Maryland Terrapins hope to score big over their bitter rival, Virginia


September 04, 1992|By Earl P. Schubert

All football eyes will be on College Park tomorrow, when Navy's opening opponent next week, Coach George Welsh's Virginia Cavaliers, battle the Maryland Terrapins.

The Terps upended Virginia in their opener last year, 17-6, and the following week the Mids nearly ruined the Cavaliers' bowl season before losing a heart-breaker in the fourth quarter, 17-10.

One of the more interesting locker room topics these days

centers on the debate as to whether opening a season with an opponent who has a game under its belt places a team at a disadvantage.

Most amateur and professional strategists argue that game experience prepares a team for the next week better than an open date.

But some believe that the opportunity to see what an opponent has may also work to an advantage. A team can hide all its own game strategies and corresponding offensive and defensive techniques from the previous seasons.

No polls have been taken on this debate, but loud unsolicited comments by those who are mostly guessing have been heard.

All of this will be interesting to observe when the Cavaliers come in next week to face a new Navy team with unquestionable potential.

The Maryland-Virginia contest brings two bitter rivals together. Both teams need a win, and for this early in the season, it appears both will let it all hang out.

Visiting the Navy practice field these days is an exciting experience. Spirits are high.

Everyone from Coach George Chaump to the lowest player on the game chart is looking to the season with realistic expectations.

Offensively they have little doubt that they can move the ball on almost anyone. How to stop defensive blunders, mostly in the secondary, that gave so many games away last season continues to be getting everyone's attention.

But there is no doubt that these hard-charging young Mids hardly can wait for the opening gun.

In next week's column, I shall review the expectations for an upset over Virginia and the potential for the rest of the season, but count on one thing -- this is going to be a very different year.


Earl Schubert, a free-lance writer, is a Baltimore native who live in Annapolis. A former football coach, he was a secondary school administrator in Missouri and Montgomery County, and worked for 17 years as a senior official in the U.S. Department of Education. His "Navy Blue and Gold" column appears every Friday in The Anne Arundel County Sun.

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