Maryland Coach Mark Duffner said Tuesday that Scott Milanovich will start at quarterback for the 17th-ranked Terrapins on Thursday night against Georgia Tech. He replaces sophomore Brian Cummings, who directed the Terrapins (4-0) to their best start in 17 years while Milanovich was serving a four-game suspension for gambling on college sports.
"We made the decision that's best for our football team," Duffner declared.
A month ago, no one could have expected a quarterback controversy at Maryland. Cummings was merely supposed to fill in as best he could until Milanovich, the most prolific passer in school history, returned from the suspension.
But Cummings played well, going 52 for 83 for 680 yards and five touchdowns. Suddenly, picking a starting quarterback for the Georgia Tech game wasn't an obvious choice.
Joe Paterno went into a damage-control mode after his nationally televised spat with Rutgers Coach Doug Graber.
Paterno apologized for his foul language and quick temper and tried to explain why Penn State backup Mike McQueary threw a 42-yard touchdown pass in the final minute of a 59-34 victory over the Scarlet Knights.
Paterno explained that McQueary was supposed to throw a short pass, but he couldn't resist throwing to flanker Chris Campell, who was wide open and breaking toward the end zone.
"I should not have to apologize for Mike doing what he has been coached to do," Paterno said.
But he did apologize for blowing up at Graber.
"I feel very, very bad about the four-letter words," Paterno said. "I would not want my kids to have to listen to a national figure go on television and say what I said."
Nebraska Coach Tom Osborne defended his decision to keep alive the possibility that suspended star tailback Lawrence Phillips could return to the team this season. He also addressed critics who have predicted that Phillips will return to the team by Oct. 28, the day Nebraska plays at Colorado.
"If he was a fifth-team player, we would be doing the same things. If he was incapacitated and they said he shouldn't play football again, it would be the same," Osborne said.
Alabama will appear before the NCAA Appeals Committee on Nov. 16 in an effort to get its postseason ban and some scholarship reductions lifted. . . . Former Tennessee receiver Nilo Silvan waived arraignment on charges of raping the 17-year-old girlfriend of a teammate. Silvan, 21, remains free on $10,000 bond. His trial was set for Nov. 14. . . . Jevon Kearse, a Florida freshman linebacker who is expected to be redshirted this season, said he was the victim of mistaken identity after his arrest on charges of stealing a car.