After four years of waiting on Maryland's bench, left-hander Tim O'Hare apparently has won the starting quarterback position with his performance in yesterday's final scrimmage before next Saturday's opener at home against Tulane.
O'Hare who has been listed first on the depth chart all through practice sessions, could have lost the position yesterday only by playing badly while Mike Tice excelled. Almost the opposite occurred.
O'Hare completed eight of 11 passes for 127 yards, leading the varsity to a 56-3 romp over the scout squad. Tice completed three of nine for seven yards and ran for a 14-yard touchdown. His statistics were misleading, however. Tice did not receive as much protection from the line. He was sacked twice. He had a few passes dropped, and played most of the time with a bruised thumb on his throwing hand.
Coach Jerry Claiborne wouldn't announce a starting quarterback. "I'll keep you all in suspense," he said.
But sources earlier indicated that the job would be O'Hare unless he lost it in the scrimmage.
"I feel great. Great," said O'Hare, who has never lettered. "I really didn't feel I could lose the job before the season. Now I'll have to win the game, because I know the coaches will be looking at me closely."
The most outstanding performer for the Terrapin was freshman tailback Charlie D. Wysocki. He carried the ball eight times for 114 yards (including runs of 25, 35, and 42 yards) and scored three touchdowns.
The starting tailback position still may be reserved for senior Steve Atkins, who carried four times for 23 yards. He also caught two passes for 45 yards and scored on an eight-yard run. Atkins will share time with Wysocki and Alvin (Preacher) Maddox, who carried the ball five times for 55 yards, scoring on a 25-yard run.
The defense gave up three first downs, 39 yards passing a net minus four yards rushing.
"Our defense looked pretty good when our first unit was in," said Claiborne. "We wanted to polish our passing game and get film on it. The passing game is still not where we want it to be, although Tim O'Hare did a pretty good job. He had better protection than Mike did."
The Varsity took a 49-3 lead in the first half and then slowed offensively in the second.
"We were looking at a lot of backup people in the second half who weren't com pleting their assignments," Claiborne said.
"At least I hope that's why we slowed down in the second half."
Other than the passing game, which accounted for 168 of the varsity's 403 yards, Claiborne was mostly concerned about injuries and the special teams.
Wingback Dean Richards was held out of scrimmage while recovering from a sprained ankle. Strong tackle Larry Stewart left after suffering a pinched nerve in his neck, and quick tackle Jim Ulam was kept out with a strained knee. All three are expected to play against tulane.
Ed Loncar missed the only field goal attempted by the varsity - a 36-yarder wide left. Loncar made all four of his point-after-touchdown kicks, and Dale Castor was perfect on three tries. Castro also punted five times for a 34-yard average.
Lloyd Burruss scored on a long punt return for the second straight scrimmage, weaving 42 yards for the touchdown.
Scoring was rounded out by fourth-string tailback David Dixon, who ran the ball in from the one.