Maryland Notebook

Friedgen hints at possible QB change

Hollenbach's miscues may lead to Steffy start

College Football

October 11, 2006|By Heather A. Dinich | Heather A. Dinich,Sun Reporter

COLLEGE PARK -- Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen didn't give starting quarterback Sam Hollenbach a ringing endorsement yesterday, and hinted that sophomore backup Jordan Steffy might get another shot at making some plays instead of just calling them in from the sidelines.

"I'm disappointed in Sam," Friedgen said. "I'd like for him to make a few more plays. I do see Jordan getting better. I'm hoping he'll continue to get better and practice better. The better he practices, the better chances he has of playing."

Not that Hollenbach's recent performances have been a complete failure.

He completed 16 of 24 passes for 190 yards and a touchdown against Georgia Tech, and threw a 57-yard pass to receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey that put Maryland on the Yellow Jackets' 7-yard line late in the fourth quarter. Hollenbach was sacked five times, including the final two possessions, ending any chance of an upset.

FOR THE RECORD - A headline and caption in yesterday's Sports section mistakenly indicated that Maryland quarterback Sam Hollenbach might lose his starting spot to Jordan Steffy. The article said Steffy might get more playing time.
The Sun regrets the error.

What had Friedgen irritated, though, was that Hollenbach took one of those sacks on third down instead of throwing the ball away, and was penalized 15 yards in the process for intentional grounding. He also threw an interception in the fourth quarter when the Terps were trailing.

Hollenbach, a senior, has thrown five touchdowns this season and five interceptions. For his career, he's thrown 18 touchdowns and 20 interceptions.

Hollenbach said he's not concerned right now about losing his job, and that Friedgen hasn't mentioned anything about it to him.

"I don't think you can play like that," Hollenbach said of his performance against Georgia Tech. "I know I need to be able to make the plays I missed to win the game and if I don't do that, it's up to the coach to put the guy in he feels confident in. I don't feel any lack of confidence in myself and I hope my teammates don't either."

Steffy's only playing time since 2004 was in the season opener against William and Mary. He was 0-for-5 and threw an interception.

Stuck on repeat

In order to spark some confidence in his young receivers, Friedgen gave each of them a DVD with game highlights of themselves from this past spring and summer.

Heyward-Bey said he's watched his about four times, but it was his final play against Georgia Tech that has gone through his mind "about a million times."

On Maryland's final drive of the game and with less than two minutes to play, Georgia Tech cornerback Jahi Word-Daniels slipped and missed the tackle, freeing Heyward-Bey to run 57 yards after catching a pass from Hollenbach. Instead of scoring, though, Heyward-Bey was tripped by a safety and stopped seven yards short of an upset.

"I just keep thinking about was there a way for me to score," said Heyward-Bey, who finished with five receptions for 111 yards. "I keep looking at it. I don't see a way. The safety had a good angle on me, tripped me up a little bit. I really wish we would've scored right there. Having four downs and not scoring, it's heartbreaking."

Friedgen has had trouble letting that play go, too.

"I think we're at the point now where a guy like Heyward-Bey when he makes a couple of plays like he did last week, he has the DVD in his mind," he said. "I just wish he didn't get tripped up on that last play."

Broadband too narrow

Brian Ullmann, Maryland's associate athletics director of external operations, said he has received "many calls from fans who were disappointed" that Saturday's 3:30 p.m. game at Virginia is not televised.

"Unfortunately I don't have a good response for them other than we've lodged our complaints and we've lodged our feelings and everybody knows it," Ullmann said yesterday.

The game can be viewed on ESPN360, a broadband service available to fans with an ESPN-affiliated internet provider. It's not available to Comcast subscribers - which includes students on campus - but those who use Charter Cable and Verizon can watch it live. Ullmann said the athletics department is working with ESPN and Comcast to get a waiver to allow people on campus to watch ESPN360. The athletics department has also asked ESPN for permission to air the game live on Comcast SportsNet but has not heard back yet.

"We're not happy about the TV situation, but the ACC in conjuction with television partners determine what games will be aired and what games will not be aired," Ullmann said. "We've made it clear to everybody involved that we wish the Maryland-Virginia game was on."

Television networks have 12-day and six-day windows to announce what games will be scheduled. The Atlantic Coast Conference has two contracts - one with ABC/ESPN, and one with Lincoln Financial Sports (formerly Jefferson Pilot). Maryland's Oct. 21 homecoming game against North Carolina State will be on Lincoln Financial Sports at noon.

heather.dinich@baltsun.com

>>>Maryland @Virginia Saturday, 3:30 p.m., 1300 AM, 105.7 FM Line: Maryland by 4 1/2

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