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(Un)Emotional rescue

McBrien quietly becomes Terps' leader

McBrien quietly becomes Terps' leader

November 08, 2002|by BOB PARASILITI

bobp@herald-mail.com

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Scott McBrien is confident ... But you wouldn't know it.

He's comfortable ... But you wouldn't know it.

He's winning ... But you wouldn't know it, even though you could make an educated guess of that one.

The reason why is the Maryland quarterback doesn't show it.

"He's stoic," Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen said. "That's pretty good. No matter if things are going good or bad, he's the same way."

McBrien's unassuming style has led a silent majority of Maryland's seven wins, including the Terps' current six-game victory streak heading into Saturday's showdown with No. 13 North Carolina State at noon at Byrd Stadium.

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Over the course of six games, McBrien has transformed from understated quarterback to silent assassin that has guided Maryland to a potent offense with more action than words.

"It's a lot of fun, especially when we are winning," McBrien said. "I have gained a lot of confidence in my ability to play at a high level. We enjoy going out there and putting a lot of points on the board."

Points have been flowing for the Terps as McBrien gets more comfortable to running the program. And even with a quiet demeanor, the junior has been able to get Maryland's offense to follow his leads.

"At first, it did," said McBrien of his "stoic" nature. "But now they know me and I know them. They have been in battle with me and they know what to expect from me and what I can expect from them."

McBrien needed his emotional steadiness early in Maryland's season. The Terps lost two of their first three games, a shock after the way they excelled for last season's 10-2 mark. There was questions of his ability to run the team.

"Our confidence was down. We didn't expect to be 1-2," McBrien said. "We didn't expect that after last year. We needed to get a couple of wins. We were 1-0 after our second win. We started over. It was big (Friedgen) saying that the first couple of losses didn't mean anything and we could start over and get our confidence."

That stoic nature has become an ally to McBrien over the course of the season. After starting out slowly, the even keel allowed the quarterback take the growing process in stride.

"I feel a lot more confident," McBrien said. "It only comes with repetitions in the game. It's big to win six games in a row."

That strength has caught Friedgen's eye. McBrien's progress was rewarded for the North Carolina game.

"We made him a captain last week and he responded to it," Friedgen said. "He was proud of it. The guys have got behind him."

It seemed fitting. Most ship's captains are labeled as stoic, just like McBrien.

"It's not something I expected," McBrien said. "It was an honor for me to be a captain for an ACC game. It gave me more importance to the game. It added some pressure because when you are the captain, you want to bring home a win."

And like Maryland's season, McBrien didn't disappoint as the Terps ran roughshod over North Carolina to a 59-7 victory. He only connected on six passes for 190 yards, but one was for an 80-yard touchdown to Scooter Monroe and the other was a 70-yard completion.

McBrien has now guided Maryland's ship to this battle for second place in the ACC and a shot at allowing the Terps defend their championship of a year ago.

Scott McBrien is at the helm ... but not even he could know, or even have expected, it.

It's long bumpy road at times," he said. "When I started at West Virginia, I never imagined what is happening to me now. The road seemed bumpy at times, but it's amazing on how everything has worked out."

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