Forced for the first time this season to deal with the adversity that accompanies defeat, the Maryland Terrapins insist that there will be no lingering effects from last Saturday's 18-17 loss to 16th ranked Clemson at Baltimore's Memorial Stadium.

"We didn't feel like we lost that game so I don't think it will affect us," said quarterback Scott Zolak. "That's the problem we had in the past -- harping too much on losses, with people looking for someone to blame."

There could have been plenty of blame to go round following the Terrapins' ill-fated upset bid.

Maryland's offense failed to expand a 14-10 lead by suffering two turnovers and a missed field goal deep in Clemson territory on three consecutive possessions at the end of the first half and the start of the second.

The next time Maryland got the ball its lead was halved when the home team suffered a safety on a botched snap from the shotgun formation.

A short time later the coaching staff got into the act, accepting a five-yard penalty for illegal receiver downfield, providing the Tigers with a third and seven instead of fourth and two. On the ensuing play, Clemson quarterback DeChane Cameron hit Doug Thomas for 37 yards, setting up the game-winning 11-yard touchdown toss to Rudy Harris five plays later.

As in the previous two weeks, the Terrapins had a chance to catch lightning in a bottle at game's end but there was no fantastic finish. A Zolak pass for Marcus Badgett was intercepted by Dexter Davis with 2:23 remaining.

In a sense, that was the only difference between this game and Maryland's 20-13 and 14-10 victories over Virginia Tech and West Virginia. In all three games the Terrapins' defense was outstanding and the offense impressive -- between the 30-yard-lines.

In each game, the team struggled once it got into prime scoring territory. Maryland has moved inside its opponent's 40-yard-line 16 times this season, getting points on seven occasions.

Four times the Terrapins have had to settle for field goals. Even more frustrating for Maryland is that four of its nine turnovers have come in such situations.

"The defenses are a little more spread out outside of the 30," said Zolak in trying to explain Maryland's troubles. "When you get closer there's only so much you can do -- there's more man-to-man coverage, teams {bump and run} more on the receivers -- but we've just got to start getting better."