Sept. 1, 2009
Maryland Head Coach Ralph Friedgen
On the game vs. California this weekend:
"I think we've had a very good camp. I think our kids are eager to go. We're really preparing for California right now. This team we're going to play is really an exceptional football team. They're one of the better teams in the country. They have a lot of returning starters, a lot of experience, a Heisman candidate, a Ray Guy finalist. They have one of the best corners in the country, so we really have our work cut out for us. I'm sure they'll be waiting for us after last year. I think our kids are excited, I think they've worked hard this whole year in preparation for this. We'll see what we got when we get out there.
On this year's kicking battle between freshmen Mike Barbour and Nick Ferrara:
"I think it will be a game-time decision. No one's missing one now - that's the good sign. I'm going to give it another day or two. If I can make a decision earlier, I will. I'm waiting for one of those guys to blink. It's going to be very close. If we had a long field goal, I'd be tempted to go with Ferrara. Barbour has been pretty consistent, though. The dilemma I have is that neither one of them has kicked in a game, so I don't know how that scenario is going to come out in a game."
On how he feels about starting the season with a tough matchup:
On the matchups he is focused on in the California game:
"The kids seem to be excited about it. They came up to me in the summer and mentioned that they were excited about it, so can I answer that question after the game? I think it's good. I think it gives them a lot of motivation to work hard and be prepared. I think the fans like it. Hopefully, we'll go out there and play well and come back with a win. Then it will be a great thing."
"They have a very good defensive line and we have a very young offensive line, so those matchups are a concern. They have an excellent secondary and we feel like we have good receivers, so that's going to be an interesting matchup. We have an excellent punter, they have an excellent punter. That's going to be an interesting matchup. Our defense against their offense - you know, we kind of got ahead of them last year and were holding on at the end to survive. How we do that for a whole game with a new defense, a new coordinator, I'm anxious to see how all that will play out."
On the team's attitude this year:
"It doesn't seem to be a `Don't worry coach we have it down' type of attitude. It's more of a hungry, aggressive and want-to-do-well attitude. It's been a fun team to be around. That's a reason I've been in a lot better mood - because the kids have been out there and they've been working. When they give you the best they've got, as a coach, you feel pretty good about yourself. To me, that has to be their strength. That has to be what they do and if they do that, they'll continue to improve and we'll have a chance to have a good football season. We can't go out and just go through the motions and think we're going to get it done. That's not going to happen. We have to be a blue-collar team that goes out and fights and works. If we take that type of attitude, we'll be okay."
On senior quarterback Chris Turner:
"Chris has had a very good camp. He's very calm, very relaxed, very confident. He was elected one of the leaders of our team. I think that shows the respect the kids have for him. I think for us to have a good football season, he has to play well. He's shown me that he's very capable of doing that. He's practiced better than he ever has on a consistent basis. It just seems like the game has kind of slowed down for him."
Senior CB Nolan Carroll
On being named captain:
"When I heard my name, I was kind of shocked a little bit. It's a really good feeling knowing your teammates are looking to you."
"I am just trying to set an example, and when times get tough you need to stick out and make sure everyone is still up and has their head above the water."
On the first game:
"It's exciting. We are just so anxious especially on the defensive side. We are so anxious to get it started and get after it."
Senior C Phil Costa
On being named captain:
"It's really important to me that I was selected by my peers to be captain. I'm excited for the role. I think what we did this spring with all the off-season workouts and then into the fall really built up to being captain and just taking the team under our wings... Especially (since this is) a younger team and a younger group, I want to lead by example on and off the field."
On the upcoming Cal game:
"Honestly, I've really liked in years past that we've some unranked teams. Now we are going against No. 12 Cal and we'll get a test right off the bat. And I like to see what we have right away."
On mentoring the younger players:
"With them not having game experience, I think they are going to be a little shell-shocked in the beginning. But after that first series I keep telling them it's just like practice. If you are practicing hard, which they have been, then they'll be fine. So that's the biggest thing - practice hard. I try to explain to them once they get into the game they will understand what all the preparation is for."
On what it was like to play in his first game at Maryland:
"My first game I remember going out and saying, `Wow!'. There are 50,000 people around you. It's exciting but you are also really nervous. So we'll see how these guys handle it. I think we've worked hard in preseason and that is a determining factor on how it goes on the field."
Junior WR Adrian Cannon
On his progress:
"Definitely, As far as work ethic, I'm working on the little things, everything from reading defenses to working on my hands and my core. I'm going to work every day; that's all I can do."
On the season-opener at Cal:
"I think we're ready, whether we are playing here or playing at Cal. Of course there's jet lag and stuff like that. But I've been waiting for this day for a long time and I'm sure they have too. We're just ready to give it all we can and see what happens."
On RB Davin Meggett:
"He works hard, he works hard... it's the little things. There's no doubt about it, he is going to have a great year. I didn't even know what go-go was until I heard him listening to it. He's very into it and a lot of guys on the team are. Whatever gets them up [and ready] for the game."
Senior DT Travis Ivey
On this year's team:
"I feel like we play hard enough and we work enough to where we should be able to beat a lot of people. Last year, we were more a zone-coverage team. I think [now] we are playing a lot more man. We are looking forward to unleashing what we've been working on."
On being an underdog at Cal:
"For me personally, it is what it is. When you look at this on paper, I can see why they want to come up with those types of numbers. They don't know us. They don't know what we are about. They just look at us on paper... You can't measure heart and that's what we have."
On the effects of traveling:
"We are leaving a day early, on Thursday... although we usually leave on Fridays so we can't use that as an excuse. Hopefully with that extra day out there we can get acquainted with the time. We are going to be doing a couple things out there to help us get acquainted with the time and get our feet back so we will be ready to play on Saturday."
Senior QB Chris Turner
On his leadership role:
"It feels great. This being my senior year I'm feeling very confident and very comfortable. I expect a lot of greatness from this team and let's go play on Saturday and see what happens... It does feel weird, I feel like I've just got here. Time flies, but this is my last go-round and I want to get the most out of it, and I'm doing everything I can to make this a great season... I expect myself to be a consistent player. Be a playmaker also and bring something to the table. Be steady, very steady."
On preparing for Cal:
"Cal is a great team and it is going to be very competitive. We need to prepare well and execute the game plan. If we do all the things we are capable of doing, we should be fine... I'm very excited that I get to see my family and some friends that haven't seen me play before. It's going to be a great atmosphere; it's played in Berkeley on national TV. It's a great opportunity... It's a cool area; it's going to be cool. I know for a lot of the younger guys, they may have not been out west yet. To see the area and play a west coast team, one of the top in the Pac-10, it should be fun. Hopefully they can learn from the experience."
On RB Davin Meggett:
"He is such an improved back from last year. Despite his great freshman season, he's really improved this year. He's improved his ability to make cuts and he seems like a whole new back. Although he doesn't have the size, he is able to put his shoulder down and run with some power also."
On the time-zone change:
"It doesn't bother me, I don't think it will. I think coming out east is probably a bigger obstacle as far as time goes. Going out west, in my experience, I adjust very well, usually overnight."