ATLANTA -- Mark Duffner's battle cry this season is "Red Hot!" and that's what the Terps' faces were yesterday after a steamy afternoon on the artificial surface at Bobby Dodd Stadium.
It was 85 degrees at game time, and considerably hotter on the field. Some of the Terps' offensive linemen suffered muscle cramps, and fatigue at the end of several drives contributed to Maryland's inability to score.
"The heat took a little toll at the end on me," center Jamie Bragg said. "They [Georgia Tech] were rotating eight guys up front, and it seemed they were a little fresher."
Georgia Tech defensive tackle Richard Kimsey agreed.
"I think the key today was that we played a little more rotation than we have in the past," Kimsey said. "For the first time in a while, I feel like we have a solid two-deep."
Bragg, who for the second straight week snapped a ball over sophomore quarterback Scott Milanovich's head, and left guard Jade Dubis suffered muscle cramps.
Milanovich ran for cover all day. While throwing a second-quarter interception, his ribs were pounded by tackle Lamont Reed. At the end of the third quarter, he scrambled out of bounds, and a late hit by linebacker Freddie Coger left him on the sideline for three minutes.
"I took a shot to the head, and it felt like my head hit the ground first," Milanovich said. "I couldn't breathe at all for a while."
Redshirt freshman Kevin Foley quarterbacked the Terps on the rest of the possession. Milanovich returned later, and finished with 20 completions in 34 attempts for 261 yards. He threw three interceptions, however, and couldn't get the Terps in the end zone.
Jermaine Lewis, Maryland's top receiver, played with a heavily taped right ankle and was limited to four catches. Both he and superbackMark Mason, who rushed for 59 yards, limped off briefly with sore ankles.
Defense starts well
Depth was also a factor when Georgia Tech had the ball. For 35 minutes, the Terps limited the Yellow Jackets to a field goal and a touchdown. Maryland didn't blitz as much as it had earlier in the season and at times went an entire series with a four-man front. When Maryland finally acquiesced, however, Georgia Tech ran wild, and the Terps' tumble to NCAA record-book ignominy continued.
For the second straight week, freshman free safety Lamont Gore led the Terps with 11 tackles. Senior end Jaime Flores had eight unassisted tackles, two for losses. Redshirt freshman Orlando Strozier, a native of Augusta, Ga., had his second interception of the season.
Even though Jamal Cox (Gilman) had only three tackles, Maryland had trouble stopping the games he and the Yellow Jackets' other inside linebackers played.
"They [Georgia Tech] weren't doing anything we didn't prepare for," Bragg said. "We just didn't stop the pressure up the middle from their linebackers. If we don't give Scott three, four seconds to throw, we're going to have problems."
John Milligan, who attempted his first field goal for the Terps, is a walk-on who previously studied at the University of the District of Columbia, West Virginia, Northern Virginia Community College and Radford. . . . Georgia Tech owned the special teams' play, as Tyler Jarrett got the Yellow Jackets on the scoreboard with a 45-yard field goal and they limited Alan Williams to 103 yards on six kickoff returns. . . . Georgia Tech last scored four touchdowns against a I-A opponent a year ago when it won at Maryland. . . . The Terps have gone scoreless for more than 96 minutes since their second-quarter touchdown against Penn State.