The Washington Times - October 5, 2008, 12:11AM

CHARLOTTESVILLE – Cornerback Kevin Barnes mentioned he was dinged up during the game tonight (on a helmet-to-helmet collision, no less). So was Anthony Wiseman.

So why didn’t either of them get much of a respite?

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Maryland would say it doesn’t have any other options. Yet the Terps traveled true freshman Cameron Chism, who again was used exclusively on special teams.

The Terps are clearly uncomfortable using Chism. But when there’s only one other corner they use even in a pinch (Michael Carter), you have to ask just why Chism burned his redshirt a couple weeks ago playing on the kickoff team.

You can get away with such odd moves when you win. But when you lose – as the Terps did memorably tonight – it becomes time to wonder just what is at the root of a decision.

Neither Ralph Friedgen nor any of his assistants have come out and said Chism is ready to play. You can pretty safely assume that means he isn’t.

But is an injured Barnes or Wiseman better than Chism? Could 10 plays off have made either guy more effective tonight? Those are tough questions to answer.

But here’s a tougher one: Why would you burn a kid’s redshirt to play on one or two special teams, yet not use him at his natural position – especially when the program would probably be better off keeping the redshirt on him if it could help it.

Playing true freshman is fine, if you’re going to use them plenty. But right now, it looks like Chism could be headed for a list that already includes Carlos Feliciano, Danny Melendez and Jason Goode as Terps who would have been far more valuable in a fifth season than as true freshmen.

Patrick Stevens