Quotes from Military Bowl Announcement Teleconference

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COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Quotes from head coach Randy Edsall following the announcement that Maryland will play Marshall in the Military Bowl.

Head Coach Randy Edsall

Opening Statement:

“I’d just like to thank the Military Bowl for extending the invitation to our program. Our players are very excited about the opportunity to play Marshall University and play a game that’s going to benefit the USO. We appreciate everything our military does for us and to be able to play in a game that supports those endeavors is something very special for us.” 

On if the team expected an invitation from the Military Bowl:

“It’s one of those things where we’re very excited to get the opportunity to play in the Military Bowl. One of the things we’ve talked about is Maryland Pride and we get a chance to play in our state capital. It just continues along the lines with what we’ve tried to do since last spring, taking our team into the community and holding scrimmages in Baltimore and in Frederick. Now what we hope is that we get all of our fans to come out and support us and be part of the great game day action that’s going to be taking place in Annapolis. For us to be able to get back and to play in Annapolis will be great. We haven’t played there since 1965. Again, it being close to home, it allows us to play in front of our recruiting base. We’ll be playing on national TV. It’s great for our player’s parents and families to be out in full force to watch us play. We want everyone to come out and support the bowl and support our kids and to continue the Maryland Pride and make it a really big home field advantage as we take on Marshall.”

On creating a bowl experience for the players locally:

“We’re going to make sure our players have a good time. This is a reward for them and the hard work they’ve put forth last winter, the spring, summer and during the season. All the things that they had to overcome to get us to this point. I’ve had enough experience with bowls that we’re going to work, but we’re also going to take advantage of the sights that we have here in this area that some of our kids have never had the opportunity to visit or be a part of. It’s going to be a great experience for them, but as I told the players; they’ll be plenty of time for them to enjoy themselves before we practice and practice hard and with a purpose. We’re working to try to get win number eight. Again, we’ll balance practice with them being able to enjoy the festivities that surround the Military Bowl.”

On Marshall head coach Doc Holliday:

“I’ve known Doc for many, many years. We came up through the coaching ranks as assistants. When he was at WVU and I was at Syracuse, we both recruited down in the state of Florida and spent a lot of time together. I have a tremendous amount of respect for Doc as a football coach and as a person. You can see that he has his team playing very well. He’s got his program going where he wants it to go. I know it’s going to be a tremendous challenge for us. When you take a look at what they’ve done. They’ve had a great year and congratulations to them. They played in their conference championship game. They’re a talented football team that is pretty well coached. They’re averaging 43 points per game and only giving up 23 and they’re averaging 502 yards per game and only giving up 364; they’re very talented on both sides of the ball. This is what you’d expect out of a Doc Holliday team.”

On fan support at the Military Bowl:

“I think the fanbase will come out and support us. When you take a look at our team and how we finished. We came on strong there at the end winning two out of the last three and having a heartbreaker in the Boston College game. Our guys are healthy again. It’s an opportunity for our fans to come out and support us and watch us play. It’s the last ACC appearance for us. When this is over, we move onto the Big Ten and we hope that people will be a part of that. It leads us into a different chapter in University of Maryland athletics. To have the people come out would mean a lot to our players. To have a big home crowd would certainly enhance our opportunity against Marshall.”

On getting to experience the military aspect of the bowl game:

“I think it’s very important. That’s something we will talk about with our team, about how grateful we are for everything the military does for us to give us the freedom that we have here. Anytime you can do something that benefits our armed forces and the people that serve our country is a tremendous opportunity. Looking forward to having all those military families come and enjoy the game and to get a chance to visit with them as much as we can. I know that our young men and our institution really appreciate what they do to keep us safe and give us the opportunities that we have here in the United States of America.”

On Marshall’s offense:

“When you take a look at the quarterback, I think it all starts with Rakeem Cato. He’s the guy that stirs the drink in terms of 60 percent completion percentage, 36 touchdowns and only nine interceptions. Then you see a 1,000-yard rusher in [Eassray] Taliaferro. You see a guy like Tommy Shuler with 97 catches and Gator Hoskins with 44, Devon Smith with 34 and Craig Wilkins with 29. You see a well-balanced offense. We you see a team that’s rushed for 3,000 yards and passed for 3,700 yards; that’s pretty good balance. Then you see a defense that gets turnovers and is very athletic and runs to the ball. You see a team that plays hard. Again, it all starts with the quarterback on offense and his ability to distribute the ball and do the things they need him to do in terms of beating the number of people in the box.”

On how sharing Virginia Tech as a common opponent helps game preparation:

“We’re a different than Virginia Tech. It just kind of gives you a familiarity from a personnel standpoint of what we know what Virginia Tech is and what they do.  Marshall very easily could have won that game. It went to triple overtime and we beat Virginia Tech in overtime on Blacksburg.  It tells you that Marshall is a very good football team and has a very good football program. I think that’s what you gain from it. We don’t play the same style of offense or defense that Virginia Tech does, but we know how tough Virginia Tech is and for Marshall to play them the way they did and then to see all the high scoring games Marshall had. It gives us an opportunity to understand that Marshall is a very good football team.”

On Marshall’s defense:

“Again, I wasn’t really studying Marshall, but I was just really impressed with the speed and athleticism on defense that we saw on that tape.”

– Maryland –