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Terps' Lewis catches up after unreceptive start

COLLEGE PARK — COLLEGE PARK -- Through Maryland's first six games, wide receiver Jermaine Lewis was frustrated by tight coverage, a game plan that looked elsewhere and an injury.

He broke loose in game four with two touchdown catches in a blowout of Wake Forest, but before that game was done, he was sidelined with a dislocated shoulder. When North Carolina limited Lewis to one catch on Oct. 15, his season totals were 14 catches for 171 yards and two touchdowns.

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Since then, however, he's been on a tear.

Lewis has 100 yards receiving in each of Maryland's last four games, and his totals during that span are 26 catches for 452 yards -- 17.4 per catch -- and six touchdowns. He has gone over 100 yards receiving 10 times during the past two years -- five more than the previous Terps career record of Marcus Badgett.

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A junior from Lanham who was a national prep sprint champion for Eleanor Roosevelt High, Lewis already holds the Maryland record for receiving yards (1,926) and is second in receptions (122) and touchdown catches (18).

Saturday at Syracuse, he can move up those career receiving lists, as can sophomore Geroy Simon and Russ Weaver. Simon has been Maryland's -- and the Atlantic Coast Conference's -- most consistent wide receiver this season. His 64 catches are the third best in Terps history behind the 75 Badgett had in 1992 and the 69 Weaver pulled down last season.

Lewis has been this unstoppable before. In Maryland's first four games of 1993, he had 31 catches for 617 yards -- 19.9 per catch -- and six touchdowns. He separated his shoulder in the eighth game, however, and since he didn't meet the ACC requirement for appearances, was never credited with leading the conference in receiving yards.

Considering the way 1993 ended and 1994 began, did Lewis' confidence suffer?

"Nope," Lewis said. "I never said 'Here I go again' when I got hit against Wake Forest. I knew once I got back and the offense went back to running more plays for the outside wide receivers, I could do it again."

TOP TERPS TARGETS

Name .. .. .. .. .. Years .. .. .. .Rec.

Frank Wycheck .. .. 1990-92 .. .. .. 134

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Jermaine Lewis .. ..1992-now .. .. ..122

Russ Weaver .. .. ..1992-now .. .. ..114

Ziz Ra'oof .. .. .. 1984-87 .. .. .. 108

Barry Johnson .. .. 1987-90 .. .. .. 106

Ferrell Edmunds.. ..1984-87 .. .. .. 101

Frank Russell .. .. 1972-74 .. .. .. 100

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Marcus Badgett .. ..1990-92 .. .. .. 100


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