They run, They Shoot, THEY SCORE! Detailed Dorazio points Terps in higher direction

October 01, 1993|By Mike Preston | Mike Preston,Staff Writer

COLLEGE PARK — College Park--It's 5:30 on a Sunday morning, exactly 12 hours, 15 minutes and 30 seconds after Maryland had been beaten, 59-42, by North Carolina, exactly 6 hours, 29 minutes and 29 1/2 seconds after the Terps had arrived back in College Park.

The computer mind of Maryland offensive coordinator and line coach Dan Dorazio is buzzing, dissecting the game film.

Mark Mason misses block in 2.8 seconds. Quarterback needs 2.86 seconds to release pass. . . . Steve Ingram does not bring left hand across to punch pass rusher. Quarterback hurried in 2.3 seconds. He needs 2.5. Ingram needs to practice technique 15 times this week. . . . Mason gains only 12 yards on screen right. Play should have gained 17. Solution: John Teter needs to leave line of scrimmage in 1.3 seconds, not 1.1.

"That's Coach Dorazio," said Clyde Christensen, Maryland's quarterbacks coach. "If you asked Dan where he was going to be on May 4, 1997, he could tell you where, how he would be standing, where he would sit, what time he would have lunch and how many calories are in the bread crumbs in his salad."

"He would then tell you what color suit he would have on," said John Matsko, Dorazio's former teammate at Kent State and the Phoenix Cardinals' offensive line coach.

Dorazio is the brain behind Maryland's Red Storm offense, a.k.a. the run-and-shoot, which leads the nation in passing offense with 406.8 yards per game and is fifth in total offense at 507.3.

Maryland sophomore quarterback Scott Milanovich leads the country in total offense (402.5), touchdown passes (16) and yards (1,607), and sophomore receiver Jermaine Lewis is the country's No. 1 receiver in yards (154.3 per game) and No. 4 in receptions (7.8). Maryland is averaging 34 points.

The only drawback: The Terps' defense is allowing 592.5 yards and 49.8 points per game, worst in Division I-A.

"They do everything best offensively you'll ever see, just a magnificent football team," said coach Joe Paterno, whose No. 9 Penn State team (4-0) faces the Terps (0-4) Saturday at 7 p.m. at Byrd Stadium.

"Offensively, they have been unstoppable, literally unstoppable, and they have not been playing the Little Sisters of the Poor," Paterno said. "Coach [Mark] Duffner has done a good job with the offense."

But it's Dorazio, 41, who calls most of the plays.

It's easy, though, for Dorazio to get lost in Duffner's shadow, especially on game day. Duffner, a former starting defensive lineman at William & Mary, is 6 feet 3, weighs about 220 pounds and is a dervish on the sidelines.

Dorazio, 6-0 and about 160, looks like he needs a road map to get out of his oversized jackets and baseball caps. He's got beady eyes and a pointed chin. He never started in four years as a running back at Kent State.

Emotional? Occasionally. The Minnesota Vikings' Bud Grant may have been more demonstrative.

That's not to say Dorazio isn't being noticed.

"The head coach gets the credit when things are going good or bad," said West Virginia coach Don Nehlen. "But as the coach, we all know the assistants play a big part. Watching Maryland play, they've got receivers buzzing all over the field. Nobody in the country runs that offense as well. There's got to be an assistant over there somewhere doing a great job."

All the answers

Dorazio got his first taste of the run-and-shoot when he was offensive coordinator and line coach at Northern Iowa during 1980-1981.

"It's just so productive," said Dorazio. "It stretches the defense horizontally and vertically. It puts a lot of pressure on the defense, it has balance and this offense has an answer for everything."

So does Dorazio, it seems.

His friends and coaching peers say there is no segment of the game he does not cover.

Dorazio, who says he spends 98 hours a week on game preparation, charts everything: number of times the Terps run plays in practice, repetitions used by linemen for certain blocks, the time it takes for a quarterback to drop back and how long before he releases the ball. Dorazio has a chart on every play from Maryland's games last year.

Before each game, Dorazio already has five to eight plays scripted for first-and-10 situations, second-and-nine, third-and-eight, whatever . . .

Even more incredible is that Maryland goes without a huddle, so Dorazio has to have a play called after the tackle on the previous play.

"One of the keys in this offense is consistency," said Dorazio. "There really aren't many plays, it's just that we keep doing things over and over again. The players have had a year in the system, and we just agreed at the beginning of the season to try and elevate the level over a year ago."

"The man is a machine," said Steve Ingram, Maryland's junior offensive tackle. "He just spits it out, always making adjustments, never leaving us vulnerable. I mean, there are times when he can tell you how to hit a guy and which way he should lean once you hit him. He's always got an answer."

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