- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 11, 2001

The Ralph Friedgen football revival tour storms Atlanta tonight in search of its greatest conquest yet as 22nd-ranked Maryland visits No. 15 Georgia Tech.
The Terrapins (5-0, 3-0) are the ACC's only undefeated team. The Yellow Jackets (4-1, 1-1) need a win to realistically keep conference title hopes alive. And, oh by the way, it pits Friedgen against his employer the last four seasons which undoubtedly is what prompted ESPN to televise the game nationally. As a bonus, the network gets a clash of nationally ranked teams.
"It's going to be hostile," Maryland receiver Guilian Gary said. "It's going to be 'love-hate.' They used to love the man. Now they have to hate him. He's bringing the 5-0 Terps into town, and he wants to beat them."
Friedgen has downplayed the significance of returning to the school, where he helped the Yellow Jackets win the 1990 national title in an earlier stint. The Maryland coach would rather focus on the game and its significance and brought loudspeakers to practice this week to emphasize his point and simulate the raucous crowd that will fill Bobby Dodd Stadium.
"This team is believing in itself right now," Friedgen said. "I'm only trying to encourage that. A win here would take us to another level."
Gary uses an Austin Powers analogy: "The Virginia game was like Mini Me compared to Dr. Evil. This game is huge compared to last week's."
The Terps, who are off to their best start in 23 seasons, ended an embarrassing nine-game losing streak to Virginia with a 41-21 beating last week. Maryland will try to end several other dubious runs this week, including a 34-game losing streak to ranked opponents and a run of four consecutive losses to Tech.
A victory by Maryland would guarantee a winning season and make it bowl eligible for the first time in six years. The Terps have not been invited to a bowl since 1990, but that streak almost surely will end this season.
"We've changed history," center Melvin Fowler said. "We've done some things that haven't been done around here in a long time."
The Terps go to Tech as heavy underdogs against a deeper team loaded with offensive firepower. Quarterback George Godsey, a Heisman Trophy candidate, leads a unit averaging 39.8 points a game, though many of those points came against lower-tier teams like Duke, Navy and The Citadel.
Godsey's favorite target is Kelly Campbell, a speed demon who holds the program's all-time receiving yards mark. The 5-foot-11 senior has averaged 14.8 yards for 25 receptions this season. Friedgen plans to put two defenders on Campbell.
Meanwhile, Maryland will try to exploit the nation's leading runner, tailback Bruce Perry, who is averaging 164.2 yards rushing after getting 143 last week against Virginia. Last week, Perry showed he also could be a threat in the passing game with eight catches for 51 yards. The Terps will ask tackle Kyle Schmitt, a redshirt freshman, to help shore up the line. Starter Todd Wike should play despite being slowed with a bruised foot.
"We have to stay away from long situations on second and third downs," Terps offensive coordinator Charlie Taafe said. "People have shown they can run on them. For us, it all starts with the running game. We've got a chance to throw it well if we run it."
The Yellow Jackets allowed Clemson to ramble for 248 yards on the ground in a 47-44 loss to Clemson two weeks ago. Georgia Tech is strong at defensive ends with All-ACC selection Greg Gathers (seven sacks) and Nick Rogers. It is vulnerable at linebacker, a position that has been devastated by injuries. True freshman Tabugbo Anyansi is expected to start at middle linebacker for the first time.
Georgia Tech coach George O'Leary sees the Terps as a confident group that has used its early schedule to gain experience and confidence heading into the heavier part of the schedule, including games with 14th-ranked Florida State and 16th-ranked Clemson.
"There has always been talent [at Maryland]," the Georgia Tech coach said. "Ralph is getting the most out of his players. They are playing with a lot of emotion. The schedule has certainly helped."
Now Friedgen, who helped create so many great moments for the Yellow Jackets, returns as the enemy. The Maryland alumnus, concedes it will be unusual entering the familiar stadium as a foe.
"It is definitely going to be weird," he said. "I hope I go to the right sideline. There will probably be a lot of fans yelling at me. I kind of like that. My father always said, 'When they stop talking, you start worrying.' I've had a lot of great memories there, and I hope this is another one."

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