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Another fourth quarter, another 'hole in the wall'

October 13, 2006|by BOB PARASILITI

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The Maryland football team has been coming up a dollar short in fourth quarters.

Breaks and close games have gone against the Terrapins over the last few years. And in many cases, it came down to plays in the fourth quarter.

And just why is anyone's guess.

"It's frustrating," Maryland quarterback Sam Hollenbach said. "It's not just in one game. It's something we have struggled in since last year. The errors and mistakes are killing us."

Since coach Ralph Friedgen has been at Maryland, the Terps have had some difficulties in the fourth quarter. The reasons are hard to put the finger on.

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The Terps owned a 23-14 lead heading into the fourth quarter last Saturday at Georgia Tech. Two turnovers and three quarterback sacks later, Maryland allowed the Yellow Jackets 13 unanswered points for a 27-23 loss.

"I don't know if we got whipped at the end or they turned it up a notch, but in the end they got to us," Friedgen said. "I don't think there is another coach in the country as in touch with the point of not turning the ball over as much as me. I work at it and I think Sam is very conscious of it. I'm not disappointed in Sam. I just want him to make some more plays."

The thread was hanging at the end of the third quarter and it unraveled in the fourth. Maryland made the mistakes to open the door for Tech.

Lance Ball fumbled at the Terps' 17 resulting in the go-ahead score. Hollenbach was intercepted to end one promising drive. A sack helped set up Georgia Tech's first fourth-quarter score and another ended Maryland's hopes of a comeback.

"I think we had a good package going in, but the fourth-quarter turnovers were big," Hollenbach said. "You can't win games like that. The mistakes ... you can't do anything about them, but when you see them on the films, it makes you frustrated and makes you want to punch a hole in the wall."

The frustrations are nothing new for Hollenbach, in his second year as the starting quarterback.

"We need to go into the game and feel confident that we are going to move the ball," Hollenbach said. "I felt like that on Saturday. There was no panic. It's not being nervous. I was sure we were going to win that game all the way to the end, but then the last four plays. We need to be able to finish games and come out on top. That would make a difference."

The next stop is against border rival Virginia, which Hollenbach had his best game against last year. The Terps could use another one from the quarterback this year, but would settle for a mistake-free game, just for a chance to win.

"Everybody makes mistakes. I'm the same as everyone else," Hollenbach said. "When a mistake happens, it's frustrating, but you have to work through it. It's reality. It's not going to do yourself or the team any good worrying about it. You have to learn from it and move on.

"Making the mistakes is tough and that's what makes it all so frustrating. I had all my reads and I made all the right decisions, but I didn't execute. Playing quarterback is mental. I can have all the reads, but if I don't execute ... that's why we are 3-2."

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