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Friedgen ready to test Terps’ QB depth
Maryland quarterback Chris Turner remains questionable for Saturday’s game against No. 20 Virginia Tech with a left knee injury.
Coach Ralph Friedgen said he expects Jamarr Robinson to play some for the Terrapins (2-7, 1-4 ACC) but did not anoint the sophomore as the starter.
“He got better as the game went on Saturday,” Friedgen said. “He’ll definitely play. And if Chris can’t play, we have to be ready to play Danny O’Brien and C.J. Brown.”
Brown and O’Brien are true freshmen who have yet to appear this season. If they sit out the last three games, they will retain four seasons of eligibility heading into next season.
The problem Maryland faces is a dearth of depth. Turner and Robinson are the only quarterbacks who are in at least their second season in the program, and Friedgen insists he plans to play to win - which could include using O’Brien - even though the Terps are guaranteed a losing season.
“If Chris can go, we’re going to have to make that decision,” Friedgen said. “To me, I’ve been ready to play Danny for two weeks. I think if he’s the best guy, let’s find out whether he can do it. If Jamarr’s doing well, that’s great, too. If Chris doesn’t play, at least we’re going to be able to see where we’re at at quarterback.”
Robinson almost certainly will start if Turner can’t play. Robinson attempted his first collegiate passes Saturday at N.C. State, going 5-for-11 for 27 yards while rushing for a team-high 38 yards.
“What Jamarr needs is some success, and I think he would grow very fast,” Friedgen said.
Alex Wujciak ended Maryland’s long defensive scoring drought Saturday - and it took his breath away.
Wujciak scored the Terps’ first defensive touchdown since Oct. 14, 2006, on a 70-yard interception return in the first quarter.
“I didn’t think I was going to run out of steam and get caught, but I was definitely gassed toward the end of the run,” he said. “I tried to go as fast as I could for those first 30 or 40 yards to hopefully break away from everyone and then I could slow down. You know, 70 yards never seemed so far before. When you get the ball in your hands, it’s a little bit different.”
Wujciak picked off N.C. State’s Russell Wilson and dashed down the sideline. Initially, it appeared he had an easy touchdown, but gradually the Wolfpack players started to reel him in.
“I didn’t think he was going to make it,” receiver Torrey Smith said. “But watching the film, he was moving. He was running pretty fast. We were cracking jokes because he was gone for about 25 yards, and then it looked like someone was pulling on the back of his jersey and slowing him down a little bit.”
Wujciak barely made it, securing Maryland’s longest defensive return for a score since Randall Jones’ 90-yard interception return against Wake Forest in 2000. Jones was a defensive back - not a 255-pound linebacker known more for his tackling than speed.
About the Author
Patrick Stevens has covered Maryland and other Mid-Atlantic college sports for more than a decade. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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