COLLEGE PARK -- They say excuses are for losers.
But the Maryland football team will be replaying yesterday's ill-fated 68-yard fourth-quarter drive for a long time.
The march produced only a 28-yard field goal by Brian Kopka and was a major factor in a 25-22 loss to Duke.
The drive had many twists and came within inches of producing a touchdown that would have given the Terps a 26-17 lead with less than 10 minutes remaining.
As usual for Maryland, LaMont Jordan was in the middle of things when he took off for what appeared to be a 61-yard run to the 1-foot line on third-and-two from the Maryland 38.
But a 10-yard holding penalty against the Terps brought the ball back to the Maryland 28.
The Terps did make up a lot of the real estate with the help of a 15-yard personal foul penalty against Duke. But then wide receiver Jason Hatala was called for stepping out of bounds at the Duke 10-yard on what appeared to be a 19-yard touchdown pass from Calvin McCall.
But there was one more chance for a touchdown on the next play, when backup tailback Mookie Sikyala was sent into the line on third-and-one. But Sikyala was thrown for a 2-yard loss, necessitating the Kopka field goal.
Sikyala was in game because Jordan, the team's No. 1 tailback, was still winded after the 61-yard run.
There was one more thing that went wrong on that drive. Maryland was called for a 10-yard holding penalty one play before the pass to Hatala.
"We would have broken Duke's backs if we had scored on that drive," Jordan said.
When Jordan was asked about Sikyala getting the call on third-and-one, Jordan said, "We've been told all season by our coaches that we should be successful on any play if we execute it properly regardless of who is in the game. The same thing might have happened to me."
Coach passes on McCall
Maryland coach Ron Vanderlinden didn't comment yesterday on redshirt freshman McCall's poorest performance of the season.
McCall was 7-for-18 for 72 yards and one interception and had 27 yards rushing.
Vanderlinden went on to another question when asked to talk about McCall.
Sanders is human
Maryland cornerback and kickoff returner Lewis Sanders was asked to take on Richmond Flowers yesterday when it became obvious that Renard Cox was going to have a long day trying to stop the Duke wide receiver.
Sanders matched Flowers step for step on almost every play until a 32-yard pass completion on what proved to be Duke's winning touchdown drive late in the fourth quarter.
Sanders got turned around on the pass from Spencer Romine to Flowers that gave the Blue Devils a first down at the Maryland 9-yard line.
Next for Maryland
Opponent: North Carolina State
Site: Carter-Finley Stadium, Raleigh, N.C.
When: Saturday, noon
Yesterday: Lost to No. 7 Georgia Tech, 48-21.