CLEMSON, S.C. -- Before the opening kickoff, Maryland players were dropping.
At least nine Terps left yesterday's 29-0 loss at Clemson with injuries, and that doesn't include defensive tackle Madison Bradley, who tested a sore back in the warm-ups and found he wouldn't be able to play.
With Sharrod Mack serving a one-game suspension, it left the Terps with a bunch of freshmen in the defensive interior, and they grew nearly as thin elsewhere as the game progressed.
The most costly blow appeared to be to sophomore Jermaine Lewis, the leading wide receiver in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Lewis' fifth catch came with five minutes left in the first half, but he didn't return after taking a hit from cornerback Andre Humphrey. The early prognosis is a sprained left shoulder, but Lewis said it could be separated, and that it's doubtful he'll be ready to play against Florida State next Saturday.
It was a hard day on the offense, as sophomore quarterback Scott Milanovich had his left shoulder banged up with six minutes left. With backup Kevin Foley resting strained ligaments in his left knee, Dee Reed replaced Milanovich on the Terps' last possession.
"It basically popped out [of joint], but it feels like it's back in now," Milanovich said. "I can't really lift it too much, but it's not separated."
Superback Mark Mason rushed for 45 yards in the first half, but aggravated an ankle injury and didn't play in the second half. Wide receiver Jason Kremus (left hip pointer) and offensive linemen Jade Dubis (sprained right ankle), Dave Hack (sprained left knee) and Steve Ingram (elbow contusion) also missed time.
Senior linebacker Chad Wiest- ling, who missed four games recovering from arthroscopic surgery to repair torn knee cartilage, reinjured himself in practice earlier in the week. He appeared briefly in the first half, but changed into his street clothes at halftime. Reserve back Larry Washington stayed home to rest a groin pull.
Richard Moncrief, Clemson's starting quarterback, didn't play in the second half after aggravating a hip injury, but substitute Patrick Sapp was an identical 5-for-9.
Too many penalties
Penalties were another game-long annoyance, as the Terps were penalized 10 times for 72 yards and the Tigers nine for 50.
On the first two plays from scrimmage, Maryland was guilty of holding and illegal motion. The defense was particularly frustrated early in the second quarter, when Clemson lost a fumble and interception in a four-snap span, but kept the ball both times because the Terps were offsides.
"They said I was in the neutral zone three or four times, but there's no way I'd be offsides that often," said defensive end Jaime Flores. "I was called for that twice in our first seven games, and now this. What hurt is that they weren't throwing the flag right away. It seems Clemson would do something bad, then the flag would come out."
As has become common, freshman linebacker Ratcliff Thomas led the Terps with 18 tackles, including 10 first hits.
No solution afoot
Walk-on John Milligan replaced Ken Lytle as kicker, but missed a 20-yard field-goal attempt with 2:20 left in the first half that would have cut Clemson's lead to 6-3.
Freshman Walt Williams turned a sideline route into a 44-yard gain that got the Terps a first down at the 3-yard line. Three plays netted zero yards before Milligan's miss. The Terps had all three of their timeouts left, but let three Tigers runs eat up nearly 80 seconds before using one.