UM scrimmage solves little

Questions at QB remain unanswered

Meggett impresses

August 10, 2008|By Don Markus | Don Markus,Sun reporter

COLLEGE PARK - The good news for the Maryland football team is that last night's scrimmage at Byrd Stadium was the first this preseason for the Terps.

The bad news is that the regular-season opener against Delaware is only three weeks away.

The defense was more consistent than the offense, which was to be expected with a new system being implemented under offensive coordinator James Franklin.

Coach Ralph Friedgen said afterward: "Some good, some bad, about what I anticipated for having everything in. Normally we have a scrimmage before we have this scrimmage [in the stadium], but I didn't do it this year. Obviously we need some more work there offensively."

The play of the night was made by freshman running back Davin Meggett, who busted loose for a 50-yard run that started out with a dash down the sideline and finished with the son of former Towson and New York Giants star Dave Meggett cutting back at about the 10-yard line before finding the end zone.

"He did a good job for a true freshman seeing all the things he has to see," Friedgen said. "He's got to learn where to make the right cuts. He's got a lot of growth, but you can see he has ability. He's really pushing for the second-team spot right now. He's a smart guy, too. That really helps."

The biggest issue for the Terps is still at quarterback, and that remains largely unresolved. All three in the mix for the starting job had their moments, though Friedgen said he thought that the incumbent, Chris Turner, played better than Jordan Steffy or Josh Portis last night.

Turner wasn't spectacular but didn't make any turnovers. Steffy had a pass tipped and intercepted in the end zone and also missed a wide-open receiver in the end zone on a touch pass. Portis had an early pass intercepted and returned for a touchdown by Nolan Carroll but redeemed himself with a 41-yard touchdown pass to Quinton McCree.

"I think he's learning, and I see him getting better," Friedgen said of Portis, who transferred from Florida two years ago and sat out last season after an academic honor code violation. "I thought Turner did better than he's been doing in practice. That's his M.O."

It appears Portis has closed the gap on Turner and Steffy, and it could turn into a two-man race when two-a-days start tomorrow.

Given the trend in college football, it could also turn into a two-quarterback system, something Turner acknowledged.

"I think it's definitely a possibility. Right now it's shaping up to be something like that," said Turner, who started the last eight games of last season after Steffy was sidelined with a concussion against Rutgers.

"Not that they've said anything to me, but I can see it happening because the three of us are all capable."

don.markus@baltsun.com

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