of freshman Randall Jones and junior Ken Mastrole at quarterback has "really been the only frustrating part of the season. We have improved everywhere and the attitude has been sensational."

"We need to make plays in the passing game," said Vanderlinden, who pulled Jones midway through the second quarter against North Carolina. "We felt we needed to take some pressure off Randall and also needed to give Kenny another chance. He had practiced well. We needed plays in the passing game. So we decided going in we were going to give Kenny a very fair opportunity to show what he could do."

Since neither option specialist Jones nor drop-back passer Mastrole was too effective, it's obvious Vanderlinden will go back to alternating the two players this week in a noon game against Duke (4-5) in Durham, N.C.

He said he "has some ideas" about who will start Saturday, but he will not announce a starter because it would only help Duke.

However, he sounded like a man who was ready to give the starting job back to Mastrole.

All-ACC picks?

Senior linebackers Eric Barton and Kendall Ogle were all over the field Saturday against North Carolina and finished with 20 and 17 tackles, respectively.

The 20 were a career single-game high for Barton, and 17 tied a career high for Ogle. Barton has 385 career tackles for sixth on the all-time Maryland list, and Ogle has 323.

Vanderlinden said yesterday, "There is no justice in the world if Eric Barton and Kendall Ogle don't make all-conference."

Scratch eighth-place duel

Entering the season, it looked as if this week's Maryland-Duke game would be a battle for eighth place in the ACC and a chance to avoid last place.

The Terps beat Duke, 16-10, last season to take eighth place with a 1-7 record, while Duke dropped to last at 0-8.

But the Blue Devils enter Saturday's game with a 2-4 league record for a tie for sixth place, leaving 0-6 Maryland and 1-6 Clemson fighting to stay out of last.

Maryland's last ACC victory was that decision over Duke on Oct. 4 in College Park.

Pub Date: 11/10/98

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