<
>

Clemson 10, Maryland 7

CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) -- Reggie Merriweather's 2-yard touchdown run
with 23 seconds left lifted Clemson to a 10-7 victory Saturday that
handed Maryland its first three-game losing streak under coach
Ralph Friedgen.

Until the final moments, the Tigers (3-4, 2-3 Atlantic Coast
Conference) had little success against Maryland's defense, which
put up five sacks and held Clemson to a field goal over the first
59 minutes.

But quarterback Charlie Whitehurst, starting at his 41, suddenly
found his rhythm when it counted most. He hit passes of 9 yards to
Kelvin Grant, 14 yards to Kelvin Grant and 18 yards to Airese
Currie to get to Maryland's 7 with 1:29 left. A pass interference
call on cornerback Gerrick McPhearson moved the ball to the 2 and
Merriweather finished the comeback victory with his straight ahead
run for a touchdown.

Maryland (3-4, 1-3) had one last possession, but sophomore Joel
Statham was picked off by Justin Miller and Clemson ran out the
clock on its first win over the Terps since 2000.

For the longest time, the Terps' defense controlled the game and
covered the continued offensive problems for Friedgen's team. The
fourth-year coach and offensive whiz had watched his team manage
just 172 yards combined in home losses to Georgia Tech and North
Carolina State.

The Terps got 194 against the Tigers, but could not get things
going on offense. Maryland punted nine times and twice tried -- and
failed -- on fourth down.

Until Clemson's last drive, it looked like Josh Allen's 1-yard
touchdown in the first quarter, which followed a blocked punt from
David Holloway, would be enough.

Maryland held Clemson to 36 yards rushing and forced the Tigers
to go three-and-out on its first four possessions of the second
half.

Maryland managed 81 yards of offense in losing to Georgia Tech
two weeks ago and 91 in last Saturday's loss to North Carolina
State. The Terps surpassed both those totals in the first half
against Clemson with 112 yards. Not that it produced a lot of
points.

The team's best series, when the Terps drove 50 yards to
Clemson's 21, ended when senior kicker Nick Novak, second in the
ACC with 10 field goals, pushed a 38-yard try wide left.

Statham, who was pulled in favor of freshman Jordan Steffy the
past two losses, stayed in all the way this time. He was 14 of 31
for 111 yards and two interceptions.

Clemson's Whitehurst wasn't much more effective, also going 14
of 31 for 170 yards.

Merriweather had 60 yards on 17 carries for the Tigers.