Friedgen says Statham will start at QB for Maryland

Starter `seems to be more comfortable' than Steffy

College Football

October 22, 2004|By Kevin Van Valkenburg | Kevin Van Valkenburg,SUN STAFF

COLLEGE PARK - Sophomore Joel Statham will be Maryland's starting quarterback when the Terps try to end a two-game losing streak tomorrow against Clemson, coach Ralph Friedgen said yesterday.

Friedgen said earlier in the week that he would make a "game-time" decision about whether to start Statham or freshman Jordan Steffy, but after a week of good practices, he decided to give Statham the nod.

"He's had a very good week," Friedgen said. "I just told him today, if you could play like you practice, we'd be OK. I remember having that same talk with Scott McBrien. I'm hoping it finally gets through."

Friedgen didn't rule out playing Steffy, who has entered the game in the second half of Maryland's past two games, but said Statham seems to have made strides this week.

"He seems to be a lot more comfortable," Friedgen said. "I hope he's like that [tomorrow]. We need some guys to stand up and make some plays for him too, you know? That hasn't happened."

Statham has started all six games for Maryland this year, completing 73 of 129 passes for 961 yards. He has thrown seven touchdowns and seven interceptions.

NOTES: Right tackle Lou Lombardo has had his arm in a sling this week, and hasn't practiced. Friedgen wouldn't say yesterday whether he'll miss tomorrow's game. Left tackle Stephon Heyer remains questionable with a dislocated kneecap.

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