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Friedgen to slow things down for inexperienced QBs

September 06, 2002|by BOB PARASILITI

bobp@herald-mail.com

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The days of free expression are over for the University of Maryland football team.

At least for the quarterbacks. At least for now.

Coach Ralph Friedgen has different plans for starter Scott McBrien and backup Chris Kelley this weekend when the Terps open the home season against Akron. The free-flowing Maryland offense will be slowed by an anchor after the choppy outing the Terps encountered last Saturday in a 22-0 loss to Notre Dame.

"Our two quarterbacks didn't play well," Friedgen said, matter-of-factly. "They tried to pick (receivers) out and didn't go through all their reads. Then, they lost their poise. We tried to do too much and that's (the coaches) fault. This week, our game plan will be so tight and then we will see what they can do."

The blame of Maryland's stagnant offense didn't fall completely on the shoulders of the quarterbacks, but they are the focal point for the Terps in all success and failure. Part of the problem stemmed from the fact that neither McBrien or Kelley was Shaun Hill, last year's quarterback.

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But even Hill was put on Friedgen's remedial course until he understood the concept of being Maryland's quarterback.

"We had to do the same thing with Shaun last year until he got used to things," Friedgen said. "Experience is the problem. Scott and Chris are both competitive people. They get anxious and want to make things happen. You can't throw a touchdown with every pass."

Maryland lost its offensive style early and it changed the complexion of the game.

The Terps were trying to cover up for the absence of tailback Bruce Perry. The Atlantic Coast Conference Offensive Player of the Year is out with a torn groin.

Maryland could not move the ball on the ground, which put more pressure on the unproven quarterbacks. Maryland only ran the ball 21 times for 16 total yards while completing 12 of 33 passes with three interceptions.

"I told the offense that a lot of things stopped us but the main thing was ourselves," Friedgen said. "I'm not taking anything away from Notre Dame, but we didn't execute the way we can execute. I got away from the running game too early. We're young and we still have to grow."

McBrien, a transfer from West Virginia, hit on 9 of 23 passes for 84 yards while being intercepted twice and sacked once. Kelley, who is battling back from ACL surgeries on each knee in the last two years, hit 3 of 9 passes for 33 yards with an interception and two sacks.

"Being a quarterback is more than just throwing the ball," Friedgen said. "You have to be able to read defenses, not just pick one receiver and go to him. This isn't high school anymore.

"Sometimes, it seemed like we were just out there running plays. Sometimes, you just want to dump a pass out and get 8 yards and go back to the huddle happy."

Friedgen admits that he might have to temper some of his own expectations until McBrien or Kelley can grasp the full effect of their jobs.

"I mess up too. I want to make plays, too, ... I'm an all-out kind of guy," Friedgen said. "Sometimes we have to think about getting the ball to the 35 and just kick a field goal and get some points."

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