Nov. 16, 2002
By JEFFREY COLLINSAssociated Press Writer
CLEMSON, S.C. – Maryland’s victory over Clemson on Saturday night was a good example of how far the Terrapins have come since they last visited Death Valley.
“Last time we came here, we just wanted to stay in the football game,” the Maryland defensive end Durrand Roundtree said. “This year we came down here with the intent to embarrass them.”
Maryland (9-2, 5-1 ACC) did just that, holding Clemson (6-5, 4-4) to 211 total yards in a 30-12 win.
Scott McBrien threw three touchdown passes and ran for another as the Terrapins won their eighth straight game and their first game at Clemson since 1985. Maryland also kept alive its hopes of winning a second straight ACC crown.
Maryland can still win a share of the ACC title if it beats Virginia and Wake Forest in the next two weeks and Florida State loses to North Carolina State. If that happens, the Terrapins would get the conference’s BCS bid only if they finish five spots ahead of the Seminoles in the final BCS standings on Dec. 8.
McBrien went 13-of-23 for 153 yards and ran for 67 yards on nine carries. But he also threw three interceptions, and that’s almost all he wanted to talk about after the game.
“We made some mistakes,” the junior transfer from West Virginia said. “But all we cared about was getting the win.”
Charlie Whitehurst was 12-of-26 for 130 yards for the Tigers. It was an off day for the freshman, who had thrown for 694 yards and eight touchdowns since being named Clemson’s starter two weeks ago.
Roundtree said Maryland set its defensive scheme to stop the run and make Whitehurst struggle. And it worked, as the Tigers rushed for just 81 yards, compared with 285 for the Terrapins.
Justin Miller’s two interceptions, a forced fumble and 76-yard kickoff return highlighted the Clemson effort.
“We definitely wanted to welcome him to the ACC,” Roundtree said.
Clemson’s offense made it inside the Maryland 20 four times and came away with nothing but four Aaron Hunt field goals. It was the first time the Tigers failed to score a touchdown since losing 38-3 last year to North Carolina.
“We tried everything we could, and they’ve got a really good defensive scheme,” Clemson coach Tommy Bowden said.
Still, the Tigers had a chance to get back into the game. Trailing 16-9, Maurice Fountain tripped and then made a diving interception of McBrien’s pass at the Clemson 46. But Maryland’s defense held the Tigers to just one first down, forcing a punt.
On their next drive, the Terrapins went 82 yards on 13 plays, and Jeff Dugan’s 4-yard touchdown catch gave Maryland a 23-9 lead.
Maryland turned the ball over three times, compared with just one turnover for Clemson. Terrapin coach Ralph Friedgen said he was proud of his team for not getting rattled.
“The thing that is growing is our confidence. There’s an inner strength right now in the huddle,” Friedgen said. “A guy makes a mistake and the guys just stay relaxed, and we work our way through it.”
Bernard Rambert led Clemson with 43 yards rushing on 12 carries.
Maryland started the scoring with a 1-yard touchdown pass from McBrien to Derek Miller. McBrien set up the score with a career-best 54-yard scramble on third-and-4. Nick Novak missed the extra point.
The Terrapins took a 13-3 lead when McBrien found a wide open Jafar Williams on a 34-yard touchdown pass midway through the second quarter.
Novak’s 19-yard field goal with 33 seconds left gave Maryland a 16-6 lead.
The Terrapins then squibbed the kickoff, letting the Tigers start at their own 40. Four plays later, Aaron Hunt as the half ended.
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