Bob Milkvoich will start at quarterback in place of Mike Tice Saturday for Maryland when the Terrapins travel to Wake Forest, Coach Jerry Claiborne said last night.
Claiborne decided to bench Tice in favor of Milkovich, a sophomore, after Maryland's third straight loss, a 7-0 shutout at North Carolina State Saturday.
Claiborne, naturally, downplayed the switch. "We're not pointing the finger at anyone," he said. "We just haven't been moving the ball and it was time to make a change. We just felt we needed a change."
Claiborne said that Tice, 14 for 55 passing the last three weeks, will play against Wake, 5-1 on the season.
Tice hit on one of six passes in three quarters Saturday before being benched in favor of Milkovich. Milkovich completed six of 17.
Although he has frequently been self-critical this season, Tice was clearly surprised at being benched during the game Saturday. "I don't know what it means," he said. If Bobby's the starter I'll be pulling for him. I thought I played pretty well considering the kind of offense we were using."
The Terps attempted only one pass in the first half Saturday, a strategy that appeared to confuse Tice and others members of the offensive unit.
Making a lineup change is not that important," Claiborne said. "We do it all the time.It's just that people pay more attention when you change quarterbacks."
The Terrapins also will lose defensive back Sammy Johnson for the season. Johnson will undergo surgery this week to repair knee ligament damage he suffered returning a punt against state. Johnson had been leading the ACC in punt returns.
Claiborne also said that he planted to use backup tailbacks Wayne Wingfield and I'm Whittie more frequenty in releif of Charlie Wysocki next week.
"Charlie's got that banged-up thign and we have to rest him some more," Claiborne said.
The loss to State dropped Claiborne's record against the Wolfpack to 4-3-1, the only ACC team that has beaten his team three times. He is 1-3-1 in Carter Stadium and both of Maryland's three-game losing streaks under Claiborne have reached three there. The loss in 1977 came when State sustained a drive because of a crucial penalty. . . The loss was the second shutout for Claiborne at Maryland, the other being 42-0 to Texas in the 1978 Sun Bowl. . . State Coach Bo Rein is now 2-2 against Claiborne. . .
With a 5-0 record and a spot in the national rankings, Navy would appear to have nothing in common with Claiborne's beleaguered team. Unfortunately for Coach George Welsh, that isn't true. His team has been hit by the same malady as Maryland: injuries.
Going into Saturday's 24-7 win over William and Mary, Welsh's troops were a little banged up with fullback Kevin Tolbert, defensive guard Terry Huxel and offensive tackle Rich Welch out.
That wasn't so bad. But during the Mid victory, four more players went down: defensive tackle John Merrill, defensive end Reggie Trass and perhaps, most importantly, tailbacks Mike Sherlock and Steve Callahan.
"Both tailbacks are extremely doubtful for Virginia," Welsh said yesterday. "Steve's got a sprained knee and Mike a hamstring. That really hurts us. They've both played well. Sherlock was a real spark against William and Mary."
With what now shapes up as their toughest test of the year coming up Saturday against Virginia, Welsh finds himself with only one healthy tailback, sophomore Duane Flowers. But he isn't exactly throwing in the towel.
"I feel pretty good," he said."I thought we really came together in the third and fourth quaters. It was early out best second half of the year. If Mike and Steve are out we'll have to rely on the fullbacks more. I think we'll be okay."
Welsh said he was not suprised by Virginia's 4-2 record. "When we beat them 32-0 in the opener last year they were still kind of stumbling around trying to get together," he said. "But the film we saw on them the end of the year they looked much better. I think the added experience they have has made a big difference for them."
Virginia Coach Dick Bestwick was understandably pleased with his team's 69-9 win over James Madison Saturday but candidly admitted the game probably should't have been played.
"They were outmarched," Bestwick said. "They shouldn't be playing us. I think its great that they want to upgrade their athletic program but I think they're going too fast right now. They need to sit down and reevaluate some things and some of their scheduling."
An extremely frustrated Howard Coach Floyd Keith was still trying to figure out yesterday how his team managed to drop a 17-15 decision to Virginia State Saturday.
"We just gave them the game. I just can't sit here and think we weren't the better team Saturday, I thought we were. It was definitely our toughest loss of the year," said Keith, whose team is now 3-3.
The Bison had five turnovers in the game and missed two fourth-quarter field goals that could have given them the win. Keith was so upset after the game that he herded his team onto its buses 10 minutes after the final gun without talking to anyone about the loss.