The Washington Times - October 2, 2009, 10:49AM

In good times and bad, there’s one thing Ralph Friedgen is always good for – hitting a quota of once-a-month Joe Hamilton stories.

Friedgen didn’t waste any time getting his October reference out of the way, tying in the former Georgia Tech star to Maryland’s turnover troubles this year.

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“Joe Hamilton one time threw an interception – I probably shouldn’t tell you this – and came to the sideline and I said ‘If you do that again, I’ll choke you right here on the sideline,’” Friedgen said. “And he went like 189 passes without throwing an interception.”

It was the one thing turnover-related Friedgen has laughed about of late.

He ordered up-downs for every turnover in practice this week (there were none the last couple days), and sent suddenly fumble-prone tailback Da’Rel Scott around campus with a football to hold onto.

And he talked about turnovers. A lot.

“I get very upsets with turnovers,” Friedgen said. “Been trying to keep my poise, but it’s wearing me out right now. It really is. I know my staff is tired of hearing it. I know my players are tired of hearing it. I’m tired of seeing it, too.”

If there was an encouraging development off the field, it would be that his message seems to be seeping through. When he asked his team during a meeting this week what Maryland needed to do to beat Clemson, the first reply was to eliminate turnovers.

“I’d just like to give ourselves a chance,” Friedgen said. “We haven’t done that the last two games. Let’s see what we can do when we don’t beat ourselves. Let’s see what happens.”

Patrick Stevens