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.
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