Allen fills bill nicely for Terps

COLLEGE PARK — COLLEGE PARK - Without question, the Maryland football team would love to have a healthy Bruce Perry in its backfield.

But until that becomes possible, the Terps are just fine with giving the ball to Perry's replacement, sophomore Josh Allen.


Allen provided the signature offensive highlight during yesterday's two-hour scrimmage at Byrd Stadium, taking a handoff from quarterback Scott McBrien and breaking free to the outside.

Ten yards later, it looked as if Maryland senior safety Madieu Williams would make the tackle, but a nifty spin move by Allen left Williams holding air, and when all was said and done, Allen had a 45-yard gain.


"I wanted to get that ball in the end zone so bad," Allen said. "That's all I could see. The O-line did their job opening up the hole, so my job was to get through it and try to get six."

Allen will get plenty of chances to hold up his end of the bargain. He ran for 83 yards on 16 carries yesterday, but he also made a couple of nice blocks on blitzes that gave O'Brien more time to throw. With Perry expected to miss at least six weeks with a high-ankle sprain, the pressure will be on Allen and O'Brien to give the Terps an offensive identity.

"Everybody worked hard and gave it their all today," Allen said. "We just have to be happy with that. We'll get better from here."

It was a good day for coach Ralph Friedgen for no other reason than the Terps didn't lose anyone to injury. In addition to Perry, Maryland was without starters Lamar Bryant (broken foot), Steve Suter (hamstring), Stephon Heyer (shoulder) and Shawne Merriman (knee).

"I was kind of holding my breath at the end, hoping that nobody would get hurt," Friedgen said.

O'Brien had an up-and-down performance, going 12 of 26 on his passes for 122 yards against Maryland's starting defense, throwing for one touchdown and having one interception.

NOTES: Sam Maldonado, playing mostly against the second team, carried the ball 18 times for 60 yards and scored three touchdowns. ... Orlando Evans has solidified himself as the backup quarterback. He went 14-for-20 for 174 yards and two touchdowns yesterday, earning praise from Friedgen.