Terps expecting smooth trip to Wake

Charter arrangement should speed boarding

Friedgen sees some rust

Maryland notebook

College Football

September 19, 2001|By Christian Ewell | Christian Ewell,SUN STAFF

COLLEGE PARK -- Despite the recent terrorist attacks, flying by charter should be a painless exercise when the Maryland football team goes to Winston-Salem, N.C., for Saturday's game against Wake Forest, and on future road trips.

The team, looking for its first 3-0 start since 1999, will leave Friday morning from BWI and fly to Greensboro, N.C.

Earlier, it was thought that the team might face lengthy checks of identification cards and luggage for each of the approximately 150 people in the travel party. But the team's director of football operations, Tom Deahn, said that discussions with the charter carrier, Delta, led to easing of possible restrictions.

The lone stipulation of note apparently is that only those on the bus will be allowed on the plane. Some who normally travel with the team, such as announcer Johnny Holliday, live in the Baltimore area and had previously met the team at the airport. Now they will meet the team in College Park.

"Seeing that we come with the police to start with, and we know everybody and we know what everybody has with them, they felt pretty good that they have control," Deahn said.

"There's going to be a guy or two who's apprehensive, but most of the guys feel real good that there's no major concerns from a safety standpoint."

"I'm thinking we're going to be pretty secure on a charter flight," Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen said. "I'm sure we'll all be a little tentative about it, but I'm hoping, with security, we'll go on there an hour earlier and no one will get on the plane who's not on the bus."

While the football squad and both basketball teams will continue making use of charter flights, security difficulties might lead the university to use ground travel for many of its non-revenue teams.

"It may be that it makes more sense to load up the buses behind Cole Field House and get on those and just drive down," athletic director Debbie Yow said.

Quarterback Shaun Hill got a taste of post-attack travel last weekend, with a four-hour layover while coming back from his home in Parsons, Kan.

But center Melvin Fowler -- whose older brother escaped from the World Trade Center on Sept. 11 -- doesn't foresee any real problems with travel.

"I'm sure people are going to have ambivalent feelings toward flying, but it's something that everyone has to deal with," Fowler said.

Glad to be back

Yesterday was the team's third practice since Saturday's West Virginia game was postponed and the second since Friedgen gave the players the weekend off to be with their families.

Friedgen said his team was slightly rusty from the short layoff, though he was pleased with the effort in Monday night's practice.

The players reported back to College Park on Sunday, and were glad for a return to football.

"Things are starting to get a little back to normal with baseball games and other sports being played," tight end Matt Murphy said. "We're starting to get our focus back."

On guard for Deacons

Beating Wake Forest (2-0) on Saturday will require greater focus than one might have guessed before the season began. In a meeting between the teams last season, Maryland won easily, 37-7, rushing for 233 yards against a squad that had only one win.

It took only one game this season for Wake to capture attention under new coach Jim Grobe -- a 21-19 win on the road over East Carolina, a team rated in the Top 25 in some preseason publications.

Grobe characterizes his team as not being very good, but Friedgen spoke of a dangerous team that is rushing for 250 yards a game out of a spread attack similar to the ones used by Clemson and Northwestern.

`They're undefeated, playing very well," Friedgen said of the Demon Deacons, who return 16 players from last season. "They're playing with the same type of enthusiasm that our players are. That's our challenge in that we go play an undefeated team on their turf."

Et cetera

Friedgen said he will make a decision on kicker -- between Nick Novak and Vedad Siljkovic -- later this week. ... Grobe has a good history against Maryland -- as Ohio's coach, he scored a 21-14 win in College Park to ruin Ron Vanderlinden's debut as coach.

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