COLLEGE PARK, Md. – With the season opener at Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium two weeks away, the Maryland football team provided fans an early glimpse of the 2013 squad as part of Fan Appreciation Day on Saturday afternoon.
For Fan Appreciation Day, the Terps scrimmaged for two hours before holding an autograph session on the field.
The Terrapin defense made a strong statement led by Yannick Cudjoe-Virgil and William Likely. Cudjoe-Virgil consistently applied pressure and finished with four sacks and hurried the quarterback on multiple occasions. Likely added an interception on the second series of the second half to end a promising drive, while also providing the spark for the opening score of the game.
After the defense forced a punt inside the 10-yard line, Likely flashed some speed and elusiveness and advanced the ball to the four-yard line. Caleb Rowe took it from there and hooked up with Nigel King in the corner of the end zone for the first touchdown. King made an athletic leaping grab over the defensive back.
Both performances made an impression on head coach Randy Edsall.
“He played well,” said Edsall on Yannick’s day. “I like that effort. He has been showing that kind of effort ever since he has gotten here. He was a guy we always thought would be in the mix. We will look at the film, evaluate it, and see just how well he did.
“Stefon [Diggs] is our return guy. But I feel comfortable if Will was back there or DeAndre [Lane].”
Ricardo Young connected with Levern Jacobs for a 55-yard touchdown for the final score of the afternoon late in the first half. Young hit Jacobs over the middle and the sophomore receiver outran the secondary for six.
Overall, Edsall came away from the scrimmage impressed by the defense, but the evaluation will continue for several positions.
“I thought the defense really got after it,” Edsall said. “Offensively, it is tough. I made the decision not to have C.J. [Brown] and Stefon [Diggs] out here. I know what they can do. I needed to evaluate other parts of the game. I know how they have been performing and how our offense has been operating from practice. You get a better feel for guys that you are going to be able to count on and what you have to help them get better at. I think that is the big thing. I wanted to get everyone on film and give everyone an opportunity to show what they could do.”