Maryland Makes Final Preparations For Rutgers
Sept. 24, 2009
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - After a sharp week of practice and preparation, the Maryland Terrapins are ready to play host to BIG EAST foe Rutgers Saturday.
Following a tough loss at home to Middle Tennessee State last Saturday, head coach Ralph Friedgen has seen improvement in his team, and is eager to take the field again.
"I thought we had a good week of practice," Friedgen said. "Right now we need to get a win. It would be very important for us. Obviously, I was hoping we would win last week so these guys start gaining some confidence. I still think we've played three good teams. Whatever the perception might be, I think when the year's out James Madison and Middle Tennessee State are going to have very good records. I don't think Rutgers is any different - they're a good football team too. Each week we play we're going to face a good team. We need to be ready to go and we need to focus on just getting ourselves better."
The Terps have made progress over the past two weeks on both sides of the ball.
Smith, who recorded a career-high 287 all-purpose yards in the game, is leading the nation in that category with an average of 249.0 ypg. He is also the only player in the NCAA (FBS) to record at least 225 all-purpose yards in each of the first three games. Davin Meggett also played an important role, leading the team with 18 carries and catching a career-high six passes for 63 yards.
Chism, who took over for the injured Nolan Caroll at cornerback, also had a game-high 12 tackles. Helping force MTSU quarterback Dwight Dasher into the two interceptions was the defensive pressure - Maryland tallied four sacks and 10 tackles-for-loss on the evening. Adrian Moten led the Terps with 2.5 TFLs, including one sack for a loss of 10 yards.
"We want to win every game we can and that needs to start now," Smith said. "Being a young team, it would definitely be a confidence booster [to win this weekend]."
Rutgers enters the game 2-1, with victories over Howard and Florida International. The Scarlet Knights dropped their season opener to Cincinnati, 47-15, but have since allowed just 11.0 points-per-game while totaling 15 TFLs and six takeaways. In Joe Martinek and Jourdan Brooks, Rutgers has two running backs that have topped the 100-yard mark in games this season.
After Thursday's 90-minute practice, Friedgen announced that sophomore defensive back Austin Walker will serve as special-teams captain against Rutgers.
Kickoff for Saturday's game against Rutgers is set for 3:30 EDT in Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium, with the game to be broadcast live on the Terrapin Sports Radio Network and streamed on ESPN 360. Comcast SportsNet will show a replay of the ESPN 360 broadcast at 8 p.m. Sunday.
Tickets for the game are available through the Maryland Athletics Ticket Office. Fans my call 1-800-IM-A-TERP or click here.