Friedgen to consider using 2 QBs

Terps coach frets over No. 3 man's readiness

College football

October 01, 2007|By Heather A. Dinich | Heather A. Dinich,SUN REPORTER

PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- Maryland quarterback Jordan Steffy still was feeling the lingering effects of a concussion yesterday, but he might be feeling the impact backup quarterback Chris Turner had on his starting job for longer.

After Turner's impressive rally against No. 10 Rutgers in which he led the Terps to a 34-24 upset, Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen said he is going to "re-evaluate the whole situation," and will consider playing both of his quarterbacks Saturday against Georgia Tech if Steffy is healthy.

"Right now, I'm going to play the best guy," Friedgen said. "I look at it as a positive. I think yesterday we found out we have another guy we can win with. That's good. Now we have to find the best guy who's going to be there on Saturday for us.

"Right now I'm a little more concerned about who the next guy is," he said. "Because if Jordan can't go, I really have two quarterbacks and that's it. I have to be prepared for the worst."

The No. 3 quarterback on Maryland's depth chart is 6-foot, 184-pound freshman Jamarr Robinson from Myers Park High in Charlotte, N.C. Robinson would have been the Terps' fourth option this season and spent the bulk of his time on the scout team had backup Josh Portis not been declared ineligible.

Friedgen said Robinson will "definitely get reps this week," but wasn't overly confident in his young quarterback.

"I don't think he's ready yet," Friedgen said, "and he might have to be."

Turner apparently was ready - albeit unexpectedly. Steffy took a hard hit with 41 seconds left in the half, and Turner said he knew it was his job once they were in the locker room and Steffy had been diagnosed with a mild concussion.

"I always knew it was a matter of time before I'd get my shot," he said. "It's important to be ready. Being the backup, it's a strange situation. ... You don't really know how to feel. The coaches, for weeks, were saying: `Turner, you're a heartbeat away. Anything can happen.' I took that to heart, went out and executed the game plan."

Turner completed 14 of 20 passes for 149 yards and was able to pick up the blitzes and get rid of the ball quickly. Darrius Heyward-Bey, Maryland's leading receiver, was targeted 20 times through the first four games, and nine times yesterday. When Steffy was in the game, Maryland again relied on the run, as Steffy threw the ball just eight times.

"When you get the running game going like that, they started putting more men in the box and we countered it," said senior running back Keon Lattimore, who finished with 124 yards and one touchdown on 34 carries. "Our receivers stepped up and made plays. That's something that's been a question mark, and we erased a little bit of that."

Friedgen said Turner's success was also a tribute to the players around him. Not only did the receivers catch the ball, but the offensive line gave Turner the time to make his reads.

"Coming down the chute, I heard the linemen say, `They're not going to touch you,'" Friedgen said. "I think everybody raised their game up and knew the situation we were in. The effort we had in the second half was remarkable. It just shows you what we're capable of doing. If we can maintain that, we'd have a very good football team."

Note -- Linebacker Erin Henderson will have a magnetic resonance imaging on his knee today and is questionable for Saturday's game against Georgia Tech.

heather.dinich@baltsun.com

MARYLAND REWIND

Replay

On third-and-six in the fourth quarter, Maryland defensive end Mack Frost became the first to sack Rutgers quarterback Mike Teel in six games, and his stop pushed Teel back 9 yards and forced the Scarlet Knights to punt. Frost also broke up one pass and had two quarterback hurries.

Erase

Maryland kicker Obi Egekeze was successful on just two of five field-goal attempts, missing tries of 51, 39 and 37 yards.

Fast forward

The Terps (3-2, 0-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) host Georgia Tech (3-2, 1-2), at noon Saturday in Byrd Stadium. The Yellow Jackets, 13-3 winners over then-No. 13 Clemson on Saturday, lead the ACC in rushing offense and scoring defense.

HEATHER A. DINICH

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