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Terps QB, coach on same page

September 23, 2002|by MARK KELLER

keller@herald-mail.com

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - It sounds as if Ralph Friedgen and Scott McBrien are finally on the same page.

The Maryland coach and his junior quarterback had many of the same things to say after McBrien's stellar performance Saturday in the Terrapins' 45-3 win over Eastern Michigan at Byrd Stadium.

McBrien had a career night, going 14-for-19 for 300 yards and three touchdowns - most of which came in the first half as the Terrapins built a 31-0 lead.

"He made strides tonight," Friedgen said. "He was much more decisive tonight. I think playing quarterback is not just throwing the football. It's how fast and accurate you can make a decision."

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McBrien couldn't have agreed more with his coach. He said he felt more comfortable in the pocket against the Eagles and was able to make his reads better.

"When you gain knowledge, the game slows down a little bit," McBrien said. "Not only for myself, but for everybody."

Both Friedgen and McBrien will admit that the Eastern Michigan is no Florida State, but after a 1-2 start to the season, confidence means a whole lot.

That confidence was fully evident early in the second quarter. On second down from the Maryland 18, McBrien dropped back and hit Scooter Monroe on the right sideline, Monroe broke a tackle and headed to the end zone for an apparent 82-yard touchdown. The play was called back, however, because of a holding penalty on guard Lamar Bryant.

"I was a little upset about the holding penalty," Friedgen said. "I need to work it out for them to show penalties on the Jumbotron so I can see them all. But I saw the penalty and he was holding."

Undaunted and now nine yards deeper in his own zone, McBrien brought the Terrapins back to the line.

"We went out in our four-wide set, and I knew if (McBrien) read the defense right it would be a touchdown," Friedgen said.

McBrien did read the defense, as did receiver Steve Suter.

"Suter knew he had the linebacker in one-on-one coverage," McBrien said. "He looked over and said, 'Hey, call my number.'"

He hit Suter about five yards out and let Suter do the rest, zig-zagging his way to the end zone for his first receiving touchdown at Maryland.

As McBrien watched the play, he turned his head over his shoulder to make sure there were no penalty flags. Then he jumped and grabbed onto the shoulders of one of his offenseive linemen.

"I was hoping and praying that there were no flags," McBrien said.

Despite the outstanding game, Friedgen said McBrien and Chris Kelley would start the new week back at zero, both taking the same number of reps with the first team.

"I think I'll handle it the same way I did last week," Friedgen said. "I love competition. I think it makes us all better."

McBrien smiled when asked what he thought of Friedgen's statement.

"He loves competition. He just can't get that out of his head," McBrien said. "I love competition, too."

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