Greetings from Byrd Stadium for the first time since the spring, site of Saturday afternoon’s Maryland football open scrimmage. Plenty of fans arrived once the gates opened an hour early, many lining up for the game-used merchandise stands. The action gets underway at 1:30 p.m., lasting roughly until 3:30. Offense in white jerseys, defense in red.
For now, some story lines to watch, all focusing on the training camp battles currently underway:
>> Coach Randy Edsall expects to decide on his backup quarterback by Monday, which means the scrimmage could be the final opportunity for Perry Hills, Caleb Rowe and Ricardo Young to make an impression. Edsall hasn’t tipped his hand yet, if he indeed is leaning toward one particular option, but with the season opener officially two weeks away, now is the time to settle on C.J. Brown’s backup.
(Hills, for what it’s worth, took warmup snaps with Sal Conaboy, the first-string center.)
>> At right tackle, Ryan Doyle overtook Nick Klemm during Thursday’s practice, going the entire two hours with the first team. Edsall still says the competition is wide open. Check back for more on this battle in tomorrow’s print edition.
>> At safety, Edsall expects the battle between A.J. Hendy and Sean Davis to last until game week, but a strong scrimmage might tip the scales in one direction or the other.
>> Keep an eye on freshman running back Jacquille Veii. While it’s unlikely he’ll push either Brandon Ross or Albert Reid for playing time, he could develop into a serviceable third option, utilizing his speed and pass-catching abilities out of the backfield. Edsall has called him training camp’s biggest surprise thus far.
>> Zeke Riser, on whom Edsall declined to comment Thursday, is wearing a walking boot on his left foot and using crutches. Other notables not suiting up include safety Zach Dancel, defensive lineman Andre Monroe, defensive back Alvin Hill, fullback Tyler Cierski (calf) and running back Joe Riddle (head). A smattering of others further down the depth chart are also in shorts, hanging out on the sidelines.
Check back later for updates from the scrimmage. Thanks for reading. Enjoy the weekend.