Terrapins take fresh approach in opener Freshmen, new formations unveiled, get mixed reviews

Maryland notebook

September 07, 1997|By Paul McMullen | Paul McMullen,SUN STAFF

COLLEGE PARK -- They were on the flank, and in the interior of the defensive line. They were in the backfield, and they returned punts.

Ron Vanderlinden made extensive use of his first recruiting class last night, and the number of freshmen in his plans could rise. After junior Brad Rhodes missed a pivotal 23-yard field-goal attempt in Maryland's 21-14 loss to Ohio last night, the rookie head coach was seen talking to backup Brian Kopka, yet another freshman.

Doug Patterson started at flanker and caught one pass for 6 yards. Matt Kalapinski saw considerable playing time at H-back. Lamont Jordan was the third tailback used, Tony Jackson had a nifty 13-yard punt return, and Kris Jenkins saw action as a reserve defensive tackle.

The Terps' offense faltered in the second half, but it used all of its weapons and formations in the first half.

Brian Cummings' first pass attempt was also the first career catch for tight end Tim Brown, who played plenty last year. Four plays later, the Terps went with three wide receivers, but flipped a screen to Buddy Rodgers for a 20-yard gain.

Redshirt freshman Mike Hull joined Brown in a two-tight-end alignment. Starting H-back Pete Timmins usually worked in motion, but the Terps also tried a Power I formation, with Kalapinski lined up as a fullback. On their third possession, the Terps went with one back, two tight ends and two wide receivers.

Maryland totaled 132 yards on its first two possessions, but only 132 the rest of the way, as it was held scoreless over the final 44 minutes.

"We didn't stop moving the ball the whole day, but it doesn't really matter unless we get it in the end zone," Cummings said.

Big Mid at Byrd

Maryland and Navy might not meet until the 22nd century, but Mids coach Charlie Weatherbie found his way to Byrd Stadium last night, albeit as a recruit's parent. He accompanied his son Jonas, the senior quarterback who looked sharp in Broadneck High's season-opening rout of Old Mill.

The young Weatherbie was among the high school seniors who were invited guests of Vanderlinden and recruiting coordinator Chris Cosh.

Miscellaneous

Vanderlinden became the eighth straight coach to lose or tie his opener with Maryland since Tom Nugent won his in 1959. Cummings failed in his attempt to become only the third quarterback in Maryland history to win three consecutive opening games. The first was Dick Novak (1959-61), and Mark Manges did it in 1975-77. It was Ohio's first win in nine tries against ACC competition. Redshirt freshman Moises Cruz (Seneca Valley) came up big in his first college start, catching six passes for 91 yards.

Next for Maryland

Opponent: No. 5 Florida State

Site: Tallahassee, Fla.

When: 3: 30 p.m. Saturday

Record: 1-0

Last night: Beat No. 23 USC, 14-7

Pub Date: 9/07/97

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