Terps resemble Bama, Georgia

The good news about Tennessee's upcoming Peach Bowl date with Maryland is that the Terrapins won't show the Big Orange anything it hasn't seen before.

Vol offensive coordinator Randy Sanders says the Maryland defense reminds him of the Georgia defense UT faced in October. Meanwhile, Vol defensive coordinator John Chavis says the Maryland defense reminds him of the Alabama stop unit UT also faced in October.

That brings us to the bad news: Both Georgia and Alabama BEAT Tennessee.

Maryland's defense, like Georgia's, has a star-quality linebacker (Chuck Benarik Award-winner E.J. Henderson) and a scheme that is simple but effective.

''They have enough schemes and looks that you can't predict exactly what you're going to get,'' Sanders said, ''but it's not like the number of looks you get from Florida, Arkansas or Mississippi State.''

Like Alabama's offense, the Terrapin attack is a bit on the conservative side but features a little bit of everything -- dropback passing, rollout passing, I-formation running and the option series -- plus a quarterback (Scott McBrien) who is truly adept at running it.

''He's learned how to win in their system; that's the biggest thing,'' Chavis said. ''He's real confident playing in their system. He's a good athlete and he's well coached. He's going to play the game close to the vest. That's what they've been able to do down the stretch run, and that's where you see the biggest improvement in them.

''The quarterback's going to play the game the way it should be played. When the quarterback's on, that's when they're at their best. To have success, you have to do some things to take him out of the game or confuse him or keep him from being a big player.''

Vol head man Phillip Fulmer says the Georgia and Alabama ties are ''fair comparisons,'' adding: ''Alabama presents the same type problems -- formation adjustments, personnel groupings that you have to get the matchups. You're not sure all the time what you're going to get from a formation standpoint. That makes it a little harder. And it's complicated by the option -- whether it's the one-back option, two-back option, lead option. There's a lot of things you've got to be disciplined about managing to avoid the big play.''

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