- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 19, 2007

The seemingly anticlimactic Maryland quarterback competition will head into a third week.

Coach Ralph Friedgen declined to name a starter after last night’s closed scrimmage in Byrd Stadium, instead deferring a decision for a few days.

“Not right now,” Friedgen said. “I’ll probably do something by Monday or Tuesday.”

According to statistics distributed by the program, junior Jordan Steffy was 9-for-17 for 116 yards and a touchdown, while Josh Portis was 4-for-10 for 57 yards. Chris Turner went 9-for-12 for 88 yards and an interception.

Friedgen’s waiting game did not faze Steffy, who remains the prohibitive favorite to start on Sept. 1 against Villanova. That game is less than two weeks away, though everything that unfolded in camp suggests Steffy will be well prepared whenever Friedgen makes his decision.

“I know what I have to take care of,” Steffy said. “I’ve taken every single No. 1 snap with the first team all of camp, and that hadn’t even happened in the past with Sam [Hollenbach]. When Sam was starting, I was still taking some of the No. 1 snaps. I’m not concerned about that at all.”

Steffy opened spring practice as the starter, with Portis and Turner also in the mix. Fifteen practices — including a muddled spring game from all three — did little to change the pecking order, and Steffy opened camp as the No. 1.

Friedgen indicated on the first day of practice he would like to make a quick decision, something that would provide stability for a team seeking to find a replacement for Hollenbach, a two-year starter.

Steffy has drawn praise throughout camp — both from Friedgen for his game management and from teammates for his presence in the huddle. Friedgen has not indicated that either Portis or Turner has seriously narrowed Steffy’s lead for the job.

“I feel comfortable and I’m seeing things,” Steffy said. “It doesn’t [bother me], but that’s Coach Friedgen. I’m not concerned. I’m looking forward to Villanova.”

What was of greater concern to Friedgen was another lethargic day from his team. The Terps worked through three two-a-day practices in five days and wedged in a mock scrimmage on Thursday.

The first and second teams combined for 91 plays yesterday, adding to the Terps’ weariness.

“It got really like we were in slow motion, and probably we were in slow motion because everybody’s tired,” Friedgen said.

Although the quarterback situation remains unresolved, Friedgen said he was close to finalizing several special teams decisions. Junior Obi Egekeze converted four of his seven field goal attempts yesterday, but finished with a 45-yarder.

Friedgen still has to consult with special teams coordinator Ray Rychleski, but said he was inclined to go with Egekeze at kicker and freshman Travis Baltz at punter.

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