University of Maryland running back George Scott remembers when rain-soaked spring football sessions such as the one held yesterday would have elicited nothing but gripes from the Terrapins.
Spring practice was regarded as an obligatory chore, to be dealt with and quickly forgotten, according to Scott. But this year, he finds the attitude of the Terp football players much more agreeable.
"We realize that through spring practice we are getting needed work that will help the team next season," said scott. "We just want people to know we can play good football. I think the loss to Texas (42-0 in the Sun Bowl) has given the team a lift. The players don't want something like that to happen again."
In addition, Scott believes the embarrassing losses to Texas and Penn State last season have pulled the Terps together more as a unit.
"Last year, we didn't have a strong team unity," said scott. "There was a lot of great talent, but no togetherness. Now the prevailing thought is to work harder. Even during the offseason, guys were working out in groups of five and six. Before, each player did it on his own."
Scott, a 205-pound junior-to be from Inwood, N.Y., missed the past season with a stress fracture in his right shin. As a sophomore, he had the fifth-best total yardage in Maryland history (894).
"The leg is okay now," said Scott. "I used to get sharp pain and swelling, but that's gone."
Terrapin Coach Jerry Claiborne rated the defense ahead of the offense to this point. Seven defensive starters will return next year, including the entire backfield.
"In last Saturday's scrimmage, the offense was not moving the ball consistenly enough to score," said Claiborne. "Mistakes-things like missed blocks-burt. The blocking in particular show the effects to the layoff."
The Terps must find replacements for four starting offensive linemen and for quarterback Tim O'Hare and running backs Mickey Dudish and Steve Atkins.
Mike Tice is the only quarterback with game experience. The 6-foot-7 sophomore got the most work yesterday, but Claiborne said sophomore Bob Milkovich and red-shirted freshman Brent Dewitz had also been impressive.
Approximately 100 athletes attended the drill, with a breakdown of 70 scholarship and 30 walk-on players.
Navy's top six defensive interior linemen have missed most of spring practice with injuries. Senior tackle John Merrill and junior middle guard Terry Huxel started running this week following ankle operations this winter. The two will probably not be able to participate in contact work until fall practice.
The other wounded linemen include tackles Steve Chambers (calf). Mike Mathes (knee) and Chris Garner (knee) and middle guard Tim Jordan (ankle). CAPTION: Picture, George Scott