- The Washington Times - Friday, September 24, 2004

Maryland cornerback Domonique Foxworth outsmarted himself last Saturday. A rare pass against the two-time All-ACC defender went inside while Foxworth was caught looking over the top. Touchdown. Game over.

The Terrapins’ 19-16 overtime loss to No.6 West Virginia wasn’t as surprising as Maryland’s lockdown cornerback being beaten. Few teams are testing Foxworth; West Virginia threw only two passes toward him all game.

Foxworth thought West Virginia would throw high in the back of the end zone to Chris Henry, who’s 6 inches taller. Instead, Henry crossed inside, and Foxworth was caught 2 yards away on the decisive play.

“I was anticipating a fade and the quarterback looked to the left side first, which kind of gave me a false sense of security,” Foxworth said. “When I looked for my receiver, he was cutting across my face, which was the last thing I expected him to do.

“It’s not a good feeling to have the game end on you, knowing that you’re a lot better player than displayed on the last play. But I looked at the things I’ve accomplished since I’ve been here and I played a pretty good game up to that point, so I’m not down on myself.”

A few days later, Foxworth was busy preparing toward Duke (0-3). The No.23 Terps (2-1) open their ACC schedule tomorrow in Durham, N.C., against the conference’s worst passing offense, which already has used three quarterbacks. Undoubtedly Foxworth will be rarely tested again.

Foxworth likes the respect but hates feeling like a spectator. He’s ready for redemption after last week, but Duke probably won’t give him the chance.

“I hate it,” he said. “It’s almost like I’m out there watching. It’s really boring to be out there and not involved. It’s hard to keep your mind in the game when you’re not going to get any plays. Other defensive backs make fun of me because I don’t have stats besides tackles. I don’t have interceptions or broken-up passes. My role is more of a leader and to motivate and make sure everyone feels comfortable.”

The senior is scheduled to make his 33rd straight start after cracking the lineup for the final two games of his freshman year. He picked off five passes in 2002 and three last year, but opponents would rather test the three new starters in the secondary this season.

“Any time you get a new guy, it doesn’t matter if you’re Deion Sanders, they’re going to go after you,” said cornerback Gerrick McPhearson, who allowed only one of seven completions by West Virginia to his receivers. “Domonique is proven. They see me and Reuben [Haigler] and are going to throw the ball at us.”

The Terps have retooled last year’s ACC-leading defense that returned only four starters. The line was revamped and the secondary replenished, but Foxworth remains one of the core strengths. Safeties and linebackers have made most of the big plays while Foxworth often neutralizes one of the top receivers. He batted away a late third-down pass in the end zone against Northern Illinois to force a field goal.

Coach Ralph Friedgen often says Foxworth is like the son he never had. One bad play doesn’t change anything between them.

“He can play for me anytime he wants, anywhere, any game,” Friedgen said. “Any situation, I want him on my team.”

Notes — Defensive end Kevin Eli (concussion) and defensive tackle Justin Duffie (Crohn’s disease) are out against Duke. Linebacker D’Qwell Jackson (ankle) is probable after practicing yesterday. Receiver Dan Melendez (hamstring) is limited. … Former quarterback Scott McBrien attended practice.

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