Hollenbach gets nod as Terps' starting QB

`There's no question in my mind,' Friedgen says after closed scrimmage

College Football

August 21, 2005|By Heather A. Dinich | Heather A. Dinich,SUN STAFF

COLLEGE PARK - Few questions were answered in Maryland's closed scrimmage yesterday afternoon at Byrd Stadium, but coach Ralph Friedgen left no doubt that Sam Hollenbach will be the Terps' starting quarterback in the season opener Sept. 3 against Navy.

"Oh, yeah," Friedgen said. "There's no question in my mind."

Hollenbach was 10-for-13 for 170 yards and three touchdowns, including a 7-yard slant pass on third down that freshman Darrius Heyward-Bey (McDonogh) turned into a 65-yard touchdown.

"If there's been one bright spot in this camp, it's been Sam Hollenbach," Friedgen said. "I'd like to see what's going to happen when he really gets some confidence and gets going on the field. That's what I have to hope can happen, that he can take this onto the field."

Joel Statham, who started every game last year but the season finale against Wake Forest, completed nine of 15 passes for 115 yards and one touchdown. He also threw an interception.

Receiver Jason Goode (Woodlawn) led the team with 74 receiving yards on five catches, including a 54-yard touchdown reception from Statham.

From the 30-yard line, Hollenbach drove the first-team offense 70 yards in 11 plays and hit senior Derrick Fenner on a third-and-nine for a touchdown.

"Sam is looking very poised," said Fenner, who was taken out after his touchdown because of pain in his left hamstring. "I'm feeling confident with him. Sam is basically the offense. He's making good decisions, and that's important."

Quarterback is the only position on offense that hasn't been altered because of an injury. At least 10 starters from the preseason depth chart didn't participate in the 72-play scrimmage. Eight were missing from injuries, and linebacker D'Qwell Jackson and defensive end Jermaine Lemons were at family funerals.

"I can't look at this scrimmage like, `OK, these are the players who are going to be playing in the game,' " Friedgen said. "But I think we know a little bit more about our team right now, and what guys we've got to spend more time working with."

Friedgen said senior wide receiver Jo Jo Walker didn't play because he wasn't wearing his hip pads at practice on Friday and bruised his hip when he dived for a ball and landed on a drain. Freshman receiver Isaiah Williams is still nursing a shoulder injury and didn't play.

Still, Friedgen said the passing game is ahead of the Terps' running game.

With a different offensive line rotation just about every practice, the run blocking has taken a hit. None of the tailbacks totaled more than 27 yards in the scrimmage, but offensive coordinator Charlie Taaffe and Friedgen agreed that third-string running back Lance Ball had the best scrimmage.

"I think he's making a move right now," Friedgen said. "He's had about four good practices in a row. He's got a little juice. He's getting downhill."

Friedgen said the kicking game remains a tight contest between Dan Ennis and Obi Egekeze. Ennis made five of six field-goal tries in the scrimmage, including kicks from 46 and 49 yards. Egekeze made four of five, including from 47 and 49 yards.

NOTES: Cornerback Richard Taylor broke his left hand. ... Friedgen said receiver Danny Melendez has slightly torn cartilage in his knee. If he is operated on, Friedgen said Melendez will be out for four weeks, or it can be treated and see if he can make it through the season.

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