The Washington Times - September 16, 2008, 03:10PM

Maryland trotted out four players at its weekly press luncheon.

No one – not even Darrius Heyward-Bey – drew a bigger crowd than Kevin Barnes.

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After all, the senior cornerback actually made Cal tailback Jahvid Best lose his lunch. Or breakfast. Or something on Saturday:

“It felt different from the fact that I heard the fans right afterward,” Barnes said. “Until after the game, I didn’t realize how hard it was. I didn’t get a chance to see it on the big screen.”

Plenty of others did, and they saw fine work for a guy whose tackling ability isn’t exactly the strongest part of his game.

Some teammates got an up-close look at Barnes’ special delivery as well.

“I felt bad for the kid,” Heyward-Bey said. “I felt bad for the guy because he’s a great player. I was watching the replay on TV, and he just wasn’t the same after that.”

Best finished with 10 carries for 25 yards, a bit off his 200-yard outburst a week earlier. And certainly, California pretty much abandoned the run by the middle of the third quarter.

Don’t expect any apologies from Barnes on his jarring hit.

“He’s not permanently hurt, so I’m fine with that,” Barnes said. “Had he died, I’d have felt bad.  He can probably play next week.”

No doubt, Best will try to keep down whatever it is he’s eating and drinking before the game.

But even Best’s christening of the Byrd Stadium field (and joining Virginia Tech basketball player Dorenzo Hudson in the College Park Gack Attack Club in the process) didn’t give Barnes much reason to pause.

“I’m sure they got something into him,” Barnes said.

Patrick Stevens