UM picks off Vick, not win

MARYLAND NOTEBOOK

Terps can't create points off turnovers

Maryland notebook

October 21, 2005|By KEVIN VAN VALKENBURG | KEVIN VAN VALKENBURG,SUN REPORTER

COLLEGE PARK -- For all Marcus Vick's brilliance last night, Maryland had Virginia Tech's junior quarterback rattled at times. Vick, who came into the game having thrown just two interceptions in six games, tossed three last night, two of which weren't anywhere near close to finding a Hokies receiver. Milton Harris, Chris Varner and D'Qwell Jackson each grabbed one of Vick's passes.

"Their receivers were cursing a little bit because he was throwing interceptions right to us," said Maryland cornerback Josh Wilson.

The Terps, however, couldn't seem to make the turnovers matter. None of the interceptions resulted in points, and by the time the fourth quarter rolled around, Maryland's defense was worn down.

"It's a whole different game if we turn any of those turnovers into points," Wilson said. "We knew that if we could get [Vick] flustered, he might turn the ball over. But he's a great quarterback. We got him flustered, then he ended up flustering us all the way down the field."

Vick, the younger brother of Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick, still has serious flaws in his mechanics (two of his interceptions came on off-balance throws off his back foot), but he accelerates faster than any other quarterback in the ACC. In the second quarter, Maryland had Virginia Tech stalled at the Terps' 8-yard line, but on third-and-goal, linebacker David Holloway couldn't keep Vick contained on a blitz, and Vick sprinted outside the pocket and out-raced Jackson to the corner of the end zone.

"I really think the difference tonight was they just had more speed than we did," Terps coach Ralph Friedgen said.

Hollenbach down

Maryland got a slight scare in the third quarter when quarterback Sam Hollenbach was tackled hard after a 22-yard run on an option. According to Friedgen, Hollenbach suffered an AC sprain to his non-throwing shoulder on the play. The junior quarterback was taken into the locker room briefly to be examined by trainers, but returned and finished the game. Hollenbach didn't meet with the media afterward, but Friedgen said Hollenbach's shoulder was bothering him the rest of the night.

"He showed some heart, I thought, coming back in to finish the game," Friedgen said. "I thought that showed character."

Points ... almost

Maryland nearly got some points on defense at the end of the third quarter after a great punt by Adam Podlesh pinned Virginia Tech back to its 1-yard line. On the first play, Terps linebacker William Kershaw nailed Hokies running back Mike Imoh 2 yards deep in the end zone, but Imoh was able to surge forward just enough to get the ball over the goal line to avoid the safety. Officials on the field ruled Imoh down at the 1-inch line and upheld the ruling after looking at it again on instant replay.

"I thought his knee was down," Jackson said. "I thought William had him."

The play turned out to be important when Virginia Tech marched 99 yards down the field, thanks in part to a 23-yard run by Vick, and scored to take a 21-3 lead on a 10-yard run by Imoh.

"It was a bang-bang play," Friedgen said. "If we get a safety there to make it 14-5, who knows."

kevin.van.valkenburg @baltsun.com

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