UM running against fast competition

Maryland-Fla. State matchup

October 23, 2001|By FROM STAFF REPORTS

Maryland running game vs. Florida State run defense:

For the Terps, this is a mere continuation of their efforts under the Ron Vanderlinden regime. After a 362-yard effort against Duke, Maryland is ninth nationally in rushing offense with 230.9 yards a game.

The still-improving offensive line, led by senior center Melvin Fowler, is a big reason for the success of tailback Bruce Perry, who ranks sixth in rushing with 135.6 yards a game and is 51 yards away from 1,000 for the season. Quarterback Shaun Hill has become adept at running the option, giving Maryland another way to attack on the ground.

But the Terps had trouble running against Georgia Tech two weeks ago, stumped by the Yellow Jackets' speed and constant movement near the line of scrimmage. Now, they face the fastest defensive group since the season opener against North Carolina.

The Seminoles are allowing only 104.2 rushing yards a game, with the defense led by tackle Darnell Dockett and linebacker Bradley Jennings. The main problem in Tallahassee is that Florida State is young and beset by the absence of its injured former starting defensive ends, Eric Powell and Alonzo Jackson.

Still, with a pair of sophomores playing on the ends, Florida State held Virginia to 34 rushing yards Saturday.

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