QB Pic­ture Is No Clearer Af­ter Terps’ Spring Game

The Washington Post Sunday - - On The Air Sunday Morning -

Mary­land Ter­rap­ins Coach Ralph Fried­gen is known for his em­pha­sis on cer­tain sta­tis­tics and his dis­re­gard for oth­ers. One of his fa­vorites, and per­haps the most im­por­tant for this year’s spring camp, in­volves quar­ter­backs.

“If you don’t score points, you can’t play quar­ter­back,” he said.

Judg­ing by that stan­dard, the Ter­rap­ins’ quar­ter­back bat­tle re­mained crowded as none of the three can­di­dates turned in a dis­tin­guish­ing per­for­mance at the Red-White spring game yes­ter­day.

For the record, the White team, com­posed mainly of back­ups, beat the Red team, com­posed of starters, 27-10, be­fore a crowd of about 9,300 at Byrd Sta­dium. But in the evening’s most im­por­tant de­vel­op­ment, the three men vy­ing to be Mary­land’s start­ing quar­ter­back set­tled noth­ing.

Ju­nior Jor­dan Steffy, the most ex­pe­ri­enced sig­nal-caller on the ros­ter, threw for 80 yards on 7-of-12 pass­ing and was sacked three times, never find­ing a rhythm. He threw three in­ter­cep­tions — on a des­per­a­tion pass be­fore half­time, on a ball tipped by the in­tended re­ceiver and on an un­der­thrown pass to­ward the side­line. His only touch­down pass came with 4 min­utes 9 sec­onds left in the fourth quar­ter, when he hit re­serve wide re­ceiver LaQuan Wil­liams for a 32-yard strike while guid­ing the White team.

“That’s not a good sit­u­a­tion,” Fried­gen said. “I think we’ve got to play bet­ter at quar­ter­back.”

Josh Por­tis, the Florida trans­fer, fired a 68-yard touch­down pass to Dar­ius Hey­ward-Bey. But what the box score won’t re­veal is that cor­ner­back An­thony Wise­man fell down, leav­ing Hey­ward-Bey unim­peded. It was the only touch­down scored by the first team. Por­tis threw an in­ter­cep­tion to line­backer Alex Wu­j­ciak and went 5 of 12 for 104 yards.

Chris Turner, whose emer­gence dur­ing spring prac­tice cre­ated a three-man race, went 11 for 15 for 115 yards. Play­ing only with the White team, Turner threw an in­ter­cep­tion and failed to lead his team into the end zone.

In to­tal, Steffy, Por­tis and Turner com­bined to lead drives for two touch­downs and three field goals. Mean­time, true fresh­man Ja­marr Robin­son threw a first-half touch­down pass.

Wu­j­ciak (10) and line­backer Dave Philistin (11) led the game in tack­les while line­backer Erin Henderson’s nine tack­les was tops on the White team.

“We have a lot to do,” said Wu­j­ciak, who is com­pet­ing with Chase Bul­lock for the mid­dle line­backer spot. “It’s a long sum­mer, and we still have fall camp. Ev­ery­one will be com­pet­ing, and no one’s job is set in stone.”

Run­ning back Morgan Green, who had im­pressed coaches with strong per­for­mances all spring, suf­fered a frac­tured clav­i­cle. Fried­gen doesn’t know how much time Green will miss. Green led the White team with a game-high 19 car­ries for 93 yards.

— Marc Carig

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