Running game shines in Terps’ second scrimmage


With the season opener against Cal less than two weeks away, the Maryland Terrapins conducted their second scrimmage of the preseason at Byrd Stadium Sunday afternoon.

The Terps played three 15-minute quarters with the first-team offense mostly matching up against the second-team defense and the starting defense battling the second offense.

With only two starters returning on the offensive line, head coach Ralph Friedgen was pleased to see improved production in the running game.  First-team All-ACC running back Da’Rel Scott carried four times for 33 yards while top backup Davin Meggett had five carries for 45 yards.

Running back Gary Douglas was the star of the afternoon, rushing for 122 yards on 17 carries as he continues to battle Morgan Green for the third running back job.  The coaching staff really tested Douglas’ stamina in one series, giving him the ball seven times in an eight-play stretch.  Friedgen is high on Douglas, describing him as the most elusive runner on the team.  Green carried 10 times for 56 yards.

True freshman Caleb Porzel showed an impressive burst while carrying six times for 26 yards.  His 35-yard touchdown run was negated by a penalty, but Friedgen said it will be very difficult to keep the young runner off the field this season.

Despite the productive running game, Friedgen wants to see improvement in the passing game, citing a need to throw the ball downfield more often.

Starter Chris Turner was 13-20 for 113 yards, tossing a 32-yard touchdown to Torrey Smith in the first series of play.  Turner later threw an interception to safety Eric Franklin in an otherwise solid performance.

Backup quarterback Jamarr Robinson had difficulty moving the ball in the passing game, completing only six of 14 passes for 76 yards.

New defensive coordinator Don Brown provided the offense with some defensive looks likely to be seen when the Terps travel to Berkeley to take on Cal in the opener.

Here are a few more notes from Sunday’s scrimmage:

– Mike Barbour appeared to have locked up the kicking job before missing his last three attempts of the scrimmage (46, 43, and 45 yards).  He made kicks from 30, 45, 37, and 40 yards.

Nick Ferrara was succesful on the last two field goal attempts of the day, making kicks from 45 and 36 yards.  Ferrara also handled the kickoff duties.

Nick Wallace is not in the mix for the kicking job, according to Friedgen.

– Defensive lineman Carl Russell went down with an ankle injury early in the scrimmage, but Friedgen said the injury is not believed to be serious.

– Friedgen is counting on receiver Tony Logan to be the primary punt returner, though the sophomore dropped one during the scrimmage.

– Smith is happy to be finished with a summer class that was affecting his play earlier in camp.  He’s relieved to be able to focus exclusively on football before fall classes begin.  Turner will count on him to be his primary target in the passing game.

The new No. 1 receiver is confident the Terps’ group of receivers can replace the downfield threat previously provided by Darrius Heyward-Bey.

– Offensive coordinator James Franklin used the no-huddle offense for a large portion of the scrimmage, adding a new wrinkle to his system.

It allowed the team to run a larger number of plays during the three-quarter scrimmage and was also a good test for the team’s conditioning while playing in the afternoon heat.

– One of the most amusing moments of the day came when right tackle Bruce Campbell scooped up a fumble and raced for a first down before finally being tackled.  The play was ruled dead when Turner was sacked, but Campbell’s run impressed—and entertained—his teammates.