Maryland's QB from Cali hopes to impress against Cal
Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich
This should be a good week for Maryland quarterback Chris Turner. Should.
He celebrated his 21st birthday on Monday, and six or seven family members are flying in from California to cheer him on as the Terps host Cal.
The only problem is the Terps (1-1) are hosting Cal (2-0).
Maryland is one of the most consistently inconsistent teams in the ACC, and if it is going to have any chance against the surging Golden Bears, Turner knows he's got to play better than he did in the 24-14 loss to Middle Tennessee State last weekend.
Turner completed 13-of-28 passes for 207 yards and a touchdown and threw three interceptions -- two of which halted fourth-quarter drives as Maryland trailed by 10 points.
"As you can imagine, I'm not happy with how I played," Turner said, "but I keep telling everyone the good news is I can only get better. I'm confident. I've had some pretty good games in the past. If I just play to my ability, I think we'll be alright."
After starting the last eight games of 2007, Turner was benched in favor of Jordan Steffy this summer. But he regained his starting spot last week when Steffy injured his thumb. Turner has tried to figure out what went wrong for him, and the one thing he came up with is being out of rhythm.
"Our offense now takes a lot of timing, a lot of rhythm going through progressions," said Turner, a native of Simi Valley, Calif. "Sometimes I'd rush through progressions, sometimes I'd be so slow. Basically I have to translate what I do in practice onto the field. In practice things mesh pretty well. The timing is there. In the game it's a little bit faster."
And Cal will certainly bring the speed. On defense, cornerback Syd'Quan Thompson is tied for the nation's lead in interceptions with three, and offensively, Jahvid Best leads the Pac-10 with 155.5 rushing yards per game. They're coming off a 66-3 romp of Washington State.
Still, Turner is convinced the team is better than what it showed a week ago.
"I can't even think of a good way to describe how much better we are," Turner said. "On paper, obviously we're much better than that. We have tons of speed, tons of athletes. We were a much better team and we didn't play like that. People can take that for what it's worth. There are always going to be skeptics, but we know what we're capable of. We know that if we play how we're capable of playing, we can beat anybody. We showed that last year."
Final Nevada 3 Louisiana-Lafayette 16 Final Utah State 21 UTEP 6 Final 22 Utah 45 Colorado State 10 Final Western Michigan 24 Air Force 38 Final South Alabama 28 Bowling Green 33
Final Marshall 52 Northern Illinois 23 Final Navy 17 San Diego State 16
Final Central Michigan 48 Western Kentucky 49 Final Fresno State 6 Rice 30
1:00 PM ET Illinois Louisiana Tech 4:30 PM ET Rutgers North Carolina 8:00 PM ET North Carolina State UCF
1:00 PM ET Cincinnati Virginia Tech 2:00 PM ET 15 Arizona State Duke 3:30 PM ET Miami (FL) South Carolina 4:30 PM ET Boston College Penn State 8:00 PM ET Nebraska 24 USC
2:00 PM ET Texas A&M West Virginia 5:30 PM ET Oklahoma 17 Clemson 9:00 PM ET Arkansas Texas
3:00 PM ET Notre Dame 23 LSU 6:30 PM ET 13 Georgia 21 Louisville 10:00 PM ET Maryland Stanford
12:30 PM ET 9 Ole Miss 6 TCU 4:00 PM ET 20 Boise State 10 Arizona 8:00 PM ET 7 Mississippi State 12 Georgia Tech
12:00 PM ET 19 Auburn 18 Wisconsin 12:30 PM ET 8 Michigan State 5 Baylor 1:00 PM ET 16 Missouri 25 Minnesota 5:00 PM ET 2 Oregon 3 Florida State 8:30 PM ET 1 Alabama 4 Ohio State
12:00 PM ET Houston Pittsburgh 3:20 PM ET Iowa Tennessee 6:45 PM ET 11 Kansas State 14 UCLA 10:15 PM ET Washington Oklahoma State