Offense tries not to pin loss on D


COLLEGE PARK -- Nobody on the offensive team wanted to pinpoint the blame, but the underlying message was clear.

Maryland lost a 47-45 shootout to North Carolina State last night at Byrd Stadium because it couldn't stop anybody at any time.

The Wolfpack --ed Maryland's flickering bowl hopes and dimmed its chances for a winning season by scoring on every possession.

Because N.C. State had the ball last in this wild game, it prevailed with six seconds left on a 35-yard field goal by Steve Videtich, whose missed extra-point try earlier in the fourth quarter had him heading toward the goat's role.

"I can't really speak for the defense because I don't play there," said receiver Geroy Simon. "But if things are going to be like this we've got to score every time we have the ball. [The offense] just has to play even harder."

Simon's wide receiving partner, Jermaine Lewis, was as diplomatic as he could be.

"It's real frustrating, this loss," he said. "There's a lot of hurt, but everybody tried as hard as they could.

"Some days the offense has a bad day and [the defense] plays good. Right now, everybody is hurting equally."

But it was obvious that even one or two stops by the Terps defense might have made the difference in a game of 62 first downs, 1,030 yards in total offense and 49 completions in 58 pass attempts.

Jamie Bragg, Maryland's two-way lineman, said he "left everything I had on the field, but we couldn't stop them even once.

"I really don't know what went wrong. They didn't run anything different. The game turned into a shootout and we didn't make the plays when we needed to."

With nationally ranked Virginia and Syracuse left on the road, the Terps' shot for their first winning season since 1990 turned bleak.

"This hurts worse than any loss I've ever been associated with here," said Bragg. "But our offense did a terrific job and we still have the goal of a winning season."

Coach Mark Duffner agreed that the game "kind of boiled down to who had the ball last. We couldn't stop them and they couldn't stop us.

"We have to take what is positive from this and channel it into our next game. We just came up a few seconds short, that's all. We have to resolve to come back strong next week."

Running back Allen Williams had a big game, with 91 yards rushing and 10 receptions for 75 yards.

He couldn't mask the disappointment in the defensive unit either, although he tried.

"It takes two," said Williams. "This one hurts. We prepared hard and everything went our way on offense the way it should have.

"We took the lead late and had the momentum and still came up short. But we haven't given up."

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