After conquering Georgia at home, Maryland took to the road to face off against ACC opponent North Carolina in Chapel Hill on October 17, 1953. For Coach Jim Tatum it was a homecoming of sorts, having played for the Tar Heels and graduated from the school in 1935. For Maryland, it was another chance to prove themselves against a worthy opponent, as the Tar Heels were also coming into the contest undefeated. History was not on Maryland’s side, since they hadn’t won a game in North Carolina against the Tar Heels since 1924–a drought of almost three decades.
The game proved to be a struggle for both sides. Maryland lacked the big play magic from earlier contests, but made up for it in toughness and resiliency. The game was also littered with penalties, which didn’t help either team. Meanwhile, quarterback Bernie Faloney was putting together another solid performance, until suffering an injury in the 1st quarter and being limited by his coach the rest of the game.
With Faloney not able to contribute as much for Maryland, the focus of the offense shifted to the running game where Maryland was able to put together long drives and pound the ball into the end zone. Maryland managed 259 rushing yards to Carolina’s 153, and running backs Chet Hanulak, Dick Nolan, and Ron Waller all ended the game averaging over 10 yards per carry–or an automatic first down every time they touched the ball!
As for the Maryland defense, they were as good as they had ever been, stopping everything the Tar Heels tried on offense. Even the Maryland reserves at many points were able to outplay the North Carolina first stringers, and the contest ended with Maryland winning convincingly, 26-0.
The victory was the 5th win in a row and the defense’s third shut-out of the season. Tatum called the victory “the greatest of any team I have ever coached, including the Sugar Bowl win.” Before carrying him off the field in victory, Tatum’s players presented him with the game ball, knowing how much this win meant to him and their season.
Check back next week as the Terps look to wrestle with the Hurricanes in Miami!