Maryland and Duke each want to break a string of moral victories Saturday.
Teams that have racked up more moral victories than real ones collide Saturday in Wallace Wade Stadium when Duke hosts Maryland.
The Terrapins' prolific, run-and-shoot offense has enabled them to compete with - but fall consistently short of - nationally ranked opponents. Then last weekend, Maryland lost its sixth game in seven tries, this one to a Wake Forest team it had a realistic chance to beat.On the other hand, Duke's most recent moral victory came Saturday when the Blue Devils dropped a 21-6 decision to 19th-ranked Clemson. It was their fourth defeat in six games.
But Blue Devil coach Barry Wilson found pluses even in defeat, saying ``our front did as good a job of controlling the line of scrimmage as any time since I've been at Duke.'
Defensive tackle David Wafle, who teammed with Scott Youmans to clog up the middle last weekend, agreed.
``We didn't win against Clemson, so we have nothing to be happy about,' he said. ``But we still have got to draw on the positives. A couple of things here, a couple there and the offense scores and we could have won.
``Scott and I and the rest of the defense - we knew we won the game as a unit. Our confidence is still pretty high. Going into this Saturday, we have a lot of momemtum, even with the loss. For us to hold a team like Clemson down is pretty good.'
Wafle and his teammates limited the Tigers to just 11 first downs, 37 yards passing and 278 yards total offense. But in Maryland, the Devils will face an extremely different type of offense - one that ran up 501 yards, 405 of them in the air, against Wake last weekend.
Wafle relishes the challenge.
``I like them to pass,' said Wafle, who leads the Devils in sacks with three and tackles for loss with seven. ``I like to get back there and get a few sacks. But Clemson presented us with a great challenge in those 240-pound backs, too.
``(Against Maryland), we have to try and get pressure on the quarterback. If we do our job and get him a little scared, it will help everyone.'
A knee sprained as he was fighting a double-team block in the third period against Clemson could keep Wafle out of the game. But he thinks a brace that has been ordered will help, and he hopes to be in the lineup Saturday.
``I really want to play against Maryland,' Wafle said. ``I don't want to sit on it.'
____________________________________________________________________________\ DUKE VS. MARYLAND
Opponents/Records: Maryland (1-6, 0-4) vs. Duke (2-4, 0-3).
Time/Place/Crowd: 1:30 p.m., Wallace Wade Stadium, Durham, N.C., 33,941.
Media coverage: WSML (1200)
Mainstays: Maryland QB John Kaleo (178 of 305, 2,079 yards), RB Doug Burnett (75 rushes, 247 yards), WR Marcus Badgett (52 receptions, 798 yards), WR Dan Prunzik (36 receptions, 467 yards), LB Mike Jarmolowich (54 tackles, 2 interceptions). Duke QB Spence Fischer (64 of 107, 836 yards), Randy Cuthbert (117 rushes, 585 yards), WR Ray Wright (16 receptions, 254 yards), WR Stanley Dorsey (15 catches, 198 yards), LB Scott Berdan (72 tackles).
Injured starters: Duke DT David Wafle (knee) questionable. Maryland RB Mark Mason (shoulder) out.
Series: Maryland 19-16; last win 23-20 in Durham in 1990.
Stakes/Outlook: Maryland didn't execute well in last weekend's loss to Wake Forest. Kaleo was sacked nine times and intercepted on four occasions. In addition, a Deacon quarterback not known for his passing ability threw for 331 yards against the Terp defense. Conversely, Duke enters the game confident despite a loss to Clemson. The Blue Devil offense is predicated on the pass, and the running of Cuthbert gives an added dimension. Duke's defense played well against a superior Tiger team.