Tears are only thing Cowsette can't stop during his stellar day Nose guard draws praise for play against Duke

Terps notes

November 17, 1998|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN STAFF

COLLEGE PARK -- Want to know just how special the Maryland football victory over Duke was Saturday in Durham, N.C.?

"I went in the locker room and cried," said 6-foot-1, 270-pound junior nose guard Delbert Cowsette. "I was so happy we won that I was crying. Everybody asked me what was wrong. I was just happy. Nobody likes losing and to finally win after five straight losses was special."

Cowsette is the third-leading tackler on the team with 81 and has come a long way this season since making only three tackles in the opener against James Madison. He trails only senior linebackers Eric Barton (141 tackles) and Kendall Ogle (128).

In the 42-25 win over Duke that ended an 11-game Atlantic Coast BTC Conference losing streak for the Terps, Cowsette played the game of his Maryland career.

He was on the field for 93 plays, had 10 solo tackles, five assisted tackles and four pressures.

"That is a monster performance by Del," said Maryland coach Ron Vanderlinden. "To play nose guard for 93 plays is a real job because a typical game has 60 plays and 75 plays is a long game. He is deserving of ACC consideration because he has had game-after-game of peak performance with no backup. Part of the reason Barton makes so many plays is that on every play away from Del, we ask him to use up two blockers, to squeeze that center for two counts and use up the center and guard to allow Barton to stay unblocked on the back side."

Cowsette's other big-time effort this season came against then-No. 9 Florida State when he had 13 tackles in a 24-10 loss.

"To run to Del's side, centers have to reach him and hook him," said Vanderlinden. "Del has been very good against the hook. Rubin's [defensive line coach Rubin Carter] done a good job. Del has really bought into the technique that we've taught him. He's come in and watched a lot of tape from years past and studied the technique of the tilted nose and developed into a very, very consistent nose guard who routinely beats a reach which makes our defense work."

Jones talks like a starter

Freshman quarterback Randall Jones not only played like a starter against Duke Saturday but he is talking like a starter.

"I think Randall's comments in the paper are such that he wants to start and accept the responsibility. He's saying 'Heh, I can do this,' " said Vanderlinden. "Certainly his performance last week makes it harder not to start him even though he has been better coming off the bench early."

Jones ran for 115 yards, including a 75-yard touchdown run, and completed six of 13 passes for 98 yards and two touchdowns against Duke. The 115 yards rushing were the most for a Maryland quarterback since Jack Scarbath ran for 132 yards against Georgetown in 1950.

Jones, who replaced Ken Mastrole midway through the first quarter Saturday, told reporters after the game that he now has enough confidence not to be nervous if he starts.

"I'd been nervous in all my other [four] starts," said Jones.

Jordan praised

There were some tense moments between Maryland sophomore tailback LaMont Jordan and Vanderlinden early in the season when Jordan was held out of the opener due to strained tendons in his foot.

But yesterday Vanderlinden said, "I've seen LaMont really change during the course of this season. I've seen him learn to practice harder and take more pride in being a great back. It's really started to show in the last half of the season. He came into the locker room at halftime Saturday and said 'Cut the cast off. I can't feel the ball. I'll be all right.' And then he goes out and runs 46 yards for a touchdown. That displayed a lot of courage and maturity on his part."

Jordan rushed for 68 yards against Duke despite playing with a right thumb which was broken in three places. He needs 203 yards in this week's season finale against North Carolina State to reach 1,000 for the season.

Pub Date: 11/17/98

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