COLLEGE PARK - With Shaun Hill missing a second straight day of practice yesterday with a mild right shoulder sprain, Maryland coach Ron Vanderlinden said he is prepared to start Calvin McCall at quarterback Saturday against West Virginia in a noon duel at Mountaineer Field in Morgantown, W.Va.
"I'm comfortable with Calvin starting," said Vanderlinden. "Shaun Hill is day-to-day with that shoulder, but I do expect him to get enough work this week to play some against West Virginia. It depends on how much he is able to throw in practice this week."
Vanderlinden said he had planned to start McCall in last week's season opener against Temple, but the coach said McCall lost that honor when he broke a team rule. Vanderlinden has still not said which rule McCall violated.
Even Nehlen wanted to leave
Want to know exactly how bad West Virginia was last year?
"There were several games I wanted to leave early, but I couldn't find a way out of the place without getting seen," said Mountaineers' coach Don Nehlen. "I was hard to live with in the off-season. Just ask my family. I was really ticked off. The main thing that came out of the off-season was that we had to raise the bar this season."
West Virginia did raise the level of its play two weeks ago in the season opener against Boston College, dominating the Eagles, 34-14, in a Big East opener. But the always low-key Nehlen said he still isn't certain what to expect this week against Maryland.
"I'm not sure where we are as a team right now," said Nehlen. "I thought we had some momentum after Boston College, but unfortunately we had a week off."
One of the brightest, happiest faces in College Park yesterday belonged to an effervescent Scooter Monroe (John Carroll).
"My mom and dad (LaVerne and Hun, Sr.) are loving every minute of this," said Monroe whose big 51-yard catch Saturday gave Maryland a first down at the Temple 23-yard line. "It came on a straight go route where the safety didn't come up on me, so it was my ball all the way and Calvin made a perfect throw. I stumbled a little as I tried to keep my balance in hopes I could go all the way, but there was no chance."
Monroe said first-year Maryland wide receivers coach James Franklin tried to "say I caught the ball with my chest and not my hands, but I told him to check out the tape and he said, 'You're right.' That made me feel good."
More on Sharps
It turns out that Maryland did try to recruit former Meade High speedster Tanardo Sharps out of high school, but he was a nonqualifier academically. Atlantic Coast Conference schools aren't allowed to take nonqualifiers.
Sharps then went to Fork Union prep school before selecting Temple, where he has turned in back-to-back outstanding efforts this season against Navy (180 yards and one touchdown on 31 carries) and the Terps (80 yards and one touchdown on 20 carries).