Friedgen's Looks To Work Magic With Hollenbach
Before last season, it appeared Ralph Friedgen had the midas touch with quarterbacks. Joel Statham, Jordan Steffy, and Sam Hollenbach did not meet the expectations of Friedgen. Hollenbach emerged from third string as the starter, and now he is working to find his way under Friedgen.
Hollenbach was the only quarterback to play in the Terrapins opener. He went 17-30 for 217 yards. It was not a bad line until you find the two interceptions Hollenbach threw at the start of the game. Hollenbach was picked off on the Terrapins’ second and third possession. To his credit, he stayed his path and delivered for the Terrapins in crunch time.
Navy had pulled ahead 20-15 with 4:43 to play. Hollenbach led an 82-yard game winning drive. The drive concluded with an 11-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Drew Weatherly.
It was a drive that Clemson will certainly carefully look at on film. The final drive was a drive you can look at and see a Friedgen quarterback gaining confidence. Now, Hollenbach will face a much stiffer defense against Clemson.
Hollenbach did not see the field against Clemson last season, as the Terrapins only scoring came after a blocked punt. It was by far the most success any Clemson defense has had against a Friedgen coached offense holding Maryland to 194 yards of total offense.
Hollenbach does not have the physical talents of a Joe Hamilton or even Scott McBrien for that matter. He does give Friedgen a game manager. Friedgen found a game manager in George Godsey at Georgia Tech and turned him into an All-ACC quarterback. He also won the ACC championship with Shaun Hill at quarterback, whose skills were similar to Hollenbach.
Last season, the trio of quarterbacks did not receive a great deal of help from the running game. 1,315 yards was the lowest output since Friedgen took over as head coach. Mario Merrills turned in a workhorse type effort against Navy. Merrills carried the ball 30 times for 149 yards to take pressure off of Hollenbach.
If Merrills continues to perform well, it will help Hollenbach, but he still needs to find a go-to-receiver. JoJo Walker was his top target against Navy, but this group is still trying to find answers.