N.D. transfer QB awaits Terps in W.Va.

The Inside Stuff

September 17, 1992|By Bill Tanton

There's no question that Maryland's football team is playing with greater enthusiasm than it did during a 2-9 season last year.

Still, the Terps are winless (0-2) and, as first-year coach Mark Duffner is saying this week: "We've got to find a way to win. We have to learn how to put teams away."

A win is what Duffner and Maryland need, all right, but largely because of a transfer from Notre Dame they're not likely to get it Saturday at West Virginia.

WVU, in its opener two weeks ago, lost five fumbles and tied Miami of Ohio, 29-29.

Last Saturday the Mountaineers switched quarterbacks. To the bench went last year's starter, Darren Studstill. To the huddle went Jake Kelcher, a 6-foot-2, 210-pound transfer from Notre Dame.

West Virginia routed Pitt, 44-6 -- the most one-sided win for either team in the 85-year history of the series.

West Virginia coach Don Nehlen tried to recruit Kelcher three years ago when the youngster led Berwick (Pa.) High to the national high school championship. Kelcher, however, enrolled at South Bend.

Kelcher soon saw that Rick Mirer would be doing most of the playing for coach Lou Holtz so he transferred to West Virginia.

Now, thanks to the sudden blossoming of Kelcher, West Virginia looks like a different team. The Mountaineers -- with seven starters back on offense, and seven back on defense from the team that beat Maryland, 37-7, last year -- are 8 1/2 -point favorites.

Kelcher, a pro-style dropback quarterback, ran for one touchdown and threw for two at Pitt. Passing, he was 9-for-12 for 168 yards. His statistics after two games (22 for 31 for 387 yards and four TDs) compare favorably with those of ex-Mountaineer QB (now a New York Giant) Jeff Hostetler.

Nehlen, meanwhile, is not bothered at all that he and West Virginia were Kelcher's second choice.

"We're just happy to have him," Nehlen says.

Incidentally, if you're looking for a live radio description in Baltimore of the Maryland-West Virginia game, which starts at 1 p.m., you'll have to switch to WITH-AM. The Terps' regular station here, WBAL-AM, will carry the football game on delay after Saturday's Orioles at Milwaukee game, which has been switched to an afternoon start.

* The hardest-working football player at Maryland this week is Larry Washington, the sophomore running back who was suspended for the first two games after admitting to felony forgery of a credit card.

Duffner says Washington, who was The Baltimore Sun's High School Athlete of the Year two years ago when he was at Randallstown, has been undergoing intense practice sessions to make up for missed time.

I've talked to at least a dozen fans this week about Larry's case and his reinstatement. Not one of them thinks he should have been allowed to come back this year.

* Another thing I'm hearing is favorable comments about the sports talk show Stan the Fan does six nights a week on WCBM. People tell me they like the way Stan beats up on Oriole Glenn Davis. I don't think we have to ask Glenn Davis what he thinks of it.

Stan the Fan has helped himself and the show by bringing in good people as co-hosts -- Boog Powell for baseball, Ernie Accorsi for football, and Paul "The Guru" Baker for basketball.

* "The one thing the weekend golfer can do to improve his game," says 1992 Baltimore City Amateur champion Bob Kaestner, "is to have balance in his swing.

"As the weight is transferred during the swing, the player must remain balanced. If you're not balanced, you can't hit the ball. You have to have a swing that repeats and keep it simple. As the players out there Monday will see [Kaestner will conduct a clinic at noon] my swing is the same whether it's with a sand wedge or a driver."

Because this fund-raising event at Eagle's Nest is held in memory of the late Henry Ciccarone, the Johns Hopkins lacrosse coach who died at 50 of a heart attack, coaches and players from all over the country compete in it. There are still openings in the field. Call Ed Speno at 561-1973.

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