The Texas Longhorns showered Maryland with speed and humiliation today, cavorting to a 42-0 victory in the Sun Bowl.
For the shellshocked Terrapins, it was the first shutout since Penn State trampled them, 34-0, in 1970 - 95 games ago-and the most lopsided defeat since Penn State prevailed, 48-0, in 1969. It was also the biggest rout in Sun Bowl history, exceeding Nebraska's 45-6 trampling of Georgia in 1969.
"I tell you," said Maryland star tailback Steve Atkins, the provider of just 15 yards rushing, "it was unreal."
Texas' Joneses-Jam, Ham and Lam-combined for five touchdowns, 211 yards rushing and 45 yards in pass receptions. Lam's seven-yard scoring run on an end-around, Jam's one-yard dive and Lam's 29-yard catch from Mark McBath gave Texas a 21-0 lead less than 11 minutes into the game. Maryland had not yet achieved a first down.
"What can I say?" said Maryland Coash Jerry Claiborne. "I'm totally embarrassed."*tSecond-guessers were left with only one question to amyse themselves: when the Terrapins won the coin toss, should they have elected to play with the wind of 20 to 30 miles an hour at their backs in the first quarter?
That was the Longhorns' plan, had they won the toss. Texas' immediate scoring blitz made the rest of the game a laughter for the record and partisan crowd of 33.122, and a bore for a national television audience that watched Maryland get obliterated in its second tube appearance this year. Penn State was the other victor, 27-3.
"If we had it to do over again," Caliborne said of the coin toss, "I believe we would have taken the wind. We didn't think it would be that much of a factor, and I don't know whether it was. I know there weren't 42 points difference in that one factor.
"They kicked us from one end of the field to the other. I really believe we've got a better football team than we displayed today, but you've got to give Texas all the credit.
"Their backs ran well, (Russell) Erxleben did a super job of punting that football, their defense just completely dominated our running game and they put us into a passing situation. And even though we threw the ball well at times, we obviously didn't get the job done."
Claiborne lifted starting quarter-back Tim O'Hare and inserted Mike Tice for two plays in the second quarter. The two alternated in the second half, but the main breadkown for Maryland was in front of the quarter-back.
"I could have thrown against them all day if I had a little more time," O'Hare said. "But you can't win with just a passing game and we had no running game at all."
Maryland was held to 34 yards rushing. "There was noweher to go," Atkins said. O'Hare completed 12 of 27 passes for 146 yards and Tice hit five of 16 for 68, but it was far too little.
The closet Maryland came to scoring was in the last munute of the game, when Tice drove Maryland reserves against Texas reserves to the nine-yard line. There Tice threw two incomplete passes and was sacked twice.
Dale Castro also attempted a 52-yard field goal in the second quarter that sailed wide right. Maryland's regular field-goal kicker, Ed Loncar, pulled a muscle during warmups.
Texas players looked every bit as good as Maryland looked bad.
Ham Jones, most valuable player in this bowl game after an unspectacular regular season (a 3.6-yard rushing average in Texas' eight wins and three losses), ran through Maryland's line for 104 yards in 14 carries.
Of the six Texas touchdowns, five were scored standing up.
The only non-Jones touchdown was scored by McBath on a fourth-down run from the two. McBath turned to his right as if to pitch, then just turned to his left and trotted in. It was that simple all day.
"We weren't mentally prepard to play," Maryland defensive end Joe Muffler said. "I just don't think we were ready, and it's certainly not our coaches' fault. It's our own fault.
"After the loss of Clemson (in the last game of the year for the Atlantic Coast Confernce title), nobody cared too much. We just didn't have the proper attitude all week and it was very evident on the field."
Other players disputed that theory.Most just shook their heads.
"They kind of outclassed us," said lineman Glenn Chamberlain, who broke his left arm in the game.
"I feel embarrassed for the team," O'Gare said. "I really don't have much to say. You saw it. I'm at a loss for words. Maryland doesn't have as many great players as Texas or Penn State does, but we were a bunch of guys who played together, and if we had a few more good players we could play with anybody."
"Maybe deep down we didn't have the confidence," linebacker Neal Olkewicz said. "Their backs seemed superquick. They did exactly what we thought they would and we couldn't stop 'em. I don't know why."
Defensive back Steve Trimble was purely beaten on the 29-yard scoring pass to Lam Jones, who caught the ball at the eight and virtually burst away, cranking up the sprinter's speed that won him a gold medal in the Montreal Olympics.
"He's so fast," Trimble marveled. "And we had no pressure on thr quarterback. He had all the time he needed. They were ahead by 21 points before we knew what was happening.
"We thought we were still in it at halftime (the Texas lead was 28-0 at that juncture)," Trimble said, "but you can't win without points."
Maryland's offense moved at times and looked slightly more alive than it did against Penn State. But the two games provide almost equal embarrassment to a team seaching for national respect. Maryland, which entered the game ranked 13th on the strength of a 9-2 record, hasn't won on national television since 1976.
"I was lucky to get to the line of scrimmage," Atkins said. "I'm speechless."
Texas finished tied for second in the Southwest Conference with an 8-3 mark and was ranked 14th.
Jam Jones, who averaged just 3.8 yards a carry in the regular season, was up all night before the game, sick to his stomach with the flu and still was nauseated at the start of the game. Then he gained 100 yards. Can Maryland be that bad?
"Maybe Maryland was just not used to our speed," McBath said, "I was a little surprised to win by this much."
"Our offensive line dominated the line of scrimmage," Texas Coach Fred Akers said. "We got breaks and took advantage of them, and it got out of hand."
Maryland made enough mistakes to hurt itself; O'Hare was intercepted three times, Tice, once; a fumble of a punt by Trimble set up a 22-yard scoring drive for Texas.
And the coin toss decision at least helped Texas to score on its first three possessions ondrives of just 42, 49 and 40 yards-with the gusty wind blowing Maryland punts back at the Terrapins.
But it would be difficult to say mistakes killed the Terrapins. It wasn't a case of what they did wrong. They did almost nothing right.
"Of course," Claiborne said, "when you get beat 42 to nothing, there's not a whole lot you can say. We just got embarrassed."