Injury to Burley blurs line for Terps' offense, Friedgen

September 24, 2007|By HEATHER A. DINICH | HEATHER A. DINICH,SUN REPORTER

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. --An injury to Maryland starting left tackle Scott Burley contributed to the Terps' offensive woes in their overtime loss at Wake Forest on Saturday, and has given coach Ralph Friedgen even more cause for concern about his depth on the offensive line.

Friedgen said Burley, a 6-foot-5, 324-pound junior and Woodlawn graduate, has a bruise on his elbow and a problem with the soft tissue in his triceps. He is questionable for Saturday's 3:30 p.m. game at No. 10 Rutgers (3-0).

"Obviously if he keeps getting hit on it, it's not going to get better," Friedgen said. "They're saying he can play this weekend, but how much he can practice and how he practices ... the only thing that's going to probably cure it is rest. I've got to deal with how to get him prepared and still not get him reinjured and get everybody else able to play, too."

Burley, who earned his first career start in the season opener against Villanova, played most of the first half Saturday before leaving the game late in the second quarter. Friedgen said Burley tried to return in the second half for one series but couldn't continue. In his absence, backup Jack Griffin took over at right tackle, shifting Dane Randolph to left tackle, where he was matched up against Wake Forest standout defensive end Jeremy Thompson.

"That's where a lot of our sacks came from," Friedgen said. "That was a tough assignment for Dane. It got to the point where, at the end of the game, it was hard for us to throw because I was worried about sacks, and trying to run the clock, too.

"Scott was doing a pretty good job when he was in there on the kid," Friedgen said. "Once he went out, that's when we started having some of our problems."

Maryland quarterback Jordan Steffy was sacked six times by the Demon Deacons. Thompson finished with six tackles, including two for a loss of 15 yards, and forced one fumble. He sacked Steffy on the final play of the game in overtime.

Friedgen said he's "one injury away" from playing 6-7, 285-pound freshman Bruce Campbell, one of three freshmen who played in the season opener, as he was in on 13 plays at left tackle against Villanova.

"I don't know if he's ready yet to play," Friedgen said. "That puts a bind on us, you know. ... Like I've been saying all year, we're fragile at that position."

Steffy has been sacked 15 times in the past three games. Maryland allowed 19 sacks last season.

"If you're getting hit like he is, it's not a confidence builder," Friedgen said. "Part of it, he's got to get rid of the ball quicker, too. It's not just one thing. If I could point to one thing, I could probably correct it. Getting rid of the ball, that's one thing that Sam [Hollenbach] learned to do last year."

With the exception of needing intravenous fluids for hydration at halftime this past weekend, Steffy has been holding up well physically, Friedgen said, and he hasn't considered elevating backup quarterback Chris Turner to the No. 1 spot.

"I want to see Chris do a little bit more in practice before I do that," he said.

heather.dinich@baltsun.com

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