- The Washington Times - Monday, August 8, 2005

Maryland quarterbacks Sam Hollenbach and Joel Statham sat only a few feet apart by their lockers yesterday, but there was a clear divide. Hollenbach was surrounded, while Statham was left virtually alone.

The Terrapins are changing quarterbacks after a disappointing 5-6 season. Hollenbach is the conservative choice at the start of practice, while Statham becomes the reliever after starting 10 games last year. Maryland has plenty of questions along both lines, in its secondary and at receiver, but Hollenbach is the center of interest.

The engineering student nearly left the team after opening last summer as the fourth stringer. Now he’s taking a “light” course load that includes linear algebra and vehicular dynamics so he can focus on football. This season may fare only as well as Hollenbach plays, but he already has shown some survivor qualities, leading Maryland to a 14-13 victory over Wake Forest in the 2004 finale.

“What I admire is his perseverance,” coach Ralph Friedgen said. “He didn’t make excuses. When his opportunity came, he made the most of it. … That’s not to say that I’m down on Joel. I think right now it might be easier for Joel to come in than to start. It’s Sam’s job to lose.”

Hollenbach makes fewer mistakes than Statham, who was undermined by turnovers last season. The Terps figure to run more this season and throw the high-percentage passes Hollenbach favors. Given a favorable early season schedule that could leave Maryland 6-0 before its toughest games, increased confidence is the biggest need for Hollenbach as he readies for Navy on Sept. 3.

“You can’t play looking over your shoulder,” he said. “You cannot worry about mistakes. If you make them, you have to learn from them and move on.”

Statham earned ACC offensive player of the week honors with 362 yards and four touchdowns against Duke. However, he steadily slumped through the season. He had five turnovers against Virginia Tech in a loss that knocked Maryland from the bowls for the first time in four seasons and resulted in his benching. Statham has accepted the backup role.

“Whatever it takes is fine as long as I get to play,” Statham said. “I feel like I worked pretty hard this summer. I feel ready to go.”

Third-stringer Jordan Steffy said he considered redshirting following offseason surgery on his right arm and an injection for his sore knee.

“We’re not really sure how it will hold up,” Steffy said of his knee. “Before spring redshirt didn’t even cross my mind. Right now, a lot will be told over the next couple days how my knee will hold up.”

Notes — Maryland has sold more than 32,000 season tickets and has 3,000 remaining. The nationally televised Virginia Tech game Oct. 20 is sold out. The Maryland-Navy game at M&T; Bank Stadium is an anticipated sellout of nearly 70,000. Both teams will earn $1.2 million. Athletic director Debbie Yow said the earliest rematch could be 2010. FedEx Field would be considered as the host. … Deep snapper Tim Cesa will miss several weeks with mononucleosis. Andrew Schmitt and Brendan McDermond are vying for the backup spot. … Lightning ended practice 20 minutes early. … Linebacker D’Qwell Jackson was excused from practice for family reasons. … Twenty of 23 seniors recently graduated, raising Friedgen’s overall four-year rate to 78 of 89.

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