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Hollenbach's hits and runs are no accident

October 23, 2006|by BOB PARASILITI

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - This time, if anyone asks Sam Hollenbach about one lump or two, it has nothing to do with sugar in his tea.

This time, it has everything to do about his 6-foot-5 frame.

The University of Maryland's quarterback uncovered a hidden dimension to the Terrapins' attack on Saturday. It was the quarterback running with the ball, which had a direct impact on a 26-20 victory over North Carolina State.

"It was fun to get a little running in," the senior said. "They definitely weren't looking for it. North Carolina State banged me a couple of times. But, if it helps win the game, I'll take it."

Hollenbach took a few harder hits than usual. For most of the season, he has been a stationary target, sitting back in the pocket while trying to pass. It changed against the speedy Wolfpack defense as Maryland used rollout pass plays to create situations while turning Hollenbach into a moving target.

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Hollenbach finished with seven carries for 62 yards, the second highest rushing total for the Terps. Three of the runs helped set up three scores and 13 points for Maryland while keeping the Wolfpack slightly confused.

"Sam made some very good decisions when he ran the ball," Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen said. "It added a new dimension to his game."

Hollenbach's mobility took some of the pressure off the running backs and minimized the number of passes he needed to throw. Maryland only threw nine times, completing seven for 115 yards and a short touchdown pass to Josh Allen.

"I don't know if I have ever had that few passing attempts before ... maybe in junior high," Hollenbach said. "It all kind of reminded me of when I was a senior in high school when I was running, but this was by design. It was a sweet win because all I had to do is handoff the ball."

Although it looked conservative, it was effective for the Terps. It was almost as if North Carolina State didn't believe that Hollenbach would actually run the ball.

It showed on the first play after Erin Henderson's third-quarter interception. Hollenbach rolled to his right, looking to pass. The entire N.C. State secondary retreated around the Terps' three receivers downfield. With some coaxing, Hollenbach pulled down the ball and ran down the right sideline for 20 yards to the Wolfpack 4.

Lance Ball scored two plays later for a 20-0 lead.

"I think he heard me screaming for him to run from the sideline," Friedgen said.

"I was looking for a crosser to come across the field," Hollenbach said. "I held the ball too long. All the yards I got was because the O-line and the rushing game was working so well."

Hollenbach added a critical 7-yard run on a third-and-26 play at the end of the third quarter and a 28-yard run around left end in the fourth quarter - both on called plays - to set up the Terps' final two field goals which helped ice the game.

"It was fun ... anything I can do the help the team win," Hollenbach said. "Still, I have to be smart. On that last run, I have to remember to stay in bounds."

Thus, a new weapon was born, opening up a whole new group of possibilities for Maryland's offense with five huge ACC games left on the schedule.

"I think (running) helps a lot," Hollenbach said. "We talk about it a lot. There are a lot of quick quarterbacks in the ACC ... Look what a guy like Marcus Vick did for Virginia Tech last year. If you got a quarterback who gets some yards when no one is open, it's a plus and I think it will be a good thing for us."

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