Rumble Into Record Books

Maryland Notebook

Terps' Wujciak Sets Mark For Interception-return Yards

November 22, 2009|By Jeff Barker | Jeff Barker,jeff.barker@baltsun.com

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - -Credit Alex Wujciak with a school record and two of Maryland's biggest plays of the season. Both plays left the 255-pound linebacker gasping for breath.

The Terps trailed 14-6 in the second quarter Saturday when Wujciak intercepted Florida State quarterback E.J. Manuel's third-down pass and returned it 82 yards. The play, in which Wujciak was run down at the Florida State 7, set up a Maryland touchdown.

Wujciak had returned an interception 70 yards two weeks ago in a loss to North Carolina State.

His 152 interception return yards broke the single-season school record of 147 by Joe Horning in 1951.

Wujciak is better known for his tackling. He entered the game ranked second in the Atlantic Coast Conference in tackles with 11.3 per game.

He had six tackles Saturday but said he was disappointed that he and the Terps couldn't handle Manuel on Florida State's final drive.

The quarterback had runs of 15 and 20 yards on the drive in which the Seminoles took the lead for good.

Smith stars, slips up

Maryland tried many different ways - including swing passes and a handoff - to get the ball to wide receiver Torrey Smith, the school's career leader in all-purpose yards.

Smith had seven catches for 74 yards and three kickoff returns for 62 yards.

But Smith appeared to miss a scoring opportunity.

In the second quarter, Smith took a pass from Jamarr Robinson 37 yards before slipping on a cutback at the Florida State 43 with loads of running room in front of him.

Said Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen of the play: "Smith is out in the open and trips and falls."

Friedgen cited another play in which he said Maryland endured bad luck. In the first quarter, Florida State running back Jermaine Thomas bobbled a handoff, recovered it on one bounce and scored to make it 7-0.

Said Friedgen: "They fumble the ball on the goal line and it bounces right up into their hands and they score."

Busy day for Ferrara

With punter Travis Baltz injured, place kicker Nick Ferrara again handled punts, field goals and kickoffs.

The freshman punted four times and averaged 43 yards per kick.

He was 2-for-2 on field goals (44 and 39 yards) and is 17-for-24 this season.

But he and the Terps were victimized by long Florida State returns.

Greg Reid had 88 yards on three punt returns and 25 yards on a kickoff return.

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