The Washington Times - September 27, 2008, 06:58PM

CLEMSON, S.C. – Da’Rel Scott set the bar a bit high for himself earlier this month. And his 23 carries for 39 yards don’t look like much even in today’s 20-17 victory at No. 20 Clemson.

But the Maryland tailback did manage to shift his rushing style dramatically and looked much better late than he did in the opening stages of the game.

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“I told Da’Rel he needed to run a little more north-south,” coach Ralph Friedgen said. “Clemson has such good team speed. If you go east-west on them, you’re not going to go very far. I thought he had a couple runs when he tried to bounce it outside. Normally, Da’Rel can do that. Not against this team.”

Scott, who played for the first time since spraining his left shoulder two weeks ago, had ran for 18 yards on his first 16 carries. But he edged out a critical third-down conversion on Maryland’s final scoring drive, then sauntered in from a yard out for the go-ahead score.

Later, he converted the clinching third down with a 7-yard reception.

“I told him this is a game where three yards is a good running play,” Friedgen said. “You need to understand that. When you get in these type of games, it’s tough. I don’t know if Da’Rel has been in a game like this, playing the whole game that way in a tough environment. He came out in the second half and said ‘I’m going to go, coach.’ He patted me on the butt. ‘Just get me the ball.’”

In the process, the evolution of Da’Rel Scott – a man from the Philadelphia ‘burbs – continued.

Patrick Stevens