Scott McBrien threw three touchdown passes Saturday, leading the Terps to a 21-7 victory before over 51,000 fans in College Park, Maryland. It was Ralph Friedgen and company's fourth straight win overall, and third straight win over Clemson.
Maryland would score on it's first two possessions, with both scores coming on long 3rd down conversions.
McBrien finished off a 12-play, 68-yard drive by hooking up with WR Steve Suter, who was playing with a torn ligament, on a deep crossing pattern with 5:41 left in the first quarter for a 7-0 Terrapin lead.
While the Tigers would have success moving the football, it would only come outside of the red zone and through the air. The Terps' defense held Clemson to -14 yards on the ground in first half.
After holding Clemson to just one first down on its next possession, McBrien went to work again, this time completing a 10-yard touchdown pass on 3rd down to Rich Parson on the third play of the 2nd quarter.
The Tigers finally got on the board towards the end of the first half when Charlie Whitehurst completed a 70-yard bomb to Derrick Hamilton.
The Dillon native caught a jump ball behind the Maryland defense and then outraced the Terps' secondary to endzone from the 40-yard line.
The play would help establish some momentum for the Tigers heading into the locker room, trailing only 14-7. Hamilton would finish the game with 7 receptions for a career high 175 yards.
The Tigers came out strong in the 2nd half, holding Maryland to a quick three-and-out, as the defense began to take control of the game.
Offensively, Duane Coleman slowly began to find some success running the football, but two drives would stall in Maryland territory, one when the Tigers failed to convert on 4th-and-1.
"It helped us out tremendously that we were able to make Clemson a one dimensional football team," head coach Ralph Friedgen said afterwards. "Clemson is a good team with a lot of weapons, we just felt like if we could shut them down on the ground, that we'd have a good chance to win this game, and that turned out to be the case."
The turning point in the game would come late in the 3rd quarter when it appeared as though Charlie Whitehurst completed a 48-yard touchdown pass to Kevin Youngblood to tie the game at 14. Unfortunately, Youngblood was called for offensive pass interference.
"I didn't touch him," Youngblood said afterwards in the locker room. "He was falling down way before I got near him."
On Maryland's next series, McBrien would complete a 69-yard touchdown pass to Derrick Fenner down the right sideline to close out the scoring on the afternoon.
Defensively, the Tigers played well enough to win the game. J.J. Howard provided one of the highlights of the afternoon with an enormous hit on Scott McBrien, forcing a fumble midway through the third quarter.
LB LeRoy Hill led the team with 10 tackles, including 2 for a loss as the Tigers' defense basically shutdown the Maryland offense after the first two possessions of the game.
Offensively, there continues to be question marks surrounding the ground game. Duane Coleman was largely ineffective, but at the same time, the offensive line seemed struggled against a physical Maryland defense.
"We've still got to improve in the running game," Tommy Bowden said afterwards. "We got behind and you can't do that. But I've got to do a better job of formulating the running plan to be more productive early in the game."
Charlie Whitehurst threw for 320 yards, but a majority of that yardage came on the one long pass play to Hamilton, and on the final drive of the game when the outcome had already he been decided. He only completed 22-of-45 attempts with two interceptions on the afternoon.
The Tigers will now turn their attention to the Virginia Cavaliers, who travel into Death Valley for a noon kickoff this weekend for Homecoming.
Tigers Fall to Maryland, 21-7
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