NEW ORLEANS -- The run-and-shoot is one-dimensional.
That knock against Maryland held up Saturday night at the Louisiana Superdome, but with a welcome twist. This time, the Terps bagged the passing game after quarterback Brian Cummings sprained an ankle late in the first quarter, and stayed on the ground behind Orlando Strozier for a season-opening 29-10 victory over Tulane.
Strozier, who hadn't played quarterback since 1991, when he was a high school senior in Georgia, made the most of his turn at quarterback.
He ran for a touchdown on his first full series and directed Maryland to a pair of clinching touchdowns in the fourth quarter.
Through three losing seasons peppered with passing records, coach Mark Duffner claimed that the run-and-shoot is not just a passing offense, and that was the case with Strozier under center. The Terps gained 236 yards rushing. Their 19 pass attempts and 81 yards passing were the lowest totals under Duffner.
The Terps begin a three-game stand at Byrd Stadium on Saturday (noon) against North Carolina.
"I think Brian will be able to go on Saturday," said Duffner. "We'll hold him from practice [today] and just see how he goes."
Whether the quarterback is Cummings or Strozier, the run-and-shoot takes on a different spin than it had the last two years under pocket passer Scott Milanovich, who is serving a four-game suspension for gambling.
The Terps still went with four receivers, but most of the time Cummings and then Strozier sprinted out with the option of pitching to Buddy Rodgers and Brian Underwood, who combined for 199 yards rushing.