Florida State's loss puts Maryland at top of the pack

Terps in first for 1st time since 'Noles joined ACC

Terps notebook

College Football

September 23, 2001|By Christian Ewell | Christian Ewell,SUN STAFF

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - It was the third quarter before the score in Chapel Hill was announced at Groves Stadium: North Carolina 41, Florida State 9.

That was the point at which Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen became aware of the fact that the Atlantic Coast Conference had actual competition in football, something that rarely happens.

It also meant that for the first time since the Seminoles joined the league, Maryland was in first place, with a one-game lead over everyone else.

"Anytime they [Florida State] lose, it opens it up for everyone else," Friedgen said.

Said tailback Bruce Perry: "Of course I'm surprised, they're the No. 6 team in the country.

"But I can't worry about Florida State. ... I play for the University of Maryland."

Hill dissatisfied with play

One who was less than thrilled with his performance was Shaun Hill. The quarterback threw for 222 yards for Maryland, and made a few big plays, but also had two passes intercepted.

There were varying levels of culpability on the two plays. On the first, he underthrew a ball headed for Daryl Whitmer, and Adrian Duncan caught the ball in the end zone for Wake Forest late in the second quarter.

On the second play, with 1:34 left in the third quarter, it was either Guilian Gary or Scooter Monroe who ran the wrong route and the ball went in the middle of nowhere, into the hands of Wake's Marcus McGruder.

"Those cancel out two or three good plays," Hill said. "I'm not too happy with my performance."

Kicking gets in step

Friedgen fretted mildly after the Eastern Michigan game because of his kicking game. Yesterday, while Vedad Siljkovic struggled on kickoffs, Nick Novak overcame a missed field goal to hit field goals from 27 and 29 yards, scores that ended up making a difference.

"I'm glad I hung with him," said Friedgen, who saw Novak miss a 42-yarder in his first attempt with 1:41 left in the first quarter.

Said Novak: "After I missed that first one, I forgot about it. I knew I was going to get another chance, and after I made that first field goal, everything was automatic after that."

Defense exposed

Maryland's defense, which had been tough to move the ball against in its first two games, experienced its first taste of difficulty.

For the third game in a row, Tarence Williams ran for at least 100 yards, getting 100 on 23 carries, including a touchdown. Some of it may have come from the ease with which Maryland scored in certain cases.

"Maybe we took it for granted, and started to let up a little bit," said E.J. Henderson, who led Maryland with 13 tackles, seven of them unassisted. "I definitely think we could have given up less points. We're going to look at the tape and see two or three plays where we could have taken 12 or 13 points off the board."

Et cetera

Cornerback Curome Cox, who had been a starter for Maryland this year, sat out for most of the first half, replaced by sophomore Dennard Wilson. ... Perry's 80-yard jaunt was the longest run from scrimmage for a Maryland player since LaMont Jordan's run in the 1999 Virginia game.

Next for Maryland

Opponent : West Virginia

Site: Byrd Stadium, College Park

When: Saturday, noon

Record: 2-1

Yesterday: Beat Kent State, 34-14

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