Previewing The Florida State Game....
University of Maryland Terrapins (5-5, 3-4 ACC)
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
*Maryland is ranked 20th in the nation in total defense, surrendering an average of 302.4 yards per game.
*Terp QB Brian Cummings threw for a career-best 21 completions against Georgia Tech last week.
*Sophomore linebacker Eric Barton needs six tackles to become the 11th Terp in school history to record at least 100 tackles in a season.
*The Terps held Georgia Tech to its lowest rush total of the season (78 yards). The Yellow Jackets entered the game averaging over 180 yards per contest.
*Maryland posted four victories at home for the first time since 1990.
DID YOU KNOW? Senior wide receiver Geroy Simon recorded an ACC record for receptions in a game when he hauled in an amazing 16 catches at Florida State last year.
HOMECOMING FOR MD RADIO: Maryland's radio team of Johnny Holliday (play-by-play) and Gerry Sandusky (color analyst) return to their home turf this weekend. Holliday was a three-sport letterman at North Miami HS while playing quarterback, gurad and pitcher. Sandusky was a wide receiver at Cooper City College and a sports anchor at Miami.
COACH & PLAYER INTERVIEWS: All requested interviews should be arranged through Media Relations with 24 hours notice.
John Wagner of University System Radio-TV provides actualities for radio of Coach Duffner from 4 p.m. Tuesday until 10 a.m. Wednesday. Access to these audio cuts is at 301-779-6397.
Duffner's pre-game and post game press conferences are also available on the Terp Phone at 301-314-8377.
CUMMINGS OUT PARTY: Maryland quarterback Brian Cummings posted his best game as a Terp against Georgia Tech as he completed a career-high 21 passes on 29 attempts in the Terps' 13-10 victory. He lofted a perfect three-yard pass on a designed roll out, connecting with Geroy Simon in the corner of the endzone. Cummings also found a new favorite target in connecting with Troy Davidson eight times. The redshirt junior has battled through injuries all year, including two concussions and a separated shoulder. He suffered his first concussion in the opening quarter against Virginia; the Demon Deacons knocked Cummings out in the second quarter. His injuries have forced him to miss 13 complete quarters of action. The unquestionable leader of the Terps has completed 79 passes on 145 attempts this year to improve his career totals to 177 completions on 311 attempts. His .569 career completion percentage places him eighth all-time in school history.
Rank .Pct Comp./Att. Player (Years) 1. .662 650/982 Scott Milanovich (1992-95) 2. .629 132/210 Frank Reich (1983-84) 3. .590 231-394 Bob Avellini (1972-74) 4. .5882 180-306 Larry Dick (1975, 77) 5. .5881 387-658 Neil O'Donnell (1987-89) 6. .582 127-218 Dale Betty (1958-60) 7. .571 52-91 Ben Kinard (1973-74) 8. .569 177-311 Brian Cummings (1994-present) 9. .568 305-537 John Kaleo (1991-92)
SWARMING THE YELLOW JACKETS: The 20th-ranked Maryland defense held Georgia Tech to its season-low 78 yards rushing. The Yellow Jackets entered the game averaging more than 180 yards rushing per outing. The Terp defense also posted its second five-sack game of the season. Tech QB Joe Hamilton went to bed with Maryland red in his head, as the Terps were able to break up eight passes and knock Hamilton down an additional 12 times. The Terps are ranked 20th in total defense (302.4 yards per game), 25th in scoring defense (19.1 points per game) and 32nd in pass efficiency defense (106.49 rating points).
BARTON: All-ACC candidate Eric Barton is attempting to become only the second player in school history to lead the team in tackles as a sophomore. His 94 total tackles through nine games rank him seventh in the Atlantic Coast Conference this year. He needs six tackles today to become the 11th player in school history to record at least 100 tackles in a season. He has been Maryland's leading tackler in a game three times, recorded at least eight tackles seven times and averaged 9.4 tackles per game. Here's a comparison between Barton and what Maryland's top five tacklers of all-time achieved in their sophomore campaigns.
EIGHT IS ENOUGH: Troy Davidson's eight receptions versus the Yellow Jackets were not only a career best, but also the fourth highest single game total in the ACC this season. The redshirt frosh entered the game with three receptions in nine games played. His effort versus Tech vaulted him into fourth place on the team's 1996 reception list, improving his total to 11 catches.
RAT INFESTATION: Senior outside linebacker Ratcliff Thomas said farewell to Byrd Stadium in picture book fashion. The number three tackler in Maryland history recorded eight tackles. Thomas reeked havoc for the Yellow Jacket passing game as well, breaking up two passes. He also hit Tech quarterback Joe Hamilton while in the act of throwing. His defensive teammates consider him a coach on the field and it shows -- Maryland's three linebackers are ranked first, second and third on the team in total tackles.
SACK RACE: Opposing offensive lines have had as much trouble blocking Eric Ogbogu as they have had pronouncing his last name. Ogbogu's two sacks against the Yellow Jackets marked his second multiple sack game of the season and third of his career. He leads the Terps in sacks with seven. The All-ACC candidate's vast improvement is even more remarkable when one takes into consideration he was converted from tight end to defensive end after his freshman year.
Opponent Sacks (yards) UVA 1(-7) WVA 1(-7) Wake 1(-7) Duke 2(-8) Georgia Tech 2(-10) Total 7(-39)
SIMON FINDS PAYDIRT: Senior wide receiver Geroy Simon's three-yard touchdown reception against Georgia Tech improved his team leading total to three in 1996. The touchdown grab was the tenth of his career and twelfth total TD of his career. He tied Azizuddin Abdur Ra'oof and Ferrell Edmunds for third place in school history for career touchdown receptions.
1. 21 Jermaine Lewis (1992-95) 2. 18 Greg Hill (1982-84) 3. 12 Gary Collins (1959-61) 4. 11 Barry Johnson (1987-90) 11 Marcus Badgett (1990-92) 6. 10 Geroy Simon (1993-Present) 10 Azizuddin Abdur Ra'oof (1984-87) 10 Ferrell Edmunds (1984-87)
LAST TIME MARYLAND PLAYED NO. 3: Maryland last played a team ranked third or better on Oct. 10, 1987 when the Terps fell at Miami, 16-46. In a battle between the two "Quarterback U's," Maryland's Dan Henning threw for 142 yards before being replaced by Neil O'Donnell, who went on to throw for 104 yards and one TD. Steve Walsh and Craig Ericson were the signal callers for the Hurricanes. When Maryland and FSU met in 1993, the Seminoles were ranked No.1. FSU defeated Maryland 20-49 in College Park on Nov. 6.
LAST TIME MARYLAND DEFEATED NO. 3: The Terps defeated third-ranked North Carolina, 28-26, on Oct. 29, 1983 in one of the best games in Maryland football history. Maryland defensive end J.D. Gross' blitz forced Tar Heel quarterback Scott Stankavage to miss an open Tyrone Anthony on a two-point conversion pass that would have tied the game with 22 seconds remaining. The student body rushed the field to celebrate 13th-ranked Maryland's ACC championship. Overall, the Terps have faced an opponent ranked No. 3 or better 11 times.
CAPTAIN SCOTT: Senior co-captain Chad Scott had one of the best all-around games of his career against Tech. He intercepted a Hamilton pass on the Maryland five to end Tech's last drive of the first half. He provided a "decleater" while blocking for Geroy Simon on a punt return. Perhaps Scott's biggest contribution was on kickoffs where he returned three kicks for 73 yards. He opened the game with a 36-yard punt return to start the Terps out on a positive note.
THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME: Tickets are in high demand for seven Terps as they return to their home state of Florida:
Name Hometown Mario Chavez N. Miami Beach, Fla. Farad Hall Carol City, Fla. Andreal Johnson Pahokee, Fla. Al Wallace Del Ray Beach, Fla. Harold Westley Deerfield Beach, Fla. Walt Williams Homestead, Fla. Vincent Xanthos Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
GUTSY CALL: With a little more than four minutes remaining in the game and Maryland up by three points, Mark Duffner was faced with one of the toughest coaching decisions in his College Park tenure. The Terps were faced with fourth and inches on their own 26. If the Terps failed on the attempt, Gerogia Tech would have already been in field position to kick a game tying field goal. Duffner's gamble paid off as quarterback Cummings gained two yards on a keeper. The Terps were able to run additional time off the clock and gain 31 yards to give the defense critical breathing room in which to operate.
SIMON PRESSING 2,000 CAREER RECEIVING YARDS MARK: Geroy Simon needs only 15 yards receiving to become the second player in Maryland history and the 18th player in ACC history to gain 2,000 or more career receiving yards. He currently stands in 18th place all-time in ACC history with 1,985 career receiving yards.
SIMON ON THE ALL ACC CAREER RECEIVING YARDAGE LISTS
SIMON ON THE ACC AND MARYLAND CAREER RECEPTION LISTS
SIMON ON THE MARYLAND CAREER RECEIVING YARDAGE LISTS
THOMAS ENTERS THE 400 CLUB: Ratcliff Thomas moved into third place on Maryland's all-time tackles list with his nine-tackle outing versus Clemson on Nov. 7. Thomas is only one of four Terps to record more than 400 tackles in a career. Only Thomas and Chuck Faucette led the team in tackles three years.
THOMAS' TACKLES - YEAR BY YEAR
TERPS TOP ALL-TIME TACKLERS
A DESERVING NOMINEE: Senior defensive end Al Wallace is Maryland's CFA scholar-athlete nominee. The education major has been named to the Athletic Director's Honor Roll (above 3.0) for four consecutive semesters dating back to Fall 1994. Wallace also volunteers as a student teacher at William Wirt Middle School and is a two-time participant in National Student-Athlete Day. He plans to student-teach at a local high school this spring. The three-year starter currently sits 11th on the school's career sack list. He was named co-captain for his off the field leadership. The 6-4, 244 pound end bench presses over 400 lbs. and squats nearly 600 lbs.
INSIDE THE RED ZONE, FIRST TEN GAMES: For the season, Maryland's offense has been very productive once it enters the 'red zone' having scored points more than 77.3 percent of the time. Included in those numbers are 13 touchdowns and four field goals in 22 chances.
Opponent Times inside 20 TD FG % of scores vs. Northern Illinois 4 3 1 1.00 vs. Alabama Birmingham 4 4 0 1.00 vs. Virginia 1 0 0 0.00 vs. West Virginia 0 0 0 0.00 vs. N.C. State 2 1 0 50.0 vs. North Carolina 0 0 0 0.00 vs. Wake Forest 2 2 0 1.00 vs. Duke 3 2 1 1.00 vs. Clemson 2 0 1 50.0 vs. Georgia Tech 4 1 2 75.0 Total: 22 13 4 77.3
TALE OF THE TAPE
OVERALL: Maryland trails, 0-6
THE SERIES, LAST YEAR'S BOX SCORE
PASSING MD- Milanovich= 46-62-1, 380 yds, 1 TD FSU- Kannell= 24-34-0. 346 yds, 2 TD
RUSHING MD- Rodgers- 9-40; Underwood- 3-10 FSU- Dunn- 11-63, 2 TD; Feaster- 8-59, 1 TD
RECEIVING MD-Simon 16*-124; Lewis- 9-102 FSU- Cooper- 12-82 2 TD ; Green- 6-166, 1 TD
ATTENDANCE: 68,400 *ACC record