Defense Is A Hit In First Scrimmage


Defensive Back Tate Leads The Way In Intrasquad Game

August 16, 2009|By Sandra McKee | Sandra McKee,

COLLEGE PARK - - Maryland football coach Ralph Friedgen said he wanted to get a good look at his young players in Saturday's first intrasquad scrimmage. And he did that, but he also got an eyeful of his team's defense.

"They're way ahead on defense, obviously," Friedgen said after the scrimmage, which ran just over two hours on the team's practice field. "But we held out certain guys because we wanted to get a good look at everybody. ... Now we have to look at the film and make some good decisions about personnel next week."

The defense, under new coordinator Don Brown, was highly charged. It had 11 sacks. Sophomore defensive back Kenny Tate of Forrestville led the way with one interception, one sack and five solo tackles, including two for losses. Sophomore Obum Akunyili also had two sacks.

"Yes, but I wasn't disappointed in the offense," Friedgen said. "We got better as we went along. But Kenny Tate did keep making plays - interceptions, sacks. I feel good about our defense."

Offensively, the Terps took a good look at freshman running backs Caleb Porzel and D.J. Adams. Both received a lot of work, as did freshman quarterbacks C.J. Brown (4-for-13 for 32 yards) and Danny O'Brien (3-for-5 for 7 yards) and backup Jamarr Robinson (6-for-8 for 97 yards).

Porzel (2-yard run) and Watson (5-yard run) each scored. Porzel had the longest run of the day, covering 44 yards, and sophomore wide receiver Quintin McCree had the longest reception, pulling in a 32-yarder from Robinson.

The only other score was a 36-yard field goal by Mike Barbour.

Terps starting quarterback Chris Turner played in just three series and was 2-for-4 for 4 yards.

"I know what Chris can do," Friedgen said. "He's been very solid. So I wanted to see what the others could do. Jamarr played with the first unit and did well, and the two freshmen, for only the second day in pads, didn't do badly."

On defense, freshman A.J. Francis also did well, continuing to show his speed and agility in his new starting position at nose tackle.

"I wouldn't say I felt pressure," said Francis (Severn), who was projected as the starter even before Dion Armstrong, a redshirt sophomore, decided last week to transfer. "It's more like an opportunity for me to stand up and take care of the nose position. I'm starting and I don't plan on giving that up. I do what I need to do to keep the position."

NOTES: : Offensive lineman Phil Costa, called by Friedgen "the fullback of the offensive line," was held out of the scrimmage with a banged-up knee. Friedgen termed the move "just precautionary." ... Porzel suffered a mild medial collateral ligament sprain and sat out the latter part of the scrimmage. ... Friedgen was pleased with the team's kicking game. He also complimented both of his freshman running backs (Adams and Porzel) and said sophomore Davin Meggett "ran better than he has been." He added that the offense must get better at running the ball. "Offensively, we're more ahead in passing. But we have to get better at both if we want to win."

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