O'Donnell is kicker for all reasons

September 02, 1994|By Paul McMullen | Paul McMullen,Sun Staff Writer

COLLEGE PARK -- Joe O'Donnell will do all of the place-kicking in Maryland's season opener at Duke tomorrow.

O'Donnell, a sophomore transfer who did all of the kicking for Division I-AA Tennessee-Martin last season, beat out freshman recruit Brad Rhodes.

Coach Mark Duffner announced earlier this week that O'Donnell would kick off against Duke, and yesterday he said O'Donnell also would kick field goals and extra points.

"It was a flip of the coin on placements, and the fact that he [O'Donnell] has done it in a game before was the deciding factor," Duffner said.

O'Donnell, who has the stronger leg, outperformed Rhodes in the first two weeks of preseason practice, but Rhodes recently closed the gap. Should O'Donnell falter, Rhodes will be given a chance.

Kicking problems were a major reason Maryland went 2-9 last season, when the Terps made only one of eight field goals.

The offensive line was as settled as the kicking situation was unsettled last year, but it, too, will have a different look at Duke.

John Teter, a junior out of De Matha High who started all 11 games at right tackle last year, hasn't completely recovered from the ankle injury he suffered at the end of spring practice. Mark Motley, a 6-foot-6, 310-pound junior-college transfer who redshirted last year, will play in his place.

Motley and superback Allen Williams, who is still rehabilitating the ankle injury that kept him out of practice last week, are the only play ers from junior colleges atop the depth chart. Before coming to Maryland, they were teammates at Georgia Military College in 1993.

The plans for Maryland's defense this year included five junior-college transfers, but only three remain, and two -- reserve cornerback Jay Johnson and linebacker Robert Moore -- are on the depth chart. Linebacker Gary Talbot didn't return after the spring semester, and defensive back Charles Cannon left the team last week.

Briefly

A sprained knee will keep tight end Erik Henry out of the game. . . . Approximately 8,000 tickets remain for the home opener, Sept. 10 (noon) against defending national champion Florida State. . . . Duke offensive line coach John Zernhelt, who played at Maryland and was an assistant coach under Joe Krivak, is one of five assistants first-year Duke coach Fred Goldsmith brought with him from Rice.

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