Monroe's 106 yards mark end of drought

1st Terps receiver to top century mark 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 per 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.

While playing in his 39th appearance for Maryland, it hasn't been this good for him, statistically, since his second game when he was a freshman. Against West Carolina, he caught three passes for 80 yards, led off with a 72-yard touchdown reception, the first of his career.

Beyond that point, the adjective for Monroe has been more dependable than exhilaration, yo-yo-ing out of the starting lineup over the past two years before he jumped into the spot vacated when senior Guilian Gary departed.

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.

High sense of alert

It didn't hurt the Maryland football team, but it was hard not to notice 10,000 empty seats at Byrd Stadium, where bad weather and safety concerns possibly kept fans away.

With a national television audience, the crowd of 41,766 was the lowest of the team's four home games so far this season. Even among the underwhelming trio of nonconference games last month - Akron, Eastern Michigan and Wofford - the lowest attendance figure was 44,098.

Security around Byrd Stadium was tighter than usual last night 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.

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