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Portis, a One-Man Drive

What to make of Josh Portis’s performance yesterday? Through three games, reporters, fans, coaches and teammates were all waiting for Portis to turn into the athletic freakazoid that he is. Everyone was still waiting to see it through three quarters yesterday against the softest team on the schedule. After three quarters yesterday, Portis had no rushing attempts and had thrown one incomplete pass.

Then came the fourth quarter, and the play that broke the game open. On first down at the EMU 43, Portis handed off the Darrius Heyward-Bey, who flipped a lateral to receiver Danny Oquendo. Heyward-Bey said as soon as he flipped the ball to Oquendo he knew it would result in a touchdown pass. Oquendo fired a left-handed pass downfield to a wide open Isaiah Williams, who waltzed into the end zone, a score that put Maryland up 44-24.

Then came Maryland’s final scoring drive, and something that I have never seen on a football field. Portis turned into the One-Man Drive. All 80 yards gained during the drive were the result of Portis running the ball. He followed a 17-yard gain with a 33-yard gain. Morgan Green was then stuffed for no gain. Portis responded with runs of six yards, eight yards, eight yards and another one for eight yards to score the game’s final touchdown.

So what do you make of Portis yesterday? Time to get excited or not? He was Maryland’s leading rusher, amassing 98 yards on the ground on nine carries. But all of those rushing attempts came in the fourth quarter of what turned into a blowout victory. And Danny Oquendo completed one more pass than Portis. Yet that 80-yard drive at the end was impressive and unusual.

By Eric Prisbell  |  September 21, 2008; 8:29 AM ET
Categories:  Football  
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Bringing him on 3rd and 8 in the first half was a "head-scratcher". FREDTERP

Posted by: FREDTERP | September 21, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

The thing is, maybe they should watch more tape of the Tebow-Leak switches from before. If you are going to use a second QB, it can't be random. Either give him a series or don't. Though I do think Portis might work nicely in kill the clock drives...

Posted by: dlgood | September 21, 2008 12:03 PM | Report abuse

That was the perfect way to use Portis. When we try to run out the clock we always seem to go up the middle with the running back and other teams put eight guys in the box. With Portis in there to kill the clock other teams can't do that. They have to play more honest because they don't know where he is going to run the ball and that opens up more room for him to run. If we had done the same thing against Cal the margin of victory would have looked more like the dominating team we were. All that said, I still do not see Portis as anywhere close to a half time QB.

Posted by: Paco in Ajijic | September 21, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

That one pass he threw was actually a pretty good ball. Just a small spot and Williams couldn't hold on to it..

Posted by: Lee | September 22, 2008 8:48 AM | Report abuse

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