Maryland lost its starting quarterback. Mark Manges, probably for the season yesterday, but broke its three-game losing streak as quarterback Larry Dick and tailback Steve Atkins came off the bench to lead the Terrapins to a 24-10 victory over Syracuse at Byrd Stadium.
Manges, whose season began with hopes of winning the Heisman Trophy, left the game with a broken bone in his throwing hand in the second quarter and Maryland ahead, 7-0. Team doctor Stanford Lavine estimates a six-week recovery.
Dick took over, and with a rejuvenated Atkins running, as he putit, "like a running back instead of a tackle,"the Terps fattened their 7-3 halftime lead to 24-3 and went on to claim their second victory in five games. They ended a three-game losing streak.
Maryland's defense played more like the unit of last year which gave up ground by the inch. Yesterday the Terps pinned Syracuse, 2-3, deep in its own territory, giving Maryland superb field position all day.
The Maryland defense did not allow the Orangemen past their own 35 yard line until Maryland had its 24-3 lead. The Terps scored on drives of 39, 44 and 53 yards as Syracuse punter Jim Goodwill was forced to kick from in or near his end zone.
Syracuse quarterback Bill Hurley, whose team had to settle for a field goal after gaining a first down at the five, called Maryland's defense "far and away the best we've faced all year."
Syracuse added a touchdown on Bob Avery's fourth-down, off-tackle run from the three-yard line with four minutes left in the game, but the Orangemen never ran another offensive play. Maryland used up the remaining time with a drive that ended five yards short of another touchdown as time ran out.
Atkins, bothered by a knee injury for much of the past two seasons and relegated to the bench two weeks ago, gained 92 yards in 23 carries and scored a touchdown.
The Terps scored touchdowns in just the fashion coach Jerry Claiborne would like them to: converting third and fourth-down plays and capping marches with touchdown runs of one yard by fullback Mickey Dudish, five yards by wingback Dean Richards and four yards by Atkins, who played almost the whole game after starter Preacher Maddox left early in the first quarter with a sprained ankle.
Kicker Ed Loncar missed a 41 yard field goal but made a 28-yarder to round out the scoring.
Dick, a senior who must know how the Redskins' Joe Theismann feels because he had played second fiddle so long, was six for 12 for 132 yards.
Manges, before leaving, completed four of nine passes for 54 yards.
"I hurt it on the pass to Kinney," Manges said of the injury. "I don't know what happened - I was just watching Vince. I think I either hit it on a helmet on fell on it. I just felt a numbness. When I shook my hand I could feel something slipping.
Claiborne noted his team made the big plays for the first time this year, and added. "This is the first time we've sung in the locker room in four weeks. I'll twll you, it sure feels good to get back in that win column."
Maryland opened the scoring in the second quarter after linebacker Brad Carr recovered a Hurley fumble at the Syracuse 41. Manges threw the longest of his four complete passes, a 20-yarder to an angling Dean Richards in the flat, to set the Terps up at the Syracuse 12 Atkins. who later said, "I just went out there and forgot about everything," swept 11 yards for a first and goal at the one.
Dudish then scored his first touchdown of the season, bolting through a hole over left guard.
Syracuse got on the board with a 20-yard field goal with 37 seconds left in the first half.
Ironically, Manges was hurt on the only Maryland drive that came up empty within reasonable distance of the end zone. On third and one Manges surprised the crowd of 39,100 by passibg 18 yards to Kinney at the Syracuse 18. Manges left on it. An offside penalty and a seven-yard penalty sack of Dick pushed the Terps back to the 23, where a 41-yard field goal try by Loncar was wide left.
Syracuse's Goodwill, punting from his end zone got the ball to the Syracuse 39 after a fierce Johnson rush. Dick connected for 21 yards to Richards, then on fourth and one at the 14, Atkins did a remarkable imitation of the Patriots' Sam Cunningham, using a leap dive for a first down at the 10.
An offside penalty against Syracuse brought them five yards closer and Richards followedhis blocking around right end for a touchdown and a 14-3 lead.
Maryland quickly added Loncar's 28-yard field goal, and Syracuse ran only three more plays from scrimmage before Maryland scored again on Atkins' four-yard, bowling ball maneuver. The drive started at Maryland's 47, Dick moving the Terps to the six on his longest pass of the day, a 38-yarder to Kinnedy, who had half-back John Patterson inside his jersey at the right sideline.
"I had hardly warmed up at all," said Dick of his sudden entry. "But I didn't feel rusty."
After the game Manges pointed to the bone that had been broken (the second metacarpal) and then tried vainly to laugh away his disappointment.
"Let's not talk about it," he said, cordially, and left.