Terps shut down Temple, 6-0

Kopka's field goals give UM 1st shutout on road in 12 years

September 03, 1999|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN STAFF

PHILADELPHIA -- Calvin McCall was respectable in his collegiate quarterback debut and is now No. 1.

Mookie Sikyala showed some breakaway speed in a brief starting role ahead of tailback LaMont Jordan.

But the Maryland defense was brilliant from start to finish last night in a 6-0 season-opening victory over Temple before a crowd of 25,322 at Franklin Field.

Brian Kopka's field goals gave Maryland all the scoring it needed in its first shutout on the road in almost 12 years. The Terps had won at Wake Forest, 14-0, on Oct. 17, 1987.

Last night, with sophomore linebacker Aaron Thompson putting on a 15-tackle show, the Terps allowed Temple to cross midfield only twice even though the Owls were running what was thought to be an explosive Kentucky passing attack.

But Temple quarterback Devin Scott certainly was no Tim Couch and Thompson and his mates had almost all the answers until the end of the game when they held off a desperate Owls drive to the two-yard line.

Just when it looked as if Scott and Temple might mar a super Maryland defensive effort with a winning drive, senior Terps cornerback Bryn Boggs saved the game on the final play of the game with an outstanding play.

Boggs went up in the end zone and knocked a pass away from Krishan Lewis, who was open briefly and whom Scott spotted.

The final gun sounded as Scott's pass was in the air and the outcome was riding on Lewis' ability to beat Boggs to the ball.

But Boggs won the duel and the Maryland players celebrated rather wildly in the end zone and the Temple players stood motionless near the goal line, frustrated that their 58-yard drive came up a little short.

Scott finished 32-for-49 for 228 yards.

In all, it was a night that Thompson, a former Mount St. Joseph standout, was all over the field in easily the best performance of his career at Maryland.

Thompson had four tackles for losses of 17 yards and one sack for a six-yard loss.

"Aaron Thompson was fantastic," said Maryland coach Ron Vanderlinden. "He's never been better. Our defense just kept coming at them and finally put them away at the end. It was scary on that final drive but we were playing without two of our starters [Lewis Sanders and Tony Jackson] in the secondary.

Sanders suffered a concussion and Jackson hurt his ankle, with both of the injuries occurring in the third quarter.

Sanders had a big game, recovering a fumble, intercepting a pass and knocking a pass away.

The offense? It sputtered behind McCall but it wasn't all his fault. The most important thing for the redshirt freshman from Orlando, Fla., was his poise under fire.

He never lost control, even though he had six passes dropped which left him with 10-for-23 for 100 yards.

McCall also showed a knack for running the ball on the option, taking off 10 times for 85 yards.

"I just felt I could get the job done all night long," said McCall. "We just have to get better once we get into scoring position and do a lot better on third downs."

McCall and the Terps were in Temple territory 10 times and came away with just six points, two Kopka field goals. The McCall-led offense also was 0-for-15 on third-down conversions.

Kopka also missed two field-goal attempts of 46 yards. With 9: 18 left in the second quarter, Vanderlinden went for a first down on a fake field-goal attempt at the Temple six-yard line and the play was executed perfectly but John Waerig dropped the ball.

"I shouldn't have used that fake field-goal play," said Vanderlinden. "That was a mistake. You have to take the points early."

Vanderlinden entered the game saying he would use McCall and Randall Jones as "co-starters" but Jones never got off the bench.

"They were prepared for our option and that is what Randall runs the best," said Vanderlinden. "I thought Calvin did a lot of good things and he's No. 1 now."

Vanderlinden didn't start second-team All-ACC tailback Jordan. Sikyala gained 50 yards on six carries in the first seven minutes of the game.

But Sikyala injured his ankle and had to leave the game, giving Jordan a chance to play the rest of the way. Jordan ran for 41 yards on 21 carries.

Jordan said: "I missed some practices and meetings this summer and didn't start. But it's no big deal since we won the game."

NOTES: There was a stir in the air last night at Franklin Field and it had nothing to do with the Maryland-Temple game. Mia Hamm of Women's World Cup soccer fame and two of her teammates, Julie Foudy and Kristine Lilly, put on an entertaining show at halftime, playing a fun game against a Philadelphia-area youth co-ed team that ended in a 2-2 tie.Earlier in the afternoon, Hamm, Foudy and Lilly conducted a soccer clinic for youngsters.

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.