- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 17, 2002

CLEMSON, S.C. The Maryland Terrapins continue to make history and end runs of futility in the process.
The 19th-ranked Terps made an unusual amount of turnovers and mistakes last night, but inspired defense ensured a 30-12 victory over Clemson at Memorial Stadium. The Terps achieved their longest winning streak in 24 seasons with their eighth triumph and snapped a string of eight losses at Death Valley since 1985.
Quarterback Scott McBrien had a bizarre evening, passing for three touchdowns and running for another while also throwing three interceptions. The offensive problems weren't costly because of a powerful defense that did not allow a touchdown.
Defensive tackle Randy Starks was particularly impressive as the Terps allowed just 81 yards rushing and three of 13 third-down conversions.
"Our defense was exceptional," Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen said. "With the [Terps] turnovers, they came up big. It really probably was the difference in the game, holding Clemson to field goals instead of touchdowns. If they score touchdowns, it was probably anybody's game."
The Terps (9-2, 5-1 ACC) continue to hold hopes of gaining a share of the ACC title. Maryland is chasing Florida State, which improved to 7-0 in the conference with yesterday's win over North Carolina. The Seminoles close league play at No.22 N.C. State on Saturday. The Terps are in position for the Jan.1 Gator Bowl if they remain in second place.
Clemson (6-5, 4-4) likely needs to beat South Carolina in its season finale to earn a bid to one of the lesser bowls.
The Terps amassed 438 yards, including 285 rushing on 59 carries. Chris Downs led Maryland with 101 yards on 20 carries. The Terps had a 18-minute advantage in time of possession.
Maryland achieved its sixth straight road win dating back to last season. McBrien connected for short touchdowns to tight ends Derek Miller and Jeff Dugan and a 34-yard pass to Jafar Williams. The quarterback also had a 3-yard run to give the Terps a comfortable 30-12 lead in the fourth quarter.
"I did some good things and some bad things," McBrien said. "The three touchdowns passes were big plays. They gave us momentum. My whole offense was behind me. They were with me, and we overcame adversity."
McBrien had a 54-yard run to set up the Terps first touchdown, a 1-yard pass to Miller. McBrien's run came after he felt pressure in the pocket, pump faked and took off through an uncovered middle of the field all the way to Clemson's 5. The score off play-action on third down as McBrien rolled left and found Miller all alone in the end zone.
Maryland led 6-0 after Nick Novak missed the extra point, ending a string of 73 consecutive successful conversions for the sophomore kicker, whose last miss was in the fourth game of last season.
The Tigers cut the lead to 6-3 on a 29-yard field goal by Aaron Hunt. The key play came on third-and-17 at Maryland's 38 when quarterback Charlie Whitehurst took off out of the pocket for a 20-yard gain. On third-and-2 at the 10, Starks stuffed tailback Yusef Kelly for a 3-yard loss to force the kick.
"He came up big for us," Maryland linebacker E.J. Henderson said. "He had two crucial [tackles for loss]. He stayed in the backfield."
The Terps widened the lead to 13-3 on the 34-yard scoring pass to Williams, who ran a deep slant and caught the ball just across the goal line and narrowly avoided running into teammate Dugan. Maryland converted a fourth-and-1 on the drive with a 3-yard plunge by 270-pound fullback James Lynch.
Justin Miller, who had two interceptions, returned the kickoff 76 yards and would have scored if Domonique Foxworth not made an incredible recovery and knocked him out at the 24. The defense held, and Hunt's 35-yard field goal.
The Terps answered with a 19-yard field goal by Novak to widen the lead to 16-6 with 33 seconds left before intermission. Steve Suter set it up with a 46-yard kickoff return, and . Maryland kept the drive alive on McBrien's sneak on fourth-and-1 from Clemson's 42. The quarterback also split two defenders on a third-down pass for 18 yards to Suter, who made a diving catch at the 7.
Clemson took advantage of a squib kick and got the ball at its own 40. Whitehurst converted a 42-yard Hail Mary pass to Hamilton to set up Hall's 22-yard field with :03 left, which cut Maryland's lead to 16-9 as time expired.
The momentum appeared to shift when McBrien threw his second interception on Maryland's first possession in the second half. Defensive Maurice Fountain batted the ball in the air and caught it at Clemson's 46. But the Terps' defensive quickly silenced the threat thanks to strong secondary play.
"There were a lot of sudden changes and we came in and put out fires and held them to field goals," Henderson said.
Maryland got the ball back and drove 82 yards on 13 plays for a touchdown, a 4-yard pass to Dugan. Dugan's first score of the season gave Maryland a 23-9 lead with 5:13 left in the third quarter.
Clemson cut into the lead to 23-12 on a 42-yard field goal, which came after a nice defensive stand. The Tigers took over at Maryland's 42 after Brooks Barnard was forced to punt out of the end zone. Clemson got to second-and-3 at Maryland's 20, before Starks tackled Barnard Rambert for a 5-yard loss and blocked the pass on third down.
The Tigers had one final chance in the third quarter when Miller intercepted McBrien at Clemson's 39. But their comeback hopes quickly faded when Foxworth picked off Whitehurst on Clemson's first play.

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide