Maryland's offense, called lethargic by Coach Jerry Claiborne all last week, played with some crackle and enthusiasm yesterday in the team's final full speed scrimmage before the season opener Saturday against Villanova. But it still made some glaring fundamental errors.
The mistakes included poor pitchouts, botched swing passes and two holding penalties that nullified touchdowns.
"We've still got a lot of work to do," said Claiborne. "The first offensive team moved the ball pretty well Wednesday in scrimmage, but the second group still didn't look that good.
"The only way to solve it is practice. They say it makes perfect. And we can't get enough repetition."
Claiborne and Jerry Eisaman, offensive coordinator, took 45 minutes before the scrimmage, won by the Red squad, 34-0, to put the Terps offense through strenuous exercises and basic drills.
"Our offense has been very inconsistent. That's why all the repetition of drills, patterns and fundamentals," said Claiborne.
Eisaman said that defensive units are usually ahead of their offenses this early in the summer, but admitted his Terp offense has been compounding its slow start with mental mistakes.
"We just didn't have the concentration last week, so we're working on that as much as possible. We're experimenting with some new plays, so we're just now ironing out some of the rough spots -- getting the bugs out."
Charlie Wysocki, the Maryland star tailback, was busy bugging the second-team defense all afternoon, unofficially gaining more than 100 yards on the ground, including runs of 51 and 24 yards, plus a touchdown.
The junior varsity defense spent the afternoon masquerading as the Villanova Wildcats. The Terp offense will see a Wildcat defensive line next week that runs more stunts than any other college team in the East.
"That's what we worked on today -- beating the stunts," said Eisaman. "We expect that from Villanova on most downs. Their defense plays with reckless abandon. They can create a lot of problems for your offense. But they're also vulnerable to big gainers. Of course, that's only if we execute properly. We have to concentrate."
With everybody concentrating on the sluggish Maryland offense, it was Greg Hill, a relatively unknown freshman defensive safety, who was the star of the day's scrimmage. The 5-foot-11, 170-pound Hill broke up two apparent touchdown passes from first string quarterback Mike Tice.
But the former all-met player from Crossland High School and Seat Pleasant will probably play junior varsity most of the season because of Maryland's abundance of talented defensive backs.