Nov. 6, 2001
(AP) The last season in which Maryland won nine games was 1985. That also happened to be the last year the Terrapins won an ACC title.
The 13th-ranked Terps (8-1, 5-1 ACC) will look to tie the school record for wins this weekend against Clemson. More importantly, a win over the Tigers (5-3, 3-3) will put them one victory away from clinching at least a share of the conference championship.
“Eight-and-one is pretty nice to be at right now,” Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen said. “We have to take them one at a time, and hopefully we can get number nine.”
The Terps had little trouble wrapping up their eighth, as they stomped Troy State, a program in its first year of competition at the Division I-A level. A week after to falling to Florida State for their first loss of the season, the Terps dominated the overmatched Trojans 47-14. Maryland scored the first 44 points of the game and racked up 509 yards of offense.
“We need to keep winning every week and fulfilling the goals that we set for ourselves,” Maryland running back Bruce Perry said. “We have surpassed most of our initial goals, so now we have to set new ones.”
Winning the ACC is certainly high on the Terps’ list of goals. They are currently tied atop the standings with Florida State and will likely need a win against Clemson to stay there.
Last week, the Tigers experienced the same thing the Terps did a week earlier – being dealt a loss by the perennial ACC powerhouse Seminoles. In the third career matchup between Tigers coach Tommy Bowden and his father, Seminoles coach Bobby Bowden, the son once again came up short, losing 41-27.
“Losing is part of life,” said Clemson quarterback Woody Dantzler, who had 336 yards of offense and rushed for two touchdowns in the loss. “How you react to the disappointments determines your character.”
At least this week Dantzler and his teammates will have the advantage of being on the road. The Florida State loss was the Tigers’ third consecutive loss at home.
While Bowden cannot explain his team’s struggles at home, he knows there are certain areas that need improvement.
“We are still doing some things on defense, like giving up too many big plays,” Bowden said. “We are still looking to have a full game where the offense, defense and special teams come together.”
Saturday’s game will mark the 50th meeting between the two schools, with Clemson holding a 27-20-2 series lead. The Tigers have won 16 of the last 20 games in the series, including a 35-14 win last year.
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