Maryland defense picks apart Duke ACC-record 7 interceptions end conference slide, 42-25

November 15, 1998|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN STAFF PTC

DURHAM, N.C. -- In a twilight zone setting on a damp and dreary afternoon yesterday, a much-maligned Maryland football team ravaged usually reliable Duke quarterback Bobby Campbell for seven interceptions and found the game fun again in the form of a 42-25 upset over Duke.

It was the first Atlantic Coast Conference win in more than 13 months for the Terps and ended an 11-game league losing streak, dating to Oct. 4, 1997, when they scored a 16-10 decision over the Blue Devils at Byrd Stadium.

Campbell, a sophomore, had thrown 100 straight passes without an interception and had one pick in 157 pass attempts this season before he melted in front of the disbelieving eyes of the Duke fans.

Senior Maryland cornerback Cliff Crosby led the assault on Campbell with three interceptions, returning one 52 yards for a ,, touchdown that put the game on ice, 42-25, with 7 minutes, 2 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter.

Kendall Ogle, Shawn Forte, Eric Barton and Renard Cox also had thefts for Maryland, which went on long scoring drives after three of the Campbell turnovers.

Ogle said of Campbell: "I know he's played pretty good against other teams but I never really had that much respect for him. He looked like he was rattled and kind of scared out there. I don't know why he looked like that against us. He never looked comfortable back there and didn't set his feet. I could tell by the expression on his face he was rattled."

Maryland has won four straight over Duke.

There was just no rhyme or reason for most of the things that happened at Wallace Wade Stadium, as a Maryland team (3-7, 1-6) that couldn't buy a big play in the first nine games of the season suddenly made one incredible dash to the goal line after another.

In addition to the Crosby 52-yard return, wide receiver Jermaine Arrington ran 50 yards on a reverse for a touchdown in the first quarter, quarterback Randall Jones made a remarkable 75-yard dash down the right sideline for a score that put the Terps on top to stay, 21-17, late in the second quarter and LaMont Jordan raced 46 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter despite playing with a right thumb that was broken in three places.

It all prompted an emotional post-game show as a teary-eyed bunch of players walked over to the Maryland band in the stands and sang the school's alma mater with them amid congratulations from a happy Terps coaching staff.

"It was a great team win," said Maryland coach Ron Vanderlinden. "One of the best team wins that I've been a part of in coaching because of the circumstances. Points have been hard for us to come by. For us to score 14 right away and tie the game after being down 14 early, that was tremendous. It reinforced all the things that I've been building and saying all along. To get seven interceptions was unbelievable."

Also, freshman quarterback Jones re-established his game to the tune of 115 yards rushing, 98 yards passing, two touchdown passes and the 75-yard run.

The Jones show in the comeback win came after he relieved junior starter Ken Mastrole midway through the first quarter with Maryland down, 14-0.

"I proved I could pass," said Jones. "And I gained enough confidence today to be relaxed out there even if I do start. Before today, I was always nervous if I started."

The seven interceptions matched a school record set against Georgia in 1941 and an ACC record set by North Carolina State in 1965. And the 115 yards rushing by Jones was the most by a Maryland quarterback since Jack Scarbath rambled for 132 in 1950. The last Maryland quarterback to rush for more than 100 yards was Tim O'Hare, who had 102 in 1978.

Vanderlinden figures to start Jones next week in the final game of the season against N.C. State, but he wouldn't say yesterday.

The explosive Maryland show literally brought Duke (4-6, 2-5) coach Fred Goldsmith to his knees on the playing field in the fourth quarter, wiped out any lingering Motor City Bowl hopes for the Blue Devils, and prompted an emotional apology after the game by Goldsmith to everybody connected to Duke.

"I apologize to all the former Duke players and the university for this," said Goldsmith. "It was just a bad, bad, bad exhibition of football. There were just too many mental breakdowns. I feel just awful about it. Any time a team plays as undisciplined as we did in every phase of the game as we did today, I have to take responsibility for that. We practiced over a week and a half for this ball game and we really felt like we were ready."

Goldsmith embarrassed himself with 9: 45 left in the game when he darted on the field about five yards, jumped in the air and fell to the turf in anger over his players calling a timeout after scoring a touchdown that reduced the Maryland lead to 35-23.

Goldsmith wanted to quickly go for a two-point conversion.

Goldsmith said he stuck with Campbell because "half of those interceptions weren't his fault."

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