Maryland's new attack gets off to shaky start Defense dominates in Terps' scrimmage

April 02, 1996|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

It wasn't a good day for Maryland's offense Sunday. First, it lost the intrasquad football scrimmage to the defense, 52-17, then it had to eat hot dogs and beans for dinner.

Before a crowd of 200 at Mount St. Joseph High School, the Terps' new pro-set offense appeared ragged.

In its seventh practice of the spring, the offense fumbled six times, allowed eight sacks and threw one interception in its new formation that features a one-tight end, I-formation set.

Using a scoring system based on big plays, Maryland coach Mark Duffner put a prime rib dinner on the line for the winner of the offense vs. defense scrimmage.

"I was disappointed with our procedure problems on offense," Duffner said. "But that's indicative of the time we're at."

The defense, which usually progresses faster during the spring, took advantage of the offense, which still is learning the formations. Senior defensive linemen Anthony Jenkins and Al Wallace caused most of the disruption, continually pressuring the Terps' quarterbacks.

The offense only threatened to score once, driving the ball to the 5-yard line before fumbling.

"The defense had the upper hand, and that's usually part of spring practice," Duffner said. "The hitting was crisp and there was excellent pursuit on defense."

The offensive focus was on the running game, and the Terps rushed the ball twice as many times as they passed. Buddy Rodgers ran for 121 yards on 19 carries and Brian Underwood had 55 yards on 14 attempts.

In the new fullback slot, Mario Chavez, a converted defensive lineman, opened the holes for Rodgers' and Underwood's biggest runs.

Junior quarterback Brian Cummings, who is 1-3 as a pitcher for the Maryland baseball team, was somewhat effective, completing six of 12 for 68 yards.

"We ran the ball really well out there," said Cummings, who shared time with redshirt freshmen Trey Evans and Ken Mastrole. "We were a little off, but that is to be expected with a new offense. There are signs of a good offense."

Meanwhile, senior Orlando Strozier looked less than impressive at defensive back. Playing in the secondary for the first time in three years, Strozier was slow to react and was the defender on two of wide receiver Geroy Simon's three catches.

Strozier, who is listed as a wide receiver in the spring prospectus, led the Terps in interceptions as a redshirt freshman in 1993.

"We will continue to evaluate him as spring practice goes on," Duffner said.

The biggest no-show of the day was senior inside linebacker Ratcliff Thomas, who did not play because of a sprained thumb.

Thomas, an honorable mention All-Atlantic Coast Conference selection, enters the season ninth on the school's all-time tackling list.

NOTES: Maryland will play its Red-White Spring Game on April 13 at 2: 30 p.m. at Byrd Stadium. . . . The Terps will hold a Youth

Day on April 27 from 9 a.m. to noon, with coaches and players instructing boys and girls ages 8-18 in football basics.

Pub Date: 4/02/96

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