Impact Player: Sam Hollenbach

Maryland quarterback Sam Hollenbach is maturing into a leader for the Terps.

There isn't a better time for him to do it, as he is now a fifth-year senior and one of the top players at his position in the ACC.

Hollenbach, who hails from Sellersville, Pennyslvania, was an underrated playing coming out of high school and didn't impact at Maryland until late in his redshirt sophomore season. He redshirted in 2002 and played in just one game in 2003 before seeing action in three games in 2004, including a start in the season finale against Wake Forest.

At the time, the Terps were struggling at quarterback and no one had stepped up to win the job, as Hollenbach continued to battle Jordan Steffy for playing time before his Wake start. Hollenbach made the most of the opportunity, completing 16-of-27 passes for 164 yards to give him the early advantage on the 2005 season.

It would be 2005 when Hollenbach really emerged as a quality starting quarterback in the Atlantic Coast Conference. As a redshirt junior, he played in all 11 games, starting 10. He finished the season completing 192-of-315 passes for 2,539 yards with 13 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. His yardage total ranked sixth for a single season in school history, and he ranked fourth in the conference in total offense with 229.2 yards per game. Hollenbach also stood second in the league in passing yards per game (230.8), and was fifth in the ACC in passing efficiency (132.8).

It was certainly a breakout season for Hollenbach, as he solidified his status as Maryland's starting quarterback, and he was the key returning ingredient to a Terp offense expected to be among the ACC's best in 2006.

Thus far, it has been an up-and-down year for Maryland and Hollenbach. Through six games, the Terps are currently 4-2, but the four wins came against Virginia, William & Mary, Middle Tennessee State, and Florida International.

However, Maryland has been playing much better of late. Two weeks ago the Terps nearly upset Georgia Tech, arguably the ACC's best team, in Atlanta, falling 27-23 with a chance to win the game on the final play.

The next week they won in Charlottesville, Virginia against the rival Cavaliers, battling back from a 20-0 halftime deficit to beat UVA 28-26 for their first win of the season.

Hollenbach has been solid. He has completed 94-of-157 passes for 1,022 yards and five touchdowns while also tossing five interceptions. He is 6th in the league in passing yards per game (170.3) and 7th in the league in total offense (161.7). His numbers don't jump out at you, but Hollenbach has been better at managing the game and does have Maryland just two games away from being bowl eligible for the first time in three years.

Last year the Wolfpack roughed up Hollenbach in the season finale, as NC State went bowling and Maryland stayed at home. The Terps will have revenge on their minds when the Wolfpack steps on the field in College Park this Saturday.

Expect Hollenbach to be ready.

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