Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Another Game I'll Never Forget: 1984 Maryland at North Carolina
November 3, 1984
Rick Badanjek scores 4 touchdowns as Maryland beats North Carolina 34-23.
I went to school at Elon (NC) University and being from Maryland, I took my share of ribbing and smack talk during my time there. That didn’t deter me from checking out as many Terps games as I could when they played in North Carolina.
For this game, I was in my last semester at Elon and I wanted to go back to Kenan Stadium one more time. I’d been there a couple times, most notably in 1982 when the Terps beat the Tar Heels 31-24 behind RB Willie Joyner’s 240 yards. During the Summer I called the Maryland ticket office and purchased four tickets to this game. As the Summer progressed, I persuaded a couple friends of mine from Maryland and one from Tennessee to make the road trip to Elon.
The 1984 Maryland Terrapins football team finished up with a 9-3 record, winning the ACC Championship with a 6-0 record. They closed out their year on a seven game winning streak with a thrilling 28-27 Sun Bowl win over the University of Tennessee.
Heading into this game against the Tar Heels, the Terps had a record of 4-3 while the Tar Heels were 3-4. These two teams played an epic thriller in College Park, MD a season earlier, with Maryland winning 28-26.
On the Terps first play from scrimmage, QB Stan Gelbaugh fumbled the snap from center and the Tar Heels took over on the Terps 25 yard line. The Tar Heels managed just a field goal thanks to the efforts of linebackers Eric Wilson and Chuck Faucette. An Ethan Horton 5 yard run in the second quarter and successful PAT made it 10-0 Tar Heels.
The Terps were all business this afternoon and they tied the game at 10-10 on Jess Atkinson’s 37 yard field goal and Gelbaugh’s 10 yard screen pass to RB Rick Badanjek.
In the second half, Keeta Covington fumbled two kickoffs which the Tar Heels recovered. But instead scoring two touchdowns to put the game away, the Tar Heels managed only a pair of field goals and were up 16-10 with 12 minutes left in the third quarter.
Atkinson made a 43 yard field goal for the Terps to cut the lead to 16-13. Then, the Terps defense held the Tar Heels and the offense took over. In what was perhaps the turning point of the game for the Terps on 3rd down and 4, Gelbaugh hit WR Aziz Abdur-Ra’oof for a gain of 16 yards to keep their drive alive. Two plays later, Gelbaugh lofted a pass to RB Alvin Blount, who caught it at the 35 yard line, used an official for a screen plus a key block by Adbur-Ra’oof to get the ball to the Tar Heel three yard line. Badanjek scored on the next play and the Terps were up 20-16 after Atkinson’s extra point near the end of the third quarter.
North Carolina’s Earl Winfield fumbled the ensuing kickoff and Sean Scott recovered for Maryland. Badanjek scored his third touchdown of the game from 4 yards out to make it 27-16 Terps. In ten seconds the Terps had two touchdowns!
Maryland wasn’t done, going up 34-16 in the 4th quarter on Badanjek’s 5 yard TD run. The Tar Heels added a TD in the final minute of the game to make it 34-23.
The game will be remembered by me as I was surrounded by friends of mine who enjoyed the road trip. It was a beautiful Fall afternoon at one of college football's nicer venues. I remember Maryland Head Coach Bobby Ross making some defensive adjustments with his linebackers early in the second quarter which helped propel the Terps. Also, I could not figure out why North Carolina Head Coach Dick Crum did not pass more as the Terps were last in the ACC against the pass. Crum opted to run the ball 54 times against the ACC’s top defensive team against the run. Sure, they outgained the Terps 195-126 but they could never get their passing game going, gaining just 126yards in the air. I remember the fans booing a lot of Crum’s play calling.
Other stats: Stan Gelbaugh completed 18 of 27 passes for 269 yards, one TD. Rick Badanjek rushed 16 times for 68 yards and 3 TD’s. He also caught 4 passes for 34 yards and a TD. Jess Atkinson kicked two field goals and four extra points and with these ten points in the game, became the ACC’s all time leading kicker with 278 points. Maryland used QB Frank Reich to run out the clock late in the game. You would hear a lot more from Reich the next week at Miami…