Terps may face West Virginia without Sandwisch Injury may sideline starting quarterback

September 18, 1991|By Mike Preston | Mike Preston,Sun Staff Correspondent

COLLEGE PARK -- University of Maryland senior quarterback Jim Sandwisch said yesterday that he doubts if he'll be able to start or play in Saturday's game against West Virginia at Byrd Stadium.

Sandwisch, a first-year senior starter, made the statement after a two-hour practice yesterday in which he threw just four passes before stopping. Afterward, he only handed off.

If he can't play, Sandwisch will probably be replaced by Montgomery College Rockville junior college All-American John Kaleo, who started the second half for the Terps Saturday night when Sandwisch was forced to leave after re-injuring the elbow and shoulder of his throwing arm in a 31-17 loss to Syracuse.

"Right now, the arm is still hurting a lot and I don't think I can get the job done," said the 6-foot-3, 190-pound Sandwisch, who has lost 10 pounds in the past three days because of bacteria infection in his throat. "It's not the cold, because I feel stronger now.

"If the coach asked me what I thought right now, I would be honest with him and say I wouldn't be ready by Saturday. I don't think it's going to get that much better," said Sandwisch, who expects to see the team doctor today. "I have to be fair to myself and my teammates. I have no control over the ball whatsoever, even on a 10-yard pattern out in the flat. I'll come out tomorrow, and do what I can. I'll keep getting treatments, and we have an off-week next week, maybe I'll be ready for the following game."

Maryland coach Joe Krivak said that if Sandwisch can't practice today or participate more than he did yesterday, it is doubtful he would start against West Virginia (2-1).

"If he can't work tomorrow, he has missed a whole lot of work for a guy who hasn't played much," said Krivak. "In that case, it would be tough to start him. Very tough. But it's still a day by day thing."

Sandwisch said he first experienced pain in his elbow during preseason practice, and then hurt it in the Virginia game nearly two weeks ago. He practiced sparingly last week, but still started against the Orangemen before taking a couple of shots that forced him out. Sandwisch has been diagnosed as having tendinitis in the affected areas.

Kaleo, 5-11, 199 pounds, completed eight of 19 passes for 83 yards in the second half, but had three passes intercepted. He also had a pass intercepted in the end zone in the second half, which helped turn the momentum in Syracuse's favor.

Krivak said Sunday, and reiterated Monday, that Kaleo would start if Sandwisch could not play. But it is no secret that Kaleo is the choice of Krivak, while quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator Jerry Eisaman would prefer 6-3, 210-pound true freshman Scott Milanovich.

Kaleo is the more mobile of the two and has more college experience, even though his lack of height makes it difficult for him to see over the line of scrimmage. Krivak said yesterday the offense has made some adjustments just for Kaleo, who threw for 2,963 yards and 32 touchdowns at Montgomery College-Rockville, where he was named JuCo Player of the Year.

"I was in this situation before last week," said Kaleo. "All I can do is prepare myself for the game. I have confidence in my ability, and I'm sure that I can do the job."

Milanovich, from Butler, Pa., may have the strongest arm of all the Terps quarterbacks. He's also a classic drop-back-style passer, and built similarly to predecessors Neil O'Donnell, Scott Zolak and Boomer Esiason.

But a move to Milanovich might seem to be one of panic for the Terps (1-1) this early in the season. No coach wants to start a freshman to face the pressures of big-time college football. Plus the Terps have had two consecutive solid recruiting classes. Krivak may be building for the future with Milanovich. But starting Milanovich would get him primed for next season.

Either way, Milanovich, who threw for 1,520 yards and 19 touchdowns last season for Butler High, probably won't start Saturday, but he may see action if Sandwisch doesn't play and Kaleo falters.

"We have confidence in John," said Eisaman, who earlier this season moved Milanovich past redshirt freshman Tony Scarpino. "He did some good things out there Saturday, even though he didn't get much of a chance because we were behind and our protection broke down quite a bit."

"The biggest difference in the two is that John moves better and has experience in running the offense. He spent 15 more days here than Milanovich in the spring," said Eisaman. "But Scott is cool, has great awareness and reads defenses well, especially for a freshman. He thinks ahead and grasps things well. I won't say Scott will start, but he'll be getting a lot of repetitions. And if he gets to play, we'll start whoever gets the job done."

Krivak said of Milanovich: "He understands, he sees and he picks up things well. It's a long season, and down the road, Milanovich is the guy who catches my eye. He does some things very naturally, very easily. I don't know when, where or if he plays, but I wouldn't rule out that possibility."

Milanovich, whose fast advancement could be traced to his father's being a high school coach, said Eisaman has told him not to lift weights Friday, leading him to believe he might play.

"If they want me to give up my redshirt year, I will," said Milanovich. "I feel as though I can play, but I don't want to get too excited. If I don't play, I would be all bummed out."

NOTES: Senior starting CB Scott Rosen missed practice time yesterday because of another possible injury to his already injured groin. . . . Reserve OLB Darren Colvin (Aberdeen) missed some time because of turf toe.

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