Nose tackle Feldheim out for rest of year

MARYLAND NOTEBOOK

His knee injury further depletes defensive line

College Football

Maryland notebook

October 30, 2002|By Christian Ewell | Christian Ewell,SUN STAFF

COLLEGE PARK - Maryland's defensive line, already relatively thin, took a significant blow yesterday when coach Ralph Friedgen announced that injured nose tackle C.J. Feldheim would not return this season.

Feldheim, a junior from Hereford High, tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in the first quarter of the Terrapins' 45-12 win over Duke on Saturday in Durham, N.C.

The severity of the injury was suspected when Feldheim got injured on team's second defensive play, and it was confirmed after he underwent a magnetic resonance imaging exam Monday.

Seventh on the team with tackles at 36, and collecting 5 1/2 stops for losses, Feldheim, who was unavailable to comment yesterday, had teamed with defensive tackle Randy Starks to give the Terrapins (6-2, 2-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) a tough interior line.

"They had been good at establishing the line of scrimmage," said Friedgen, whose team is one win from becoming bowl-eligible. "I don't think another team has gotten a push on our front line. That frees E.J. [Henderson] and our linebackers."

In a program unsuccessful in procuring standout inside defensive linemen in recent years - 2001 and 2002 recruits Kris Jenkins and Charles Hill, notwithstanding - Maryland has been susceptible beyond Feldheim and Starks.

Before Saturday, both Feldheim and Starks participated in about 80 percent of the team's defensive plays, because backups William Shime and Tosin Abari were untested.

Shime played well in place of Feldheim. The fifth-year senior - who entered the game with only 16 tackles for his career - had four tackles, including a short-yardage stop on third down.

"Obviously, we're going to put in William Shime for C.J.," he said. "From there, we're going to have to get creative."

Things aren't much better on the other side of the ball. As many as three starters could be sidelined for Saturday's game at North Carolina.

That's not likely, but Todd Wike (left bruise toe), Matt Crawford (left knee) and Kyle Schmitt (nerve injury) are currently nursing injuries that have curtailed their practice time.

Expanding their options

In the midst of a three-catch, 103-yard receiving day on Saturday, Maryland wide receiver Latrez Harrison appeared in a familiar situation: behind center.

The Terrapins used the senior from Atlanta at quarterback on several plays during the win. Starter Scott McBrien's performance - 16 of 21 passes for 264 yards and two touchdowns - didn't cry for a substitute.

Harrison, recruited to Maryland to play quarterback, wasn't in there to pitch the ball around the field, but to help the offense get more used to the option.

"We made a lot of mistakes in it," Friedgen said, "but we think it may give us something."

McBrien would love to become accomplished on the option, but his relative inexperience hampers him in making reads on those plays, and weighing 180 pounds doesn't encourage durability.

After the West Virginia game in which he ran for a 20-yard touchdown run off the option, Maryland began practicing using Chris Kelley and Harrison for those plays.

Harrison, who has started six of the team's eight games at wideout after three years at quarterback, welcomed the brief return to an old spot.

"You may have thought I was done," he said, "but I wasn't done. My heart is at quartertback, but I'm going to do what ever it takes to win."

Et cetera

Shawne Merriman was the team's first first-year player to start this season, subbing for Jamal Cochran at rush linebacker. ... The Nov. 9 home game against No. 10 N.C. State will be played at noon or 3:30 p.m., and will be televised by ESPN or ABC.

Next for Terps

Opponent: North Carolina (2-6)

Site: Kenan Memorial Stadium, Chapel Hill, N.C.

When: Saturday, 1:30 p.m.

Radio: WBAL (1090 AM)

Line: Maryland by 11

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