Quotes from head coach Randy Edsall
and players in advance of Maryland's road game at Temple Saturday at noon.
Head coach Randy Edsall
"We are excited to get back on the practice field today and get prepared for Temple this weekend up in Philly. We've got a tremendous challenge ahead of us for that game. Temple came off a big victory against Villanova and Matt Brown had a huge day for them, carrying the ball 19 times for 141 yards. Chris Coyer, their quarterback, had 13 carries for 80. Obviously, I think the biggest thing we need to do is go up there and stop the run. Also Matt Brown did a great job for them in the return game on punt returns, averaging 21 yards a return as a punt returner, and 13.7 as a kick returner.
"We'll see a defense that's very aggressive in nature led by Levi Brown up front, Nate Smith at linebacker and Justin Gildea and Anthony Robey in the secondary. What we need to do is look at them, study them and just improve in a lot of areas and have a great week of practice as we head up to there to Philly on Saturday."
On what Marcus Leak has done to emerge as a capable option at receiver, especially as compared to last year:
"I just think his maturity is key in terms of what has helped him get better. It is tough for freshmen to play, it really is. We saw it on Saturday. As much as they think they have no disability, it is still the speed of the game, and the nuances of what your position entails. But I think Marcus has so much more confidence in himself now. He is a really strong kid and he does grasp the concepts, and I think he understands that you have to work hard all the time. I think that was one of the things that he had to learn. He was a gifted athlete and you may be able to get away with not working as hard as you should and still be very productive. When you get to this level that does not happen.
"He had that one catch, but the other thing that was so impressive was that, on the second interception he ran down the William & Mary defender and tackled him on the 9-yard line. That might have been the most important play of the whole game. If they had scored a touchdown there, it's 10-0. Who knows what's going to happen? That's the difference. I said in a team meeting that a year ago, I am not sure that would have happened, because maybe he did not know any better."
On quarterback Perry Hills' response to the game on Saturday over the past few days:
"Perry just goes about his business. He knows he has a lot of things to work on and improve, but he is one of those guys who can put it in the rear-view mirror pretty quickly. I think that was evident by what took place on Saturday with the lack of success, so to speak, in the first half. He ended up putting it behind him. After the other interception to start the second half he takes the team down for a score. His demeanor and his approach have been very good. It's what you expect from a freshman for his first start, to learn from it, make the corrections, and work to get better at the things you can control."
On how the defense played:
"I saw the defense out there flying around and playing well. We still made a lot of mistakes with some of the deep balls and some of the other things. It was a good first game and, even though we were put in to very tough situations at certain times, we responded very well. We still have a lot of work to do to eliminate some of the mistakes that some people won't see but we, as coaches, saw on film. I like the way we are playing, how they are running to the ball, but like I said, we still have a lot of work to do and a lot of improvements to make."
On whether he watched the film from last year's Temple game:
"Yes I looked at it yesterday, and I was not put in a very good mood after watching it. I think you can take a look at things that they use schematically. Our schemes have changed, but you can look at their schemes in terms of what they did. We did a very poor job of stopping their run and stopping their play-action passes. They were 9 for 9 in the game last year and rushed for 285 yards, I believe. We have a lot a work to do."
On what makes Temple running back Matt Brown difficult to contain:
"When you watch him on film he is quick, he's shifty, he's fast, he's tough, and he's durable. He can catch the ball and he is just well rounded. He is a well-rounded back who has speed, athleticism, quickness, and toughness. The thing you have to make sure that you do is you have to wrap him up because he is a guy that can break tackles and spin off of you. I was very impressed watching him run."
On the team's injuries:
"I will get a better idea as the week goes on. Because this was the first game, we just got to go out and see guys play. I will have a better idea Thursday after we get to go out and see the guys practice. Hopefully we can one or two more guys back out there."
On the running game and whether the offensive line or running backs could have done better:
"I think it's a combination, I don't think it lies with just one person. We could have done a better job up front sustaining the blocks. I felt that the backs could have hit the hole in some different spots. So I do think it is a combination. That is one thing we need to do. We need to get a running game going, but that's something we will continue to improve. I thought Justus [Pickett] did some good things. We will see as he goes on and as he runs, he gains some experience, and that experience made a difference when he was carrying the ball, not that Albert [Reid] didn't do a good job, but I think experience is the best teacher."
On what they can do to eliminate the long pass by the opponent:
"It gets back to fundamentals and technique. It is something we have been working on. Sometimes it just takes somebody to get beat in the game to get them to get their focus where it needs to be. When you go out to practice and go out for the games, you cannot take anything for granted, especially at the corner position. We will work on the deep ball today and we will work on fundamentals playing the deep ball and being in position. I will expect all of our defensive backs to play much better this week as compared to last week."
On the new kickoff rule and how it affects strategy:
"We really did try to kick them all through the end of the end zone, but it just didn't make it there. As a coach you just have to decide if you have the person who is capable to kick the ball out of the end zone. We'd like to be able to kick it as high and as deep as we can. There are some things to look at in terms of kickoff coverage. I believe the number of touchbacks is going to be very, very high in college football at the end of the year."
On quarterback Perry Hills' decision making:
"We learn a lot about ourselves too as coaches and about the players. We as coaches probably didn't do as good of a job as we could have done with Perry as the standpoint from when we went in at half and made the adjustments that we made, we felt that he was a lot better coming out the second half. That was just based off of what we saw in practice. Just didn't make the proper reading -- but again, you look back on it and I felt so confident going into the game that I took the ball because I know his ability is strong. In hindsight, I'd probably defer instead of taking the ball but I was just very confident in terms of those guys and what I felt we could do. Perry - just trying to do something he shouldn't do. Not every play has to be a touchdown. It was more of the reads than anything else. We have a better feel for him and how much we can do with him."
On if the defensive backs are more vulnerable in the defensive system:
"No, I don't think so. It's one of those things that, players have a tendency to always want to make plays. We talk about technique, doing your job. Lesson learned after Saturday. I have a tremendous amount of confidence as long as all of our guys just do their job. When we run in to problems, it's when our guys try to do something that isn't in their job description. When guys want to make a play over doing their job, that's when we run into problems. As coaches, we just need to stress that they all have to do their jobs and the plays will come to them."
On what linebacker Demetrius Hartsfield brings to the team and if he's a coach on the field:
"Demetrius has been on the field for quite a bit, he has the experience, and he can recognize things on the field and come and tell us "hey this is what's going on, this is what I see happening". You can tell him certain things and he doesn't need the repetitions."
On punter Nathan Renfro:
"It's all about repetition. Repetition is the mother of learning, we just have to keep up the reps. But now that Nate put it on film, we expect that out of him all the time so we want to keep him at that high standard."
On how much last year's game against Temple is discussed:
"We just finished up William & Mary on Sunday, so today is the first day that we are going to be getting into Temple in terms of what's going to be going on there. You learn from what has previously happened. Now we need to focus on what we do well and bring that to the field this weekend."
Senior wide receiver Kevin Dorsey
On freshman quarterback Perry Hills:
"He came in and probably thought he was going to take a year off, but he ended up getting thrown in the fire pit early. I told him, `You're on scholarship. You're here for a reason and you're just as capable as any other quarterback to lead this team to where we want to be.' I remind him every day of the five P's - proper preparation prevents poor performances. That's something I preach to him every day. You study the film, you do everything you need to do, you go out and perform the way you should every week."
On running a pro-style offense this year:
"It's definitely nice and it transfers over to the next level really well. Even just a few years ago, it was a pro-style offense. Some of the high-low reads, doubling the safety, putting him in a bind - different things like that are things you'll always see at the next level. You can transition pretty easily."
On if the pass game can help establish the run game:
"I've always said that, as a wide receiver. The pass game can open up the running game and the running game can open up the pass game. They both work hand in hand and you need both. You run the ball effectively, your play-action passes work a little more and if you're passing better, you can get the linebackers out of the box, so you can run the ball a little better. It's something we're definitely working on. We're tweaking a little bit to see what gives us the benefit like run, pass or pass, run. We'll figure it out this week."
Sophomore defensive lineman Darius Kilgo
On Temple's quarterback as a running threat:
"I heard he has good size. We are definitely going to have to watch how he runs."
On an increase in team unity this season:
"I felt like we had a lot of energy. It's different from last year. You can tell a difference. As a team, I feel like we definitely came up from last year and played with a lot of energy. We are more of a team this year than last year."
On the journey to becoming a starter:
"It's been rough, but I have been able to learn a lot of things. It's just time to execute now."
On how often he takes on two blockers:
"I am taking on two blockers on just about every snap. Being able to fill those blocks in practice I have become use to it. You can't get frustrated with doing your job every play. I've learned to adjust to it."
On the team's conditioning level:
"I think we are well conditioned. We didn't get tired at all. We were able to play in the fourth quarter as a defense. I felt like we were doing pretty well."
Senior offensive lineman Justin Gilbert
On the lack of offense vs. William & Mary:
"Of course it's disappointing. Every game you want to get as many yards as you can. We'll work on it. I still think we ran the ball pretty well. It's always a focus every week so we're definitely going to try to improve on that as well as every other aspect of focus."
On offensive goals:
"Really on offense our goal was to not beat ourselves. We've got a percent-error chart. We always want to be below 12 percent error so if that means getting 200 yards rushing or 20 yards rushing to win the game, winning the game is the overall goal and not beating ourselves on offense."
On what's been working and what needs to improve:
"We've got a lot of great running backs back there. The power game has been working well for us. We've got some good zone reads...Perry [Hills] is a mobile quarterback so that helps the zone-read game. We need to make sure we keep those guys healthy and running as hard as they can and if the offensive line blocks well, we'll be good."
Senior linebacker Demetrius Hartsfield
"Temple likes to run the ball. They love to power and ISO and things like that. Today is going to be a good physical day at practice."
On what kind of leader he is:
"Sometimes I'm pretty vocal and sometimes I just lead by example. It just depends at the certain moment of time."
On the defensive performance against William & Mary:
"We can definitely build upon that. We've got a lot of things we need to work on as far as getting off the field on third down. We didn't get off as much as we wanted to. Also, not letting them score at all. As a defense, that's one of your biggest goals."