COLLEGE PARK, Md. --
Maryland Head Coach DJ Durkin
“It was a good win for us. We came out and really started the way we wanted to. We had good momentum right from the start. I thought Kasim [Hill] did a great job taking the team down the field on that first drive and making good decisions with the ball. We wanted to come out and get some good throws in with him and he certainly did that. There were a lot of big plays on offense. There were a lot of big plays and those guys did a good job with Ty [Johnson], D.J. [Moore], Taivon [Jacobs], and Kasim [Hill]. I was very pleased with that. The defense did a lot of things well, a couple moments, a couple drives we’d like to have back. All in all we got a chance to get some guys some reps that will help us move forward in the long run. Happy with our team and the way they came out. They really had the right mindset for this game. Come out and start fast and we were able to do that. We’re 2-0 with a bye early in the season, not many byes usually in week three, but that’s what it is. We have to improve with UCF coming here in a couple weeks. We know they’re an extremely talented team so we’re going to have play our best game so far to get to 3-0.”
On how Kasim Hill played this week:
“He was 13-for-16. Very efficient. 163 yards [passing] I thought was really good. How the game was going got us out of some few things in terms of throwing the ball, but I thought he was really good. A lot of those passes were run/pass type options where he has to make a decision and a read and he made the right ones. I thought he did a great job, especially for his first ever start.”
On how Ty Johnson and D.J. Moore affect the offense:
“When you try to go three or four yards all the way down the field it becomes difficult. We count explosive plays always because that is a big factor in the game. Those are big swings in field position. The big plays that end up in touchdowns are the ones that everyone remembers. Those guys give us the chance to do that. Explosive plays come from players often times more than coaching.”
How important is it to have a guy like D.J. Moore to help Kasim Hill:
“It helps when they break tackles and get some yards. It helps get the drive going. I think the best thing that helps Kasim is that offensive line. Those guys are a fun group to coach. They take pride in their work and are talented. When you look at the offense as a whole, they have done a great job rallying around Kasim and helping him through it. Not that he needs something special, but they all work together. When you can get a ball to a receiver and he can still gain five or seven yards that helps to keep you on track offensively.”
On how the defense improved in the second half:
“I did get on the defense a couple times. There are times when our communication wasn’t where it needs to be and there’s a lack of focus a little. We went up 21-0, we were playing a certain way and then we lost our urgency to do what we need to do. If you don’t have urgency in communication, technique, and where your eyes are, you can’t effectively play defense.”
On his message to the team after beating Texas:
"My message was to block out anything you hear from outside of the building because there was so much to clean up from that tape. We did not play our best game. It was a great win and there were a lot of great things to take from it but there were also a lot of things we needed to improve on from it. I told them to just focus on what we're talking about here. If you care enough about your teammate you're not going to let down because you only get so many opportunities. You're going to be focused and give your best no matter who you're playing and no matter what the circumstance. And to their credit I think that's what our guys did. They came out with the right mindset and they prepared the right way all week long."
On the amount of freshmen who played today:
"It's all individually based on a guy's position and what the depth is at their spot. There definitely were some more freshmen who played in this game on the offensive line and Javon Leake. A guy you didn't mention is Anthony McFarland and why he didn't play in this game. Anthony is not 100 percent yet. He's still recovering and he didn't play a snap of football all last year. That guy grinds at practice and had the best 2-3 weeks at practice since he's been here. He will be a great, All-American type of player here one day. He's just not 100 percent healthy right now so that's why he wasn't used in the game. There are more guys like that. It's just based on the circumstance. Last year with our numbers being what they were we had to play 17 true freshmen. We had no choice. We're going to continue to play the guys we need to that can help us win championships right now but keeping the big picture in mind which is what's best for these guys."
On Henry Darmstadter kicking today:
"Henry's done a great job in practice and he's earned that job. He's done well on extra points, he even banked one in which is hard to do. That was good by him. He's certainly a guy who we think can help us and he's a guy we're counting on. We'll keep those guys competing and that's going to be a big part of our game at some point. It hasn't affected us yet but it certainly will so we have to be ready when it does."
On Antoine Brooks' performance:
"I just love Antoine. He plays with personality and he's out there throwing his body around. He plays hard and he's physical. He can also cover and do a lot of other things. He's found a nice hole at that nickel position for us and he's still just learning the spot. He didn't play it much in the spring at all and when we got out of the spring we looked at it and examined it to get our best lineup out there and we put him there. Every rep he gets out there is another one that he needs to get better."
On Jermaine Carter, Jr. and Shane Cockerille leading the defense:
"Comparing last year to this year, it's two totally different teams. I have great confidence in our defense and I think we've shown through two weeks what we're capable of doing. There's plenty of things to clean up as far as consistency and being the same every drive. That’s what we're striving for. Jermaine is one of the best leaders I've ever been around. That guy is tremendous and has the respect of the coaches and his teammates. It's how he works, how he prepares and how he practices. I think he's a tremendous football player and I'll take him every day."
On the production from the injured Jesse Aniebonam's position:
"We'll have to watch the tape to make a fair judgement and assessment but I thought Bryce [Brand] did some good things when he was in and Melvin Keihn did some good things as well. The good thing is that we do have some depth on the defensive line. We have some bodies that we can move around. To just replace a guy like Jesse is difficult but I think Bryce and Melvin will get more reps and we can use Chandler Burkett in that position. I thought he played well and he goes hard all of the time so we'll keep looking at that and tweaking it but overall I thought the defensive line played well.”
Maryland Player Quotes Sophomore Offensive Lineman Terrance Davis, Jr.
On impressions of Freshman QB Kasim Hill's first start and if his performance today was surprising:
“I don't think anything surprises me. Kasim has been cool and calm since he's gotten here, so when Pig (Tyrrell Pigrome) went down we knew he was going to step right in and do the job well and that's what he did today.”
On how satisfying it is to receive praise from Coach Durkin on the overall success of the offense:
“It's very satisfying and it is what our job entails. We like to do our job well and getting a lot of rushing yards and giving up the least amount of sacks determines how well we do our job. So just seeing the numbers shows that we're doing something good and we're going to keep it going.”
On what the biggest factor has been in the leap the team has made since last year:
“Just having a group together for another year I'd say. The starting five we've been together throughout the whole spring, throughout the whole training camp so we really got to gel with each other throughout that whole process.” On what he saw in the second strings today when they came in that will go well for them in the future: "They moved the ball well and got two touchdowns I think. When they got in, there wasn’t drop. They did well when they first got in. I was excited to get them in the game."
On if he's ever seen a back like Junior RB Ty Johnson:
"I have, but it's great for us. I mean we get off the field pretty quickly. I love when he breaks off those big runs, it helps the offense and it definitely helps the offensive live so we appreciate that and want him to keep doing it."
Senior Linebacker Shane Cockerille:
On what the focus was today defensively: “Coming into the game the main focus was playing as a defense for 60 full minutes. I mean there were times last week there where a couple of guys, including myself who were loafing and not running to the ball. Coach was harping all week on effort and playing a full 60 minutes and playing tough, playing fast, playing physical so I think that was the big difference coming out second half.” On what his journey the last 6 months have been like...
"It's an awesome time. I love being back and I'm extrememly happy being back. I had to take care of a few personal things off the field, which I did. Like I said, I had my coaches’, family's support, and teammates' support so it's all been a great journey. I'm just glad to be back and playing."
On if it was hard to get back into the swing of thing:.
"I wouldn't say it was hard. I played a lot last year, so that definitely helped me out. I was working all offseason. Like I said my coaches supported me, my teammates supported me so it made the transition easy for me. Like I said, I'm happy to be back, happy to be back a part of this defense, part of this team and help the guys win."
Senior DL Andrew Isaacs
On getting back on the field: “It was exciting. It’s been a long road. I’ve had a lot of struggles. Finally getting on the field and having a chance to help out my teammates is one of the best feelings I’ve had in a while.”
On switching from offense to defense: “The biggest thing was just learning the techniques. I didn’t realize how technical playing defensive line is. Most people think you just run past people and try to make plays. But, there’s a lot of technique and a lot of thinking involved. I’m still learning, but I’ve made a lot of progress.”
On his mindset for today’s game: “We just wanted to play hard. That was what Coach Durkin preached. He just wanted to see effort. That’s what I tried to do when I got my opportunity. I just tried to play as hard as I can. A lot of guys played really hard today and we made a lot of plays.”
Senior DL Kingsley Opara
On the team’s run defense:
“It was good but we can’t get complacent. We have a lot of good teams left on our schedule. Our next game is against UCF. They have a good running game. We just need to stay focused and take it one game at a time.”
On his mindset for today’s game:
“We just came out focused. It doesn’t matter who is on the other side. Everybody is the same to us. Towson is going to win a lot of games this year. We just came out firing on all cylinders. It didn’t matter who was on the other sidelines.”
Sophomore DB Darnell Savage, Jr.
On his interception touchdown: “I was in the middle of the field. I saw the quarterback’s eyes move that way. When I saw him throw the ball, I knew I had a good jump on it. I ran over there and caught it. When I caught it, I saw I had blockers in front of me so I just let them lead me into the endzone.
On the defense’s focus before the game:
“The biggest thing was just getting back to the basics and doing the little things. We needed to focus on our technique and our fundamentals.”
On the play of nickelback Antoine Brooks:
“Antoine makes a lot of plays. He has come a long way since learning a new position. Now he can play multiple positions. It’s not easy to play one position on first down and switch positions on second down. He’s really focused. He made it a priority to make sure he’s ready to step in and make plays.”
Towson Head Coach Rob Ambrose
“Have to compliment Maryland. They’re a very good football team. I told D.J. [Durkin] when the game was over, ‘We opened up with South Florida last year – think they won 10 – and I think this team would’ve whooped that team’s butt.’ They’re explosive, they’re talented, they’re smart, physical. They’re going to be a very good football team. For us, for whatever we did last week on defense, we covered the other end of the spectrum today. It’s not good enough. Good news is we’ll have a lot to learn from that. Offensively, I thought that we – after the poor showing last week – I thought we showed some signs of life. I think that’ll bode well for us in the future.”
On what point this week he knew Ryan Stover would start:
“Thursday. Thursday we figured there wasn’t enough we could do to get Morgan [Mahalak] ready to play.”
On his thoughts of Stover’s play:
“Not bad. Try being a redshirt freshman and going to play a team that’s probably going to be ranked in the Top-25 pretty soon. He did some really, really good stuff today. He did some bonehead stuff today. But he did some really, really good stuff. We’re feeling a little bit better.”
On Stover’s pick-six and its effect on the team:
“I mean, for us to beat them, for us to beat any money-five school, we’re going to have to play damn near perfect, cannot turn the ball over and we got to force turnovers and get a break here or there. That’s just the honest to god truth. Kids played well. We did some really good stuff. Struck them. There’s going to be a defensive coordinator over there that’s going to be a little ticked off that we did stuff that Texas couldn’t do. Texas has got 50 billion dollars, we got 15 cents. We’re going to be all right. I got to get these guys healthy, but we’ll be all right.”
On happy he was with the play of his freshmen:
“Don’t say happy. Me and happy are not in the same continent right now. I know our guys. I told them this pregame, I told them this after the game. I know how good they can be. Individuals and as groups. But what I know about them doesn’t mean squat, until they start to believe it about themselves. I think by the time this game was over, and watch the film of the almighty Maryland Terrapins, and how they played against guys either individually or as a group, I think their confidence levels are going to go up, in a great degree, for the rest of the season.”
On the running game struggles:
“Wasn’t very consistent for the entire game. They’re better than we are. Let’s just be honest. Not that we can’t do stuff – but for us to be successful, especially when you’re talking about physicality versus physicality – I got five offensive lineman that are good enough to compete against them. They got 13 defensive lineman that are better than us. So, yeah, we’re going to struggle. And unless we are perfect, no, we’re going to struggle running the football. We ran the ball a hell of a lot better this week, with some authority, some attitude and some tempo, against a really, really good football team. So I’m not getting too banged up about that.”
On if the offense is still a work in progress:
“It’s really hard to when pieces start breaking and you’re replacing them already, when you don’t even have a rhythm yet. What Morgan did took us out of rhythm completely. Maryland didn’t, but we had a nice game plan.”
On not having to face talent like RB Ty Johnson and WR D.J. Moore the rest of the season:
“Come on now. There’s some dudes on that team that are fun to watch. Those aren’t good players, they are exceptional players. I think I got some pretty good players that are going to build themselves into exceptional players but they’re already built. I live in the state of Maryland too. For one day out of the year, I don’t like them very much. I want to beat them stupid. But come on, I’m a Maryland guy. Lived most of my life in the state of Maryland. And after this game is over, I am thrilled to death that that’s the team that represents the state of Maryland at the Division I level. Those guys are going to represent the state through the game of football for the rest of the season extremely well. We should all like that. I would have liked it if they did that for the rest of the year with a win in my pocket, but it is what it is. They’re going to get better, we’re going to get better. I like how football is in the state of Maryland right now. It’s pretty good and it’s going to keep getting better.”
Towson Player Quotes
Freshman Quarterback Ryan Stover:
On what worked well today:
“We just had a good idea, watched a lot of film, got a good feel for what they were going to do, and came up with a game plan. Switched it up a little, came up with a little man, but we got them out of it with a couple plays. We just didn’t do a good job of executing. We did well up front with their pressure.”
On how long it took to settle down:
“Honestly we came out pretty slow. But I think by the second or third drive we were cool.”
On the offensive line play:
“They were doing some stuff up front. We watched a lot of film and saw that they had some tendencies, we were changing protections and we had a good feel for what they were going to do. They executed it well and we showed it a little bit, moving the ball on a couple of those long drives.”
Junior Cornerback Monty Fenner:
On where the team was mentally:
“I just feel like we missed too many tackles. We had a lot of missed tackles throughout the game. We just need to wrap up. They were bigger, but when you get the opportunity to make a play, we got to make the play. They were scoring on just arm-tackles. Then they just break away.”
On holding Maryland’s passing offense to 167 yards:
“I mean… we didn’t win. So it pretty much means nothing. But our game plan was to keep him contained. From [Kasim] Hill’s high school film, we knew that he made plays outside of the pocket so the key was to make him become a pocket passer, and make him use his arm, rather than his feet, to make plays.”
On their goal-line stand:
“It was pretty big – especially in that situation. We definitely needed a spark. It was after a sudden change, I think. Think it was after a turnover. We definitely found what we can do, just because someone is on the one-yard line doesn’t mean that they will always score.”