122 Yards A Good Show

Maryland Football

But Elusive Back Douglas Still Must Improve Blocking

August 24, 2009|By Jeff Barker | Jeff Barker,jeff.barker@baltsun.com

COLLEGE PARK - - Gary Douglas still has three running backs ahead of him on the Maryland depth chart. He knows there are only so many rushing plays to go around.

But Douglas, a redshirt sophomore, got 17 carries during Sunday afternoon's scrimmage, taking advantage of the touches by running for a game-leading 122 yards and impressing the head coach.

"He has probably more elusive moves than any running back we have," coach Ralph Friedgen said after the scrimmage at Byrd Stadium. "Where his problem has been is pass protection."

Douglas boosted his case for playing time behind more experienced backs Da'Rel Scott, Davin Meggett and Morgan Green.

"I hope they've seen what I can do," Douglas said. "I've just got to wait and see."

Maryland will scrimmage at least one more time before opening the season Sept. 5 at California.

Meggett was also a standout in the scrimmage. The sophomore ran five times for 45 yards, according to statistics kept by Maryland media relations staff members.

Douglas is vying for the fourth running back spot with true freshmen Caleb Porzel and D.J. Adams. Friedgen might redshirt both freshmen, but the coach is clearly enamored of Porzel's quickness. Porzel could also be in the mix as a punt returner.

Entering the scrimmage, Friedgen had seemed set on using wide receiver Tony Logan as this season's punt returner. But Logan muffed a punt late in the scrimmage.

Friedgen detests fumbled punts. Last year's punt returner, the now-graduated Danny Oquendo, was not the fastest Terp. But the coach felt comfortable with Oquendo because he rarely fumbled.

"I was [set on Logan] until he dropped the last punt," Friedgen said Sunday. "The other guy I could use back there is Porzel. I've got a feeling I'm going to play the kid somewhere."

Porzel, who starred at Good Counsel in Montgomery County, ran six times for 26 yards. He had an impressive, weaving touchdown run called back by penalty.

"Both of these young guys - Adams and Porzel - are talented kids," Friedgen said. Like Douglas, they must work on pass protection. Otherwise, Friedgen said, "you're going to lose a quarterback" with the young running backs in the game.

Other scrimmage highlights:

* Friedgen said Mike Barbour seemed to have "solidified" his standing as the field-goal kicker by kicking well early in the scrimmage. But the coach said Barbour missed three later attempts, and declared the kicking competition still open. Friedgen said it was between Barbour, a sophomore, and Nick Ferrara, a freshman. Junior Nick Wallace did not kick Sunday, and Friedgen indicated Wallace is likely out of the competition because of inconsistency.

* Quarterback Chris Turner completed 13 of 20 passes for 113 yards. Backup Jamarr Robinson was 5-for-13 for 59 yards. The quarterbacks did not have as many long completions as in the Red-White game last spring. "We've got to throw the ball up the field a little better," Friedgen said.

* Some regulars, including safety Jamari McCollough, were being rested and didn't participate.

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