Terps Make Final Preparation for UConn
Sept. 13, 2012
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The University of Maryland football team completed the final phase of its physical preparation for Saturday's game against Connecticut with a 90-minute workout Thursday afternoon.
The Terps will be looking to get off to a 3-0 start and earn a second straight win over a Big East team after dispatching Temple 36-27 last week. They'll welcome back several players returning from injury, including two on a defense that already ranks ninth nationally by allowing opponents to gain just 229.5 yards per game.
Sophomore safety Matt Robinson is set to return to the starting lineup after missing the first two weeks with a shoulder injury, as is cornerback Isaac Goins, who had mono. Robinson ranked second in the ACC with 12 tackles per game last year before suffering a season-ending injury, while Goins is a junior-college transfer who will add depth and experience to the secondary.
"It'll be great to have those two guys back out there," said head coach Randy Edsall. "As I've said, experience is a great teacher. Having Matt out there and the experience that he has is only going to benefit us. Issac came here in the spring but he has some experience under his belt as well. He's going to aid us in our defense and benefit us."
Maryland has been particularly tough against the run, holding opponents to just 1.95 yards per rush (10th nationally). The Huskies bring a high-ranking defense as well.
Connecticut ranks first nationally in rushing defense (28.5 yards/game), third in total defense (158.5 yards/game) and tied for seventh in sacks (4.0 per game). The Huskies also have the benefit of starting seven seniors on the defensive side of the ball.
"They do it in a couple of different ways," Edsall said of Connecticut's defense. "Trevardo Williams is their defensive end and he's fast -- very, very fast. They'll try to get pressure with four or five men. They'll do a straight rush, they'll use secondary guys and linebackers -- they get their sacks in a lot of different ways. When you take a look at their front four, they have a lot of experience. They really have some athletes with some quickness. They've also got two fifth-year seniors in the corners. So they feel pretty good with their cover ability and their speed, so they are taking advantage of what they can do best."
Offensively, Maryland hopes to build on the momentum of last Saturday's 36-point performance in which quarterback Perry Hills went 11 of 21 with two touchdowns en route to ACC Rookie of the Week honors. Redshirt freshman running back Brandon Ross, who missed the first two games with a hamstring injury, could provide a boost. He's listed as probable on the team's injury report.
Scout Team Players of the Week: Each Thursday during the season Edsall will announce the scout team players of the week. This week's scout team players of the week are offensive lineman Gary Harraka (offense), linebacker Yannik Cudjoe-Virgil (defense) and wide receiver Regis Whittington (special teams).
Terp Town: "Terp Town" continues to be a big part of the excitement surrounding Maryland Football game days. The event, presented by Capital One Bank and coordinated by the University of Maryland Alumni Association and Intercollegiate Athletics, includes live musical performances, several food vendors and food trucks, street teams roaming the parking lots and a new express shuttle service providing convenient transportation from the Comcast Center parking lots to Terp Town. The action will begin at 9:30 a.m. this Saturday (three hours prior to kickoff). For more information, click here: http://www.umterps.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/082912aac.html.
Inside Maryland Football: Episode four of Inside Maryland Football will air at 11 a.m. Saturday on Comcast SportsNet. The 30-minute coaches show goes behind the-scenes with the team. The show airs each Saturday during the regular season.