Dugan, Murphy come up big for UM

MARYLAND NOTEBOOK

Two tight ends combine for 7 catches, 92 yards

October 21, 2001|By Gary Lambrecht | Gary Lambrecht,SUN STAFF

COLLEGE PARK - The tight end position is not dead at Maryland. It has just been asleep for a while.

Among the countless bright spots in the Maryland offense throughout yesterday's 59-17 crushing of Duke was the emergence of tight ends Matt Murphy and Jeff Dugan, who energized a passing game that quarterback Shaun Hill drove to the tune of 323 yards and one touchdown.

Coming into the Duke game, Murphy and Dugan had combined for five receptions and 55 yards in six games. Then, they met the porous Blue Devils' defense, which allowed them to produce a combined seven catches for 92 yards and the only touchdown reception of the contest, a 4-yarder from Hill to Dugan that gave the Terps a 28-7 lead early in the second quarter.

"It was nice to get the ball. It was nice to get involved today," said Murphy, a senior who wound up with five catches for 70 yards, both career highs.

The highlight was a career-high, 34-yard completion down the left sideline, off a play-action fake by Hill in the closing seconds of the first quarter. That moved the ball to the Duke 15. Four plays later, Hill rolled right and found Dugan, a sophomore, running open near the right corner of the end zone.

Murphy is used to being a one-dimensional tight end. He spent three years mostly blocking for running back LaMont Jordan. Then, sophomore tailback Bruce Perry came along in 2001 to give Maryland an offensive identity, while the Terps have been waiting for Hill to become a consistent passer.

"I think we're running pretty good routes, and a lot of time we're the third [option]," Murphy said. "We were getting open pretty good today, and Shaun was seeing everything really well. I feel like I finally made a contribution to the team, receiving-wise, anyway."

After setting up Dugan for his first career score, Murphy came right back with a 15-yard catch to set up Marc Riley's 1-yard scoring run, making it 35-7 with 12:34 left in the first half.

Still no sellout

For the first time since 1983, the Terps have drawn more than 40,000 spectators to their first five home games. Yesterday's homecoming victory was witnessed by 43,528, which is still nearly 5,000 short of a sellout. That continues to bother Terps coach Ralph Friedgen, who has yet to see a packed house at Byrd Stadium.

"I did hear the crowd early, especially the students," Friedgen said. "I think we ought to open the whole stadium up to the students. People who don't want to get in the stands and we're 7-0, shame on 'em. They can think of any excuse not to come to a Maryland football game. These kids deserve better."

Parson gives UM new look

Keep an eye on wide receiver Rich Parson, a 5-foot-10 freshman out of Newark (Del.) Academy. He gave Maryland a new look yesterday in the backfield by lining up in the slot and rushing twice for 39 yards. His 31-yarder got the Terps' first touchdown drive rolling. He also caught one pass for 9 yards.

"He's an exciting kid. He's the perfect guy in that slot who can come out of the backfield," Friedgen said.

Extra points

Friedgen spent time on Friday with some members of the 1951 Maryland team, the only one to go undefeated in school history, winning the Sugar Bowl to be co-national champions. ... Senior cornerback Tony Okanlawon left the game in the second quarter with a concussion and did not return. Backup linebacker Andrew Henley broke his nose in the final minutes. ... Punter Brooks Barnard punted only once, and it came with 18 seconds left. The only time Maryland has never punted in a game was on Nov. 22, 1975, when it beat Virginia, 62-24.

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