- The Washington Times - Monday, September 16, 2002

Maryland tailback Bruce Perry, the 2001 ACC Offensive Player of the Year, is expected to return for Saturday's game against Eastern Michigan, but he may not be the only new starter in the backfield. Chris Kelley could replace Scott McBrien at quarterback.
"We'll discuss that [today]," Terrapins coach Ralph Friedgen said yesterday. "And we'll see what happens then."
Maryland continues to search for offense after Saturday's 37-10 loss to fifth-ranked Florida State. McBrien threw two interceptions and was lifted for Kelley in the third quarter with the Seminoles in charge 30-0. McBrien didn't lead the Terps on a scoring drive in lopsided losses to Notre Dame and Florida State.
"We have to get better a lot better," said Friedgen, after his team had four turnovers in the first half and six total against Florida State. "I'm real concerned about that."
The Seminoles' three first-half touchdowns all came after Maryland turnovers, including fumbles by Mario Merrills and Chris Downs and an interception deep in Terps territory. Maryland (1-2) erased its only first-half score when Latrez Harrison's block below the waist negated a 61-yard touchdown run by Downs which would have cut the lead to 13-7. Friedgen said yesterday it was the correct call, though the penalty took place away from the action.
Perry's return and an exceptionally soft schedule the next two weeks should improve Maryland's outlook. This Saturday, the Terps play host to Eastern Michigan, a team they pounded 50-3 last season. The Mid-American Conference Eagles lost their first two games by a combined score of 121-20 before they edged Southeast Missouri State on a last-minute touchdown on Saturday. On Sept.28, I-AA also-ran Wofford visits College Park. Maryland's next real test comes on Oct.5 at West Virginia.
"We need to get things right take these two games and go from there," Maryland receiver Scooter Monroe said.
Perry, who rushed for 1,242 yards and is Maryland's leading returning receiver, could be the offensive catalyst the Terps so desperately need. The 5-foot-9, 196-pound junior suffered a torn groin on Aug.20 and has been sidelined since.
"Obviously, we need to have him back for the stretch run," said Friedgen, who expects doctors to clear Perry today. "I would hope it would take pressure off the quarterback. It would give us another playmaker in our offense, plus it would give us some confidence, too. Any time you have a guy that's gained as many yards as he has, it should help your psyche."
Friedgen is at a loss to explain how to speed up McBrien's progress. "If you have any suggestions, let me know," he said.
The Terps already have thrown seven interceptions this season four by McBrien and three by Kelley after tossing just nine during last year's regular season.
The quarterback is only the biggest part of the offensive woes. Fumbles and other mistakes have stymied the unit.
"I don't know what happens," Monroe said. "I guess everyone is trying to make too big a play. Everybody needs to calm down and do their job. We just can't get down on ourselves. This is the first time under coach Friedgen that we have really been behind in games. We have to learn how to bounce back when things aren't going right for us."
Notes
Offensive tackle Matt Crawford suffered a sprained MCL in his right knee, but there is no swelling and he is expected to play Saturday. Center Todd Wike and defensive tackle Randy Starks suffered concussions, but are expected to play against Eastern Michigan. Nickel back Ty Stewart, who missed the last two games with a groin pull, should be back.


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