The Washington Times - October 22, 2007, 04:01PM

\ But here was the one stat I was definitely looking forward to finding and passing along:\

\ Before left guard Jaimie Thomas left with a broken leg, the Terps had 133 yards on 20 plays. That’s 6.65 yards a play, which is enough to (as Ralph Friedgen might say) keep Maryland on schedule.\


\ The rest of the way, the offense managed 100 yards on 37 plays, or 2.70 yards a play. The Terps’ trains were definitely not on time for nearly all of the final three quarters, and may well have been derailed altogether.\

\ The point of this little exercise? It was all well and good to talk about having “seven starters” on the offensive line when everyone was healthy. The two reserves were solid, and could give everyone rest at some juncture. But you can’t play just five guys on the line and expect to win too much; that’s like putting a band-aid on a gunshot wound and expecting the bleeding to stop.\

\ The Five Men Left Standing are going to grow weary and their productivity will wane as games progress, through no fault of their own. Friedgen said yesterday his freshmen and walk-ons simply aren’t ready, but even finding ways to get each starter off the field for a well-timed half-dozen or so plays each game will help. \

\ You don’t need a degree in football from Pigskin Prep to realize extended drives are going to be exceptionally hard to come by if the offensive line is gassed from overwork. This much is true: Just how much the Terps can salvage from this injury-ravaged season is directly related to how much they can reinforce their offensive line.\

\ —- Patrick Stevens