Odds and Ends: Maryland 31, Villanova 14

Let's go deeper into Maryland's 31-14 win over Villanova Saturday...

Nowhere to run

Maryland's defense held Villanova to 11 yards on the ground, the least amount it's allowed since holding Clemson to 10 rushing yards in 2003.

It came as somewhat of a surprise considering Maryland struggled with spread-option rushing attacks last season. It's a scheme the Terps will see twice more this year when they host West Virginia and travel to Wake Forest the week after.

"I think we did a great job getting out there and executing the game plan," linebacker Erin Henderson said. "We made the tackles we needed to make. I don't think we missed too many tackles today. I think we did a great job."

Maryland will also face two of the nation's most prolific traditional running backs in Rutgers' Ray Rice (184 rushing yards vs. Buffalo Thursday) and Georgia Tech's Tashard Choice (169 yards vs. Notre Dame Saturday).

Somewhere to run

Maryland ran for 221 yards Saturday, the most it has gained since running for 250 yards against Virginia in 2005. The Terps topped 200 rushing yards twice last season, against William & Mary and Purdue.

Keon Lattimore led the attack with 106 yards, his third career game with over 100 rushing yards.

"Keon played really well tonight," Jordan Steffy said. "Our offensive line really opened up some holes for him. He ran the ball hard and we put points on the board with him getting in the end zone."

Steffy's debut impressive

Steffy, who made his first collegiate start Saturday, had arguably the best opening showing of any quarterback in coach Ralph Friedgen's seven years.

He went 19-of-24 for 174 yards with one interception and ran for 47 yards and a touchdown.

In Shaun Hill's 2001 debut, he went 10-of-26 for 86 yards and two touchdowns in a 23-7 victory over North Carolina.

Scott McBrien's first start, a 20-0 loss to Notre Dame in 2002, was a disaster. He completed just 9-of-23 passes for 84 yards and threw two picks.

Joel Statham didn't do too badly in leading the Terps to a 23-20 victory over Northern Illinois in 2004, but he didn't exactly light it up either. He completed 12-of-22 passes for 169 yards and threw an interception.

Sam Hollenbach, making his first start in the 2004 finale against Wake Forest, managed the game well, but didn't make a big splash. He went 16-of-27 for 167 yards in a 14-10 win.

Reaction to Portis' suspension

Just minutes before kick off, Maryland released a statement indicating highly-touted backup quarterback Josh Portis was ineligible for the 2007 season due to a violation of the University Academic Code.

Friedgen was told Portis wouldn't be available yesterday and notified the players.

"Losing Josh, it's definitely not helping our football team," Friedgen said. "He was a very good player for us. It puts us in a real tough situation at quarterback right now. We lose another one and we got a critical situation back there.

"Kids make mistakes," he continued. "This is no indication of what type of person he is. I think he's a great character kid. Like all of us, he makes mistakes at times. I hope this is going to be a good learning experience for him. Right now Josh is hurting. I told our players that they need to get with him and support him. Be a help to him. He's part of our team. We're exceptional people. We're held to a higher accountability than the rest of the students. That's just the way it is when you're an athlete."

Steffy, who was locked in a battle with Portis for the starting spot in camp, offered his thoughts:

"It's unfortunate. My prayers are out to him and his family. Anytime something like that happens you got to feel bad for him and all you can do is wish for the best for him and hope he continues to keep fighting. He's a great player and with him out it's definitely going to be tough but we're going to continue to fight on."


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