Maryland - Clemson Notebook

CLEMSON – For the second straight week, a starting Clemson wide receiver was suspended for a game. <BR>

Junior wide out Curtis Baham was suspended for the Maryland game Saturday and stood on the sideline in street clothes. Tigers head coach Tommy Bowden would not elaborate on why Baham was suspended.

"I do know that answer to (why he was suspended)," Bowden said. "But I'll have the answer on Monday. That's all I'll say."

When asked who suspended Baham, Bowden replied, "I just said that's all I'll say."

However, Bowden did say he was suspended for only one game.

On the season, Baham has played in all six games and started two. He has eight catches for 89 yards and two touchdowns.

Last week, receiver Kelvin Grant was suspended one game for a game after missing a class.

Earlier in the season, tailback Yusef Kelly was suspended for the Texas A&M game for the same reason.

Getting comeback wins hasn't exactly been Bowden's forte. And at the same point, blowing leads is something Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen isn't used to, either.

However, that's what happened Saturday after the Tigers trailed 7-3 at the half.

Entering the Maryland game, Bowden was just 4-21 overall and 0-7 the last two years in games the Tigers trailed at halftime. Conversely, Friedgen was 30-0 in his career when leading at the half.

Clemson quarterback Charlie Whitehurst finally ended his consecutive streak of throwing at least one interception at 11 games. Whitehurst, who has thrown 13 picks this season, never came close to throwing one against Maryland.

For his career, Whitehurst has started 25 games and thrown 31 interceptions.

The tables were finally turned against Clemson on special teams Saturday.

Special teams play has been the one phase of the game where the Tigers have been better than nearly everyone they have played. But Maryland, at the very least, equaled the Tigers in that department Saturday.

In fact, had it not been for the special teams of the Terps, they might not have scored at all.

On Clemson's first possession of the game, it lined up for a punt in its usual spread formation, where the linemen are several feet from one another and three blockers are lined up immediately in front of the punter.

And with this formation, Clemson's opposition has rushed basically one defender toward the punter, but no more than two.

Maryland tried something new by rushing three toward the punter and it worked as David Holloway made his way untouched and blocked Cole Chason's punt.

It was the first blocked Tigers punt since N.C. State did it in 2002 and the second for Maryland this season.

The Terps recovered the blocked punt at the Clemson 17 and six plays later, they scored a touchdown.

The one aspect where Maryland didn't do well in special teams came in the field goal kicking department.

After running 14 plays in the second quarter, the Terps lined up for a 38-yard field goal, but the kick by Nick Novak was wide left to keep the score 7-0.

It was the first time a Clemson opponent has missed a field goal all season. Prior to the miss, teams were 10-for-10 against the Tigers.

To somewhat of a surprise, there were very little NFL scouts and bowl representatives on hand to watch the game. Usually this time of year, both are in abundance at games.

The only bowl reps in person Saturday were two from the Citrus Bowl.

There were three pro scouts in attendance as well, with the Atlanta Falcons sending two and the Kansas City Chiefs sending one.

For whatever reason, there were far less fans in attendance for Maryland than there was last week against Utah State. There were about 10,000 empty seats for the Terps, and about half that many for the Aggies.

However, that number of empty seats doubled at the start of the second half as seats were in abundance in both end zones and throughout the upper decks.

The Tigers came out in a four receiver set to start the game, with Kelvin Grant, Chansi Stuckey, Airese Currie and Michael Collins as the starters. Also, tailback Reggie Merriweather got the start over Duane Coleman. … Clemson reserve tailback Yusef Kelly lined up at fullback on a third-and-two deep in Terps territory, but the Tigers called a timeout before the play and they sent in Cliff Harrell in his place. …

Chansi Stuckey sustained a severe sprained ankle in the second half and didn't play the final 12 minutes of the game. … The last time the Tigers wore purple jerseys was last year in a home game against Duke. They are now 2-0 in the purple shirts-orange pants combination. …

Each team got the ball for one full possession in the second quarter. Maryland had a 15-play drive that netted zero points, while Clemson put together an 18-play drive that resulted in three points. It was the longest drive by a Tigers team since they had one with 19 plays against Virginia in 2002. …

Clemson's 36 yards of rushing is the lowest amount in school history in a victory. … In all five of the Tigers' five conference games, the team that won the game last year has lost this year. … The 10 points mark the fewest amount of points scored in a Clemson win under Bowden. Top Stories