Monroe catches rare UM century mark

His 106 receiving yards most for Terp since 1997

Maryland notebook

College Football

October 18, 2002|By Christian Ewell | Christian Ewell,SUN STAFF

COLLEGE PARK - The short prospectus on Scooter Monroe in Maryland's football media guide is decorated with words for players damned with faint praise like "big-play type" or "outstanding potential."

Since coming here from John Carroll in Harford County in 1999, much of Monroe's workaday college seasons have been spent as a "big-play type" as opposed to an actual playmaker.

That changed last night, when the senior provided the Terps' first 100-yard receiving night in his time in College Park, during a 34-10 win over Georgia Tech. Monroe ended up with 106 yards on five catches, the first Maryland receiver to surpass the century mark since Jason Hatala's 129-yard performance against Duke on Oct. 4, 1997.

"This is hard to believe," Monroe said of the program's lapse in that distinction. He pointed to high school for the last game like that for him. In a game wherein Scott McBrien averaged more than 10 yards a pass attempt, Monroe said, "Scott threw good balls and we made plays."

"Scooter has played well all year," Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen said. "He's just a real team player. He'd hyperextended his elbow on Tuesday, and he played tonight like nothing happened."

Monroe got loose on the left sideline against Tech cornerback Jonathan Cox and hauled a 34-yard pass from McBrien on the team's third play from scrimmage. That set up the team's first points.

After totaling 54 yards on three catches in the first half, he collected nearly as many in the team's second drive of the second half. At that point, he took catches of 22 yards and 30 yards - the latter he took to the Tech 13 and the Terps went on to effectively end the game at 20-3 near the end of the third quarter.

"Today he just had a breakout performance," McBrien said. "I knew it was coming."

Secondary comes through

Georgia Tech's 305-yard passing figure almost points an accusing finger at the Maryland defensive backs, who have gotten more than enough of that.

But nearly two-thirds of that total came in the final quarter.

Otherwise, the Terp buzzed around the ball as Georgia Tech passes went to the ground after getting knocked or jarred into the turf.

"The secondary is like a microcosm of the whole team," cornerback Domonique Foxworth said after making 10 tackles and returning a fumble 12 yards for a fourth-quarter touchdown. "As we get better, the whole team gets better."

Madieu Williams stood out, also making 10 tackles, in addition to four pass deflections.

"I don't think there's a better free safety than Madieu Williams," Friedgen said.

Heightened sense of alert

Security around Byrd Stadium was tighter than usual for last night's game, which drew only 41,766, in what University of Maryland public safety spokesman Maj. Paul Dillon referred to as a "heightened sense of alert."

Amid concern about the sniper shootings around the Capitol region, police were deliberately vague about the size or the methods of the force near the stadium, but did say that it would have an increased presence and increased patrols.

Henderson repeats

Maryland linebacker E.J. Henderson, one of the three finalists for last year's Butkus Award, was named as one of the semifinalists for this year's award.

Henderson, a senior and Aberdeen native, has made 73 tackles over six games to merit consideration for the award, given to the nation's top college linebacker.

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