Tigers Fall to Terps, 21-7


by - Correspondent -
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COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Given an opportunity to put its suddenly wide open offense on display Saturday afternoon at Maryland, Clemson's engine never quite reached high gear. Paced by three Scott McBrien scoring passes, the Terrapins (4-2, 1-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) did just enough to keep Clemson at arm's length at Byrd Stadium, coming away with a 21-7 victory over the Tigers. The win improved Maryland head coach Ralph Friedgen to 16-1 at home in two-plus seasons. Clemson (3-2, 1-1) took a huge step backward in its running game Saturday, gaining a net 10 yards on 29 carries. The lack of success on the ground meant two things - quarterback Charlie Whitehurst would be forced to throw, throw and throw some more; and he had to do so with a large target on his chest. Whitehurst was sacked 4 times for 29 yards in losses. When he wasn't picking turf out of his facemask, Whitehurst was being hit and/or chased most of the evening. Trying to play catchup from a two touchdown deficit in the fourth quarter helped Whitehurst roll up completions and yardage. But the Tigers never found the end zone in the second half and Whitehurst, trying to make something happen under duress, was twice intercepted - the final pick coming by Maryland's Leon Joe to put things to rest with :16 left in the game. Whitehurst finished the night 22-of-45 for 320 yards, one touchdown and the two interceptions. Clemson also turned the ball over on downs twice in Maryland territory in the second half, both times on puzzling calls in short-yardage situations. The first came in the third quarter with the Tigers trailing 14-7 and driving. But on fourth-and-2 from the Maryland 31, Jasmin was stopped for no gain trying to bounce outside. Clemson head coach Tommy Bowden later told reporters the play was supposed to be more of an off-tackle run, but a missed block forced Jasmin outside. Later, trailing 21-7 but again on the move early in the fourth quarter, Bowden tried a short pass in the flat to fullback Cliff Harrell - he of the one career reception (for 4 yards), who dropped the ball as he was hit by one of two Terrapin defenders on the play. The call came on fourth-and-1 from the Maryland 25 and was designed to go to either the fullback or tight end vs. man-to-man coverage. But the Terps' crossed up Clemson by playing zone, and easily defended Harrell running laterally at the 24-yard line. The Tigers' third consecutive loss to the Terrapins also came with another bit of controversy. Derrick Fenner's 69-yard touchdown catch with 2:25 left in the third quarter was allowed to stand even though he ran at least four full strides out of bounds in front of the Clemson sideline while in pursuit of the ball. The vehement protests from the Tiger coaching staff went unheeded, however, because the official closest to the play ruled Fenner was forced out of bounds and therefore, under NCAA rules, was allowed to come back and make a play for the ball. Maryland opened the game as if it planned to blow Clemson out of College Park, scoring on each of its first two possessions - scoring passes of 25 yards to Steve Suter and 10 yards to Rich Parson. Both drives were highlighted by solid running from sophomore tailback Josh Allen, who started the game in place of senior Bruce Perry (high ankle sprain). After that, the Tiger defense regained its bearing and clamped down on the Terrapins until Fenner's disputed TD reception. Clemson's lone score came on a 70-yard scoring pass from Whitehurst to Derrick Hamilton in the second quarter. Hamilton's 121-first half receiving yards were good enough for a career high. He finished the night with 7 catches for 175 yards. NOTES - Defensive end Khaleed Vaughn did not play in the second half due to an injured knee. He is due to be reevaluated today; - Airese Currie missed most of the first half with an ankle injury. He returned in the second half to finish the night with two catches for seven yards. - The announced crowd of 51,545 marked the third straight crowd of at least 50,000 at Byrd Stadium, a first in Maryland football history. Drive Chart QUARTER
Maryland 7, Clemson 0
Scoring Drive: 12 plays, 68 yards in 5:34.
Scoring Play: Scott McBrien's 25-yard pass to Steve Suter at 5:41.
Key Play: On third-and-5 from the Clemson 27, McBrien runs for seven yards.

SECOND QUARTER
Maryland 14, Clemson 0
Scoring Drive: 10 plays, 44 yards in 4:08.
Scoring Play: McBrien's 10-yard pass to Parson at 13:32.
Key Play: On third-and-9 from the Clemson 32, McBrien complete's to Harrison for 13 yards.

Maryland 14, Clemson 7
Scoring Drive: 2 plays, 70 yards in :21.
Scoring Play: Whitehurst's 70-yards pass to Hamilton at 2:33.
Key Play: Scoring Play.

Third Quarter
Maryland 21, Clemson 7
Scoring Drive: 6 plays, 80 yards in 2:25.
Scoring Play: McBrien's 69-yard pass to Fenner at 2:43.
Key Play: Scoring Play.

                          Clem    Mary
 First downs                17      19
 Rushes-yards            29-10  44-134
 Passing                   320     204
 Comp-Att-Int          22-45-2 14-27-0
 Return Yards               75      47
 Punts-Avg.               6-36    7-41
 Fumbles-Lost              0-0     2-1
 Penalties-Yards          7-40    6-53
 Time of Possession      28:37   31:23
 

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS RUSHING-Clemson, Coleman 11-36, Browning 3-8, Jasmin 2-5, Hamilton 1-0, Whitehurst 12-(minus 39). Maryland, Allen 16-65, Perry 17-33, Suter 1-24, McBrien 8-8, team 1-(minus 2).

PASSING-Clemson, Whitehurst 22-445-320-2. Maryland, McBrien 14-27-204-0.

RECEIVING-Clemson, Hamilton 7-175, Youngblood 6-64, Elliott 4-57, Jasmin 2-10, Currie 2-7, Browning 1-7. Maryland, Harrison 4-39, Suter 3-42, Fenner 1-69, Melendez 1-13, Dugan 1-11, Parson 1-10, Fiddler 1-7, Williams 1-7, Perry 1-6.

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