'tis the season to search for Peace -- and because Maryland defenders could not find a quarterback by that name their holidays will not be so merry. "They've definitely got something going," Maryland safety Ralph Lary said of the Wayne Peace-to-Chris Collinsoworth passing combination that averaged 20 yards on eight completions and mustered two touchdowns in Florida's 35-20 victory in the Tangerine Bowl tonight. "They communicate so well.
"I don't know if it's eye-to-eye contact or what. But when they saw us in man (coverage) they knew what to do. They'd run us off, go straight up behind us. They just knew what to do."
Terrapin defenders also knew what do , but failed to execute it.
"We lost containment at crucial times," said defensive lineman Marlin Van Horn. "There were a lot of mistakes -- and a couple of defensive backs falling down and letting 'em get easy touchdowns. You hate to lose yourself. That's not taking anything from Florida, but we gave 'em a lot.
"I didn't think anybody could score 35 points on us."
That happened, in part, because freshman Peace eluded the Terrapin pass rush all game. Maryland did not get one quarterback sack -- and its deep backs watched in horror as the nimble Peace scampered free and hit all-America Collinsworth and his other fine receiver, Tyrone Young, on improvised patterns.
"We tried to get a lot of quick pressure on the inside," Van Horn said. "Usually, either a tackle or end has responsibility for containment. What that means is that they're supposed to make sure he (Peace) doesn't get to the outside. Everything is supposed to be funneled to the inside. That's one of the main things about our defense -- everything is funneled to the inside.
"But they did get outside our so call ed contain man -- and it hurt us a lot."
It hardly helped that Maryland happened to make the wrong defensive call on the Gators' first touchdown pass. Or that safety Sammy Johnson slipped and fell on the second. Or that an apparent Collinsworth fumble was not called during the drive for the third touchdown.
Like the Terrapins, Collinsworth sensed he and young would have big games if Peace had time to find them. They combined for 16 catches and 232 yards.
"Coming in, I knew they wouldn't be able to double or triple on me, like Florida state did," he said. "Tyrone Young is too good a receiver for single coverage."
Although Young also caught eight passes, Collinsworth was judged the game's most valuable player. He was honest about his feelings, saying: "As much as we stress team here, I have to admit that winning MVP really feels great. In the end, I think this team had come too far to loose."