Sophomore receiver Herb Waters caught nine passes from Stephen Morris on Saturday for 116 yards and two touchdowns, including one that went 50 yards in Duke's 48-30 victory.
And Waters played with an injured groin during the game, said UM coach Al Golden. But Waters refused to pin the blame solely on the defense.
"Everybody’s down but we can’t be,'' Waters said Saturday night. "We’ve got plenty more ball to play. So we have to get back on Monday and get back to work.
"We had a great week in practice. It’s just that we came out and missed some opportunities. Duke capitalized on a lot of opportunities."
Reporter: "Herb, you’re going to look at the stats eventually and see you had 9 catches for 116 yards, you guys threw for 379 and had 565 yards of total offense and came up 18 points short. How much pressure is that on the offense? Obviously you’re under a lot of pressure to score a lot of points."
Waters: "With those kind of stats you’d probably think we’d overcome that with a victory. But like I said before, we missed out on some opportunities. Duke capitalized on some opportunities. You’ve got to get back to work. I’m pretty sure we’ll go over the film and fix what we messed up on."
Reporter: "Third downs are a problem again – 5 of 15. Why is everything so good on first and second down but you struggle on third?"
Waters: "To be honest, I don’t really know. I mean we practiced hard on third downs. We just didn’t execute on some of the plays that Coach [James] Coley called."
Reporter: "Early in the game it was learned that Maryland beat Virginia Tech. Did you guys know about that?"
Waters: "Yeah, it got out. I feel like if we wouldn’t have [known], we would have continued to play like how we’re supposed to play. I feel like we knew and some people let down. We’ve just got to get back to work and like we always say, keep everything on the outside and just keep grinding. In my opinion I feel like it would have been better had we had not known. I just feel like – lack of poise. We knew what we had at stake but we didn’t execute it. That’s why I feel like it would have been better if we did not know.’’
Reporter: "How did you find out about the Virginia Tech game?"
"To be honest I can’t really remember. I forgot who said what. It just leaked out. It is what is it. It was little by little."
Reporter: "A couple of your teammates tweeted during the game that this was embarrassing. Would you say this defense is embarrassing for the team?" Note: Waters was not told that the teammates were Duke Johnson and Phillip Dorsett, both of whom didn't travel with the team because of injuries.
Waters: “I mean if a couple of teammates tweeted that in the game then I feel like they don’t want it bad enough. If they’re teammates with everybody on the team, no matter what else they’re saying I have faith in all my teammates and everybody. It wasn’t just on the defense, it was on us; it was on special teams. Everybody didn’t come through how they’re supposed to. I give all full credit to Duke. They’re a great team and they just came out and played. They wanted it badly enough.’’
SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN