Terps report Perry likely to face Duke

But limited role seen for long-injured player

College Football

October 25, 2002|By Christian Ewell | Christian Ewell,SUN STAFF

COLLEGE PARK - Maryland tailback Bruce Perry, last year's Offensive Player of the Year in the Atlantic Coast Conference, will likely return to action tomorrow against Duke. A groin injury has kept him out of the lineup.

Terps coach Ralph Friedgen made the announcement last night after the 5-2 team's final full practice before it travels to Durham, N.C.

"I don't think he'll probably play a full game," Friedgen said when asked how much Perry would play. "It'll be limited and it will depend a lot on how he does and how the game's going. I still don't think he's 100 percent."

Chris Downs is expected to start, coming off a 212-yard, three-touchdown rushing performance last week against Georgia Tech. However, Friedgen said he will try to put Perry into "certain personnel groups," anticipating he will participate in about 15 plays while hoping injury doesn't strike again.

Perry - who ran for 1,242 yards last year - hasn't been at full strength since the end of the 2001 regular season, suffering abdominal pain that continued through this past August.

He sustained the groin injury about a week before the 2002 regular season. While Maryland's staff hoped he would return in mid-September, he reinjured himself before the Sept. 28 Wofford game.

"I'd like to see him stay healthy to get his confidence," Friedgen said. "It's been a tough year for him. ... I'd like to see him look like last year and feel good about himself in that last stretch of the season."

NOTES: Kyle Schmitt, who seemed poised to start at center, will only play in an emergency reserve role after suffering a nerve injury in the Tech game. The Terps will return Todd Wike to center, with C.J. Brooks going to left guard and Eric Dumas to left tackle.

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