Maryland's defensive secondary, held together all season by Bactine and Bandaids, has been hit with another injury. Sledge-hammer-hitter Lloyd Burruss sustained a bruised buttock and has been on crutches.
"I say a little prayer every time I see him," said coach Jerry Caliborne, who hopes his praise and the trainer's magic will mend Burruss in time for Saturday's homecoming game against Duke.
Nonetheless, Claiborne has moved Chris Ward, who is himself healing from a bruised shoulder, from right halfback to Burruss' left halfback spot. John Sanford, who is a safety, is working out at right halfback, where Doug Harbert played before suffering a broken collarbone.
That puts pressure on starting safety Jonathan Claiborne, a hamstring victim, to endure an entire game helping defend against the player many feel is the best quarterback in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
"Mike Dunn is born under the star. He comes up with those big plays," said Claiborne,preferring not to point out that, against Maryland. Dunn seems to play as if he is under a hugh paper bag.
The Terps have faced (and lost to) outstanding quarterbacks this season in Penn State's Chuck Fusina and North Carolina State's Johnny Evans.
"Evens leads the ACC in total offense, but Dunn leads Duke in rushing. Take your pick.
"Dunn is faster than Evans and a more dangerous runner," said Claiborne. "He's a dominant factor, a tremendous clutch football player, one of the best atheletes in our conference."
Maryland is 2-1 in the ACC, Duke 1-1. Both trail leader North Carolina, 2-0. North Carolina State, 3-1, plays Clemson, 2-1.
"There's no doubt about it," said Claiborne. "These are great games, important games. Somebody will be knocked out of the race. It's that simple."
Steve Atkins rushed for 142 yards Saturday, the highest total in more than a year, behind an offensive line that started a fourth-string player who orignially joined the team as a walk-on. Scott Collins started at quick tackle where Jim Ulam, Kervin Wyatt and Scott Fanz have all gone down. Collins is expected to make another appearance this Saturday. Ulam's sprained knee ligament continues to be tender . . . Maryland linebacker Neal Olkewicz had been selected ACC defensive back of the week. Against Wake Forest he had 10 tackles and stopped a Deason drive with an interception at the four-yard line . . . Asked if Wake's three quarterbacks, who gave up five interceptions, were on the same level as Penn State's Fusina, N.C. State's Evans and Clemson's Steve Fuller, Olkewicz admitted, "I would have to really look at the films, but probably not," . . . Maryland beat Duke, 30-3, last year as Dunn completed nine of 22 passes for 127 yards, had three interceptions and rushed for only 18 yards in 12 carries . . . Duke lost to Clemson last week, 17-11, in a game that Caliborne says Duke could have won by three touchdowns if a few plays had gone differently.