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For Sunshine Cali, a Start?

As it stands now, with the sky still a little black, there is no starting quarterback formally named for Maryland’s game Saturday at Middle Tennessee State. But after spending more time yesterday than I would like to admit on Maryland’s campus, zigzagging around freshmen students, scrambling to find food and talking to a variety of football coaches, players, etc., on and off the record, it would be an upset if Chris Turner did not start the game at QB.

The announcement could come today, it could come Thursday, or it could come at 7 p.m. Saturday. But Jordan Steffy is “very questionable” to practice today because of his thumb injury, and if Steffy misses practice today, or even if he doesn't, that should make the No. 2 quarterback, Turner, the man of the moment. Yes, Josh Portis remains in competition to start Saturday, but he will see action regardless of whether he starts or not, and it would be hard to figure he would start over Turner.

The crazy thing is, Ralph Friedgen said all three quarterbacks would play this season. But no one thought he meant in every game. An interesting quarterback narrative is taking shape. All three have different styles, different personalities. All have faced adversity of various shapes and sizes over the past year.

The other inside-baseball issue: Maryland has quickly turned this from a one-day story in newspapers to an every-day story. If Steffy and Turner were permitted to speak to media yesterday, and if Ralph would have said he would stick by a healthy Steffy, the story would essentially be tapped out by now. But today, we wait to speak to Turner and Steffy and Ralph about Turner and Steffy and then write about Turner and Steffy. On and on it goes, or, as some may say, Round and Round.

Consider this, though: What happens if Turner starts and plays well Saturday and then Steffy heals for the California week? Is there another open competition? Does it come down to practice, again? Would Steffy lose his job again after being hurt? Could Turner re-gain the starting job with one victory over MTSU? Would Steffy start against California, only to hear even louder boos, which, in turn, only would rile Ralph up even more? The drama never ends with this threesome.

By Eric Prisbell  |  September 3, 2008; 6:29 AM ET
Categories:  Football  | Tags: Chris Turner, Jordan Steffy, Josh Portis  
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Next: As for Boos, Portis has Seen Worse


Well, Fridge complained about the lack of coverage from the local papers. By making the decisions he made at QB, he's getting what he wanted, right?!

Posted by: Sam | September 3, 2008 8:39 AM | Report abuse

With Josh Portis the skys the limit with Turner and Steffy (shudder) the limit is the sky.

FREE Josh Portis!

Posted by: Lee | September 3, 2008 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Hopefully, Turner will play well this week if he starts and give big Ralph another headache decision. If he starts Steffy for Cal after Turner plays decent, then Ralph(not Steffy) will hear even louder boos against Cal. Cal is not Delaware and if Maryland plays on offense like they showed against Delaware--it will get ugly fast and the Terps dont need to see and hear their leadership being questioned so fiercly this early in the season. Big Ralph needs to leave his fatherly feelings for Steffy on the practice field and make the right decision for Maryland football. Name Turner the permanent starter and have Portis run Duffner's old Black Thunder offense:)

Posted by: zman | September 3, 2008 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Turner led the Terps to two upset wins over two top-ten schools last season. Turner is not shy about throwing the ball downfield. Turner is the first QB to consistently put up big numbers and points on the scoreboard since Scott McBrien graduated after the 2003 season. Turner would also have this year and next to start, and the Terps are desperate to find consistency and an identity at the QB position.

Posted by: Josh | September 3, 2008 9:58 AM | Report abuse

If Turner plays well Saturday, all Steffy needs to worry about as far as his thumb is concerned is whether or not he is healthy enough to hold a clipboard.

Posted by: virtueandvice | September 3, 2008 10:36 AM | Report abuse

I wish the Fridge would just go ahead and announce a QB for good. I am tired of having to read all the angst about the Maryland QB situation on the Scout site. I participate there only to read Ravens and Orioles news. Wake me up when Maryland threatens Virginia Tech's status as the class of the ACC.

Posted by: BenColemanisBig | September 3, 2008 11:39 AM | Report abuse

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