Foley throws self into QB picture

MARYLAND NOTEBOOK

September 18, 1994|By Paul McMullen | Paul McMullen,Sun Staff Writer

MORGANTOWN, W. VA. — MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- When the Atlantic Coast Conference media voted for a preseason all-star team, they looked at the big numbers Scott Milanovich put up in 1993 and selected Maryland's junior quarterback as Player of the Year.

But he has been anything but in the first three weeks and now finds himself not only not the No. 1 quarterback in the ACC but perhaps not even No. 1 on the Terps.

Milanovich's 1994 struggles continued at West Virginia yesterday, and when backup Kevin Foley moved the Terps 80 yards for a touchdown on his first possession, the Maryland coaching staff didn't hesitate and went with the redshirt sophomore the rest of the way.

Get ready for a quarterback controversy, as in who's going to start next Saturday against Wake Forest?

"We're taking it one day at a time," quarterbacks coach Rob Spence said. "Today was something that just happened, it wasn't planned. Kevin came in and had a hot hand, and from the second quarter on, there was no going back."

Said Milanovich: "It's inevitable, after he [Foley] played as well as he did and the way we struggled the last two weeks. Obviously, I'm not happy. Kevin's one of my best friends. It's hard for him to sit, and I've been there before."

Said Foley: "I felt good when I came in, and deep down, I said to myself, 'Let's see what happens.' Whatever the coach decides, it's going to be a tough situation.' "

Milanovich, who had one 17-yard completion and one interception in two attempts, still made a contribution, as his punting (six for a 42.7-yard average) allowed Maryland to win the field position war.

Brian Cummings, the third-teamer, may have separated a shoulder on a 26-yard third-down run that set up his 3-yard touchdown run, which put the Terps ahead for good.

Erik Greenstein, who took over at center when Jamie Bragg was switched to defensive tackle, was benched along with Milanovich after they botched two first-quarter snaps. He returned after one series, however, and more than held his own against nose tackle Barry Hawkins, who might be the Mountaineers' best player.

Defense rises up

Maryland beat West Virginia at its own game, as the Terps' offensive line opened huge holes and the defense played more physical than it has in years. It was a combination that allowed coach Mark Duffner to have the Terps go for a first down on fourth down at their own 35-yard line, and down 10-0 in the second quarter.

Linebacker Ratcliff Thomas, as is the custom, led the Terps with nine tackles, cornerback A. J. Johnson had another strong game, and cornerback Raphael Wall and linebacker Mike Settles had maybe their best games in a Maryland uniform. Most important, linebackers Gene Gray and Tim Brown, and strong safety Jermaine Stewart stood out while filling in for injured regulars Erick Wood and Angel Guerra, respectively.

Briefly

Sophomore Geroy Simon had 11 catches for 129 yards and a touchdown. The catch total tied for the fourth-highest in Maryland history. . . . West Virginia's Todd Sauerbrun showed why he might be the best punter in the nation, as he had a 54.3-yard average for seven kicks. . . . West Virginia tailback Robert Walker had 70 of his 123 yards in the first half. . . . Bragg collapsed outside the dressing room with muscle cramps, but he was smiling 15 minutes later.

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