Riley gets Terrapins off and running

MARYLAND NOTEBOOK

Senior's 69-yard TD is longest run of career, gives UM early lead

College Football

November 04, 2001|By Gary Lambrecht | Gary Lambrecht,SUN STAFF

COLLEGE PARK - For one day at least, Marc Riley did not feel like a short-yardage specialist.

Riley, Maryland's senior backup tailback who lost the starting job competition in August to Bruce Perry, stretched things out a bit in yesterday's 47-14 rout over Troy State at Byrd Stadium.

Was that really Riley slashing off right tackle, then barely getting touched while running 69 yards for the longest run and longest touchdown of his career to get the Maryland scoring started in the first quarter?

"I haven't had a feeling like that since my senior year in high school," said Riley, who is second on the team with eight rushing touchdowns. "I got a little nervous, though, because I thought I was going to get caught [from behind]. Fortunately, I was able to go into the end zone standing up."

Although he is primarily used as the tailback on the goal line and in situations like the third-and-one that preceded his scoring run, Riley has been lining up more in a two-back set with Perry. Still, yesterday marked an unusual day for the 6-foot-3, 218-pound senior from Coram, N.Y.

By finishing with seven carries for 86 yards, Riley led Maryland in rushing yards for the first time all year. Perry (10 rushes, 45 yards) actually finished third behind backup Jason Crawford (13 carries, 47 yards).

"Bruce beat me out for the job. I have no problem with that. He is the main guy," said Riley, who had recorded 225 yards and a 2.8-yard average in 34 career games before yesterday.

"It was a short-yardage situation. [Troy State] put 11 guys up on the line," Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen said. "We blocked it well, and Marc made a big play that really got us going."

Swift has his moment

Fifth-year senior linebacker Ryan Swift rarely gets to taste measurable playing time. He missed all but three games last year with ankle and hamstring injuries, and he had taken a back seat to end Mike Whaley this year, before Whaley went down with a stinger in practice on Tuesday.

Yesterday, Swift was in the middle of a defense that trashed Troy State's running game and pounded quarterback Brock Nutter to the tune of eight sacks. Swift collected four tackles, including three for losses and 1.5 sacks. He also recovered a fumble.

"I knew there was a chance we could get those sacks, but I didn't think we would shut them down like that," said Swift, who added the Terps did not have to do much stunting. Maryland did not blitz linebackers much, either.

On the receiving end

Wide receivers Scooter Monroe and Daryl Whitmer had caught 16 passes for a combined one touchdown before facing Troy State. They combined for five receptions and 92 yards and a 15-yard touchdown by Whitmer yesterday.

Whitmer converted a third-down play and made a nice diving grab of a slant-in pass by Shaun Hill to give the Terps a 31-0 lead with 1:30 left in the first half. Monroe set up a 33-yard field goal by Nick Novak - who gave the Terps a 10-0 lead with 4:35 left in the first quarter - by stretching out to catch a 42-yard completion from Hill down the middle.

Extra points

Besides Hill (left ankle sprain), the Terps also lost linebacker Marlon Moye-Moore (hamstring), linebacker Andrew Henley (right ankle sprain) and cornerback Dennard Wilson (ankle) to injuries. Cornerback Tony Okanlawon is out indefinitely with an undisclosed illness. ... Yesterday marked the first time this season that the Terps failed to draw 40,000 fans. ... Approximately 2,000 tickets remain for Saturday's Clemson game. The contest begins at 7 p.m., and will be televised on ESPN2.

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