Maryland’s first victory of the year was somewhat muted when cornerback Nolan Carroll was lost for the season with a broken right tibia.
The Terrapins finally collected victory No. 2 on Saturday against Clemson but endured the loss of another starter: tailback Da’Rel Scott, who broke the radius bone in his left forearm in the third quarter and is expected to be out until at least the Nov. 21 game at Florida State.
Scott will have a plate inserted when he undergoes surgery this week. Coach Ralph Friedgen also said left tackle Bruce Campbell suffered an MCL injury in his left knee. Campbell, who is out through at least Saturday’s game at Wake Forest, will undergo an MRI on Monday to determine the severity of his injury.
Scott’s potential replacements are plentiful, though all but sophomore Davin Meggett are relatively untested. A sophomore, Meggett has run for 134 yards this season and scored a third-quarter touchdown after Scott’s departure in the 24-21 defeat of Clemson.
Redshirt freshman Gary Douglas, who received his first extensive playing time Saturday for the Terrapins (2-3, 1-0 ACC), true freshman D.J. Adams and junior Morgan Green all could factor in.
“It’s going to be hard without Da’Rel; he’s such a game-changer,” quarterback Chris Turner said. “You never know when he’s going to hit. But we’re so deep at running back. I don’t think anybody is going to be that worried about it. Meggett’s just as good as Da’Rel. He’s a different kind of player, but Meggett’s the kind of guy who’s been around. We trust him. Gary Douglas, it’s his time. it’s finally here. Same with Morgan.”
The injury ends Scott’s attempt at consecutive 1,000-yard seasons. As a sophomore, he rushed for 1,133 yards and eight touchdowns, but he lost three fumbles over two games late last month. He has 297 yards and three touchdowns this year and was held to zero yards on three attempts Saturday.
Meggett, a shorter, more compact back, complemented Scott last season and ran for a team-high 27 yards on 10 carries against Clemson. Douglas, praised during camp for his elusiveness, had 21 yards on seven carries.
“For a first game, I thought he ran a little too upright,” offensive coordinator James Franklin said. “But he got positive yards. He’s got a lot of wiggle, and you can see that. I think he was a little nervous.”
Other members of a potential committee could emerge this week. Green opened the season as the Terps’ No. 3 back, but Adams passed him on the depth chart last month. Once a coveted recruit, Green has 32 career carries in four years in the program. True freshman Caleb Porzel is expected to return from a leg injury this week.
Adams earned more practice reps since the season started and could be the latest true freshman to play this season. The Terps have already used seven of the 24 true freshmen on scholarship.
“He’s a big, strong, physical kid who runs like he’s mad at somebody,” Franklin said of Adams.
This isn’t the first time Maryland faced uncertainty at running back in coach Friedgen’s tenure. He took over in 2001 and found a gaping hole in the Terps’ backfield after LaMont Jordan’s departure, but Bruce Perry ran for 1,242 yards and 10 touchdowns as Maryland made an Orange Bowl appearance.
The next year, Perry was hampered by injuries, only for the inexperienced Chris Downs to collect 1,154 yards and 13 touchdowns. Even last season, Scott was an unproven commodity after Lance Ball and Keon Lattimore had exhausted their eligibility.
“Obviously, losing Da’Rel is a tough thing, but it is a position that we do have a lot of running backs,” Friedgen said. “It is what it is. We’ll just have to make the best of it, and hopefully these guys step up. I like the talent. I think all those kids are good players. They just haven’t had a lot of playing time.”
Notes - Friedgen indicated sophomore Tony Logan will remain the Terps’ punt returner. …
Ryan Donohue, a true freshman linebacker, played on Maryland’s kickoff team Saturday, and Friedgen anticipates using him more on special teams as the season unfolds.