After putting his football team through its first full scale scrimmage of the season yesterday. Maryland Coach Jerry Claiborne worried about an old problem: passing.
"Right now all three of our quarterbacks have sore arms," Claiborne said after the two hour scrimmage. "That's why we didn't throw the ball much today. "Our passing game is hurting because of that and because we haven't had Gary Ellis out to practice yet."
Split end Ellis, counted on as a starter, has had mononucleosis since before summer drills began two weeks ago.
With Ellis out, with prospective first team quarterback Mike Tice still not recovered from surgery and with backup passers Bob Milkovich and Brent Dewitz suffering sore arms, Maryland's passing game hasn't progressed.
"I'm not sure why Bob and Brent have sore arms," Claiborne said. "Maybe they didn't throw enough during the summer. Tice's shoulder is healed but his arm isn't in shape yet. He ran the offense well today but he didn't throw the ball well."
On the encouraging side was the ground game. In all, the Maryland offense ran up six touchdowns and got a 42-yard field goal from Dale Castro. The junior varsity provided the defense.
Particularly pleasing to Claiborne was the running of tailbacks Charlie Wysocki and Tim Whittie. Wysocki ran for 150 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries while Whittie had 105 yards and one touchdown on 12 tries.
Since George Scott failed out of school Tuesday, Maryland needs a tailback. Sophomore Wysocki and red-shirt freshman Whittie are the top candidates.
"They both ran well today," Claiborne said, "That was good to see." Wysocki looked particularly good. He was really moving well."
Claiborne was particularly pleased that Wysocki did not fumble. In fact, the entire offense had only one turnover, an interception thrown by Tice toward the end of the scrimmage.
"Only having one turnover was nice to see," Claiborne said. "But we did have a lot of penalties which I don't like to see. I think a lot of them came because people got tired."
A penalty nullified the most electrifying play of the scrimmage, a 73-yard punt return by Greg (Fly) Robertson, the four-time ACC hurdles champion trying to make the team as a wide receiver and kick returner.
"Greg's working real hard," Claiborne said. "But he's still a long way from being a college football player."
Other scrimmage touchdowns came on Milkovich's 19-yard pass to Larry Gregory, Mike Lewis three-yard run and a four-yard pass from Tice (his only completion) to William Pugh.
Claiborne had the junior varsity offense run the Villanova wishbone so his defense could work on blocking angles. "It was hard to make any judgments on the defense because the scout team (the junior varsity) had only worked the wishbone for three days in practice," Claiborne said.
With two weeks left before the Sept. 8 opener, the Terps are unsettled at quarterback and on the defensive line. Milkovich again ran the first team offense yesterday, but Claiborne said he is a long way from deciding on a starter for Villanova.
Starters have yet to emerge at several defensive line positions. Most surprisingly, freshman Mark Duda has progressed extremely quickly to challenge Pete Glamp at one end spot. Another freshman end, Howard Eubanks, made yesterday's interception.