At least one player talking bowl after 2-0 start

But first, Sanders says, Terps must top W. Virginia

Maryland notebook

September 15, 1999|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN STAFF

COLLEGE PARK -- There is no football frenzy around the Maryland campus.

Just ask junior cornerback Lewis Sanders.

"I don't see any kind of buzz from the students and fans," Sanders said. "We have to keep getting those wins before people will get excited. If we would beat someone like Florida State, then they wouldn't leave us alone."

So what would a victory Saturday over West Virginia mean?

"This would be a big win for us Sanders because it's only putting us one step closer to our goal of going to a bowl game," said Sanders, who is the fastest man on the team.

Oops! Sanders slipped and said the B-word (bowl) that many of the Terps (2-0) have tried to avoid this season. Some of the Maryland players were embarrassed last season when they came up far short of a bowl bid (3-8) after senior linebacker Eric Barton had predicted at the start of the year that the team would earn a bowl trip.

"In years past, it was just talk," said Sanders of possible bowl bids. "People didn't believe it. It was just a thought in the back of their minds and they said it out loud. We feel we can talk seriously about it now."

Foaming at the mouth

West Virginia (1-1) coach Don Nehlen said yesterday, "If I were Maryland, I'd be foaming at the mouth and probably want to move the game up three days just to get a chance to play us, if I ran the football."

Nehlen added, "We've given up about 9 million yards [actually 479 in two games], and we're ranked 111th out of 114 teams against the run."

But this is Maryland, a team the Mountaineers have beaten by a combined score of 86-34 over the past three seasons.

"West Virginia has had their way with us the last three years," said Maryland coach Ron Vanderlinden. "They have a stable program and an outstanding coaching staff, plus they have a super quarterback in Marc Bulger, who has passed for nearly 7,000 yards [6,879] and 53 touchdowns. He's an NFL-type quarterback throwing in an offense that gives you all kind of looks."

Sikyala could be out again

Junior tailback Mookie Sikyala (sprained ankle) will miss a second straight game Saturday if he is unable to run at full speed today in workouts, Vanderlinden said yesterday.

Sikyala got off to a strong start in the season opener against Temple, rushing for 50 yards on six carries in the first seven minutes. But he has not played since because of the lingering ankle injury.

Free football T-shirts

Maryland football T-shirts will be given to the first 5,000 students to enter the gates Saturday.

Special groups invited to the game are the Catholic Youth Organization, Knights of Columbus, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Baltimore-area scouting organizations.

Pub Date: 9/15/99

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