Maryland quarterback Mark Manges has returned from a toe injury to allout practices, and if he remains healty, coach Jerry Claiborne says Manges of the year Saturday at Penn State.
Manges' re-entry comes at a time when the Terps are searching for a missing spark of enthusiasm, for leadership, and trying to regain the status lost when they were dropped out of the top 20 in the national rankings this week.
Claiborne says the is not worried about the rankings. He says he is worried about the continues lack of intersity on his football team, which was upset by West Virginia in its home opener Saturday.
"I was embarrassed," said Claiborne, "and I think the players were embarrassed.
"We still are not playing with that type of aggressiveness you need to win. We better get it back in a hurry or it may be too late."
Some players said they thought the team lost its leadership when Tim Wilson and Joe Campbell graduated.
"I think we're kind of flat," said senior receiver Chuck White. "We have to find it somewhere. Before the West Virginia game I could sense something was lacking. It might be leadership from the seniors."
Senior kicker Mike Sochko agree
I don't think there's that much enthusiasm," said Sochko. "Mark (Manges) of Larry (Dick) or Brad (Carr of Ernie (Salley) need to pick up the enthusiasm, talk to guys on the sidelines, pick the team up. That has to be done.
I can't shoot my mouth off because I only kick. They don't look up to me."
While Sochko recalled the extra effort Campbell took in this area, White remembered Wilson as "a one-in-a-million type person. Everyone pretty much listened to him and he could motivate you.
"Maybe the seniors this year, including myself, are more themselves and concerned about their own games. I find it hard to be a rah-ah guy but we have to have it. Its become apparent."
Almost everyone who was questioned about the rankings thought it unfair that Maryland completely disappeared, and that West Virginia appeared (at No. 20).
"We got beat," said running-back coach Tom Groom, "but I still think we should be in the Top 20. Obviously we haven't impressed people enough."
I kind of anticipated it," said Dick, "because it seems like in the past those things happened to us. Alabama and Notre Dame have lost, and they're still in the rankings. I don't think it's fair.
"But we realize we're definitely a top 20 team."
"I don't think it's fair at all," said Sochko. "They shouldn't have dropped us totally out. And they shouldn't have stuck West Virginia ahead of us. either."