Terps Hit Road, Face No. 13 Ga Tech Saturday
Saturday, Oct. 8
Maryland (2-2, 1-0 ACC)
No. 13 Georgia Tech (5-0, 2-0 ACC)
Kickoff: 12:01 p.m. EDT
Gameday Information Directions to Bobby Dodd Stadium
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TV: ESPNU - Rob Stone (play-by-play) and Danny Kanell (color) will call the action. Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic will air a replay of the ESPNU telecast at 7 p.m. Sunday.
Radio: Terrapin Sports Radio Network - Johnny Holliday (play-by-play), Jonathan Claiborne (color), Tim Strachan (color) and Dave Preston (sidelines) have the call. The Toyota Tailgate Show with Gary Stein begins at 11 a.m. Stein also serves as host on the postgame show. Click here to listen on-line through Terps TV Premium. The Terrapin Sports Radio Network: WJZ-FM 105.7 - Baltimore (Flagship); ESPN980-AM - Washington D.C.; WWXX-FM 94.3 - Buckland, Va.; WCEM-AM 1240 - Cambridge; WBEY-FM 97.9 - Crisfield; WGOP-AM 540 - Crisfield; WFMD-AM 930 - Frederick; WARK-AM 1490 - Hagerstown; WPTX-AM 1690 - Lexington Park; WVMD-AM 1230 - Midland; WMSG-AM 1050 - Oakland; WWXT-FM 92.7 - Prince Frederick, Md.; WTGM-AM 960 - Salisbury. The Maryland broadcast is not available on XM/Sirius. The Georgia Tech broadcast can be heard on XM Sirius Channel 85.
The Maryland Terrapins, under first-year head coach Randy Edsall, begin a daunting stretch against three ranked ACC teams. Looking to keep pace in the league, the Terps, who rebounded from a tough loss to Temple by forcing four turnovers in a 28-3 win over Towson Saturday, will travel to Atlanta to face undefeated and 13th-ranked Georgia Tech with its high-powered triple-option rushing attack and the most efficient passing offense in the FBS.
Offensively, the Terps are led by quarterback Danny O'Brien, the 2010 ACC Rookie of the Year, running back Davin Meggett and wide receiver Kevin Dorsey. O'Brien ranks 49th in the FBS in passing yards per game (228.2) and 52nd in total offense (235.0 ypg), while Meggett, a Doak Walker Award candidate, is averaging 81.8 yards rushing per game (sixth in the ACC). Dorsey has been one of the most productive wide receivers in the league. The junior is averaging 6.5 receptions (fourth in the ACC) and 77.0 receiving yards (seventh) per game. Matt Furstenburg is manning the tight-end position for the second-straight season. The sure-handed junior already has 16 receptions which is four more than his 2010 total last season. His 4.0 reception-per-game average leads all ACC tight ends. Junior wide receiver Kerry Boykins had career highs with eight receptions for 76 yards vs. Temple (9/24) and ranks third on the team in catches (14). Senior wideouts Ronnie Tyler and Quintin McCree returned from a two-game suspension against Towson and combined for four receptions and 39 receiving yards. Left guard Andrew Gonnella is the lone senior on an offensive line which has three starters back from a year ago. Joining Gonnella as returning starters are center Bennett Fulper and right tackle R.J. Dill. The Terps have not yielded a sack in three of the first four games (three vs. Temple) and rank tied for 12th in the FBS (0.75 per game) in that category.
Senior LB Kenny Tate and junior DL Joe Vellano, two of four team captains, highlight a defense which has forced 12 turnovers (tied for 12th in the FBS), including two returned for touchdowns. Tate, a 2010 first team All-ACC pick and national awards candidate, ranks 11th in the ACC in tackles (8.8 per game). Vellano, who mans the middle of the defensive line, has two fumble recoveries on the season. He returned one fumble 30 yards for a touchdown in the season opener vs. Miami (9/5). Junior Demetrius Hartsfield, who moved from Will LB to the Mike position in the off-season, ranks third in the ACC in tackles (11.8) and has 31 stops over the last two games, including a career-high 17 vs. Temple (9/24). Senior Cameron Chism, who had 70 tackles and eight pass breakups last season, and sophomore Dexter McDougle man the cornerback positions. Junior LB Darin Drakeford was all over the field in his starting debut (vs. Miami), posting a game- and career-high 14 tackles, including one sack, and a forced fumble. The Terps played without three of their starting defenders vs. Towson. DE Isaiah Ross was hurt in the opener, Drakeford has missed two of the last three games with an ankle injury, and safety Matt Robinson is gone for the year. Tate moved to outside linebacker in the off-season, a move made possible due to the emergence of Robinson and junior Eric Franklin, a pair of big, physical safeties. With the loss of Robinson, the Terps will lean more on Franklin, the 10th-leading tackler (9.2 per game) in the ACC.
Maryland possesses an explosive performer in senior Tony Logan, a 2010 first team All-ACC selection and record-setting punt returner. Logan is off to a slow start (averaging 4.0 yards per return), but he has two career punt returns for touchdowns. Logan and freshman Justus Pickett are handling kickoff return. Pickett is averaging 17.8 yards on a team-high 10 kickoff returns. Logan averaged 26.5 yards on kickoff returns vs. Towson. Nick Ferrara, who was a 2009 freshman All-American, is handling all three phases of the kicking game. The junior did an admirable job place-kicking, punting and kicking off for five games in 2009 when All-ACC performer Travis Baltz was unable to punt due to injury. Ferrara hit a career-best four field goals, including a 32-yard game winner, against Miami (9/5) and is second in the ACC in punting (43.8).
Maryland is scheduled to face the ACC's division leaders (Georgia Tech - Coastal; Clemson - Atlantic) in its next two games. Head coach Randy Edsall is a former Yellow Jackets' assistant coach, having served as the defensive coordinator in 1998, the year before be took over at UConn.
The Terps surrendered just three points to Towson which marked the fewest by an opponent since Oct. 18, 2008 when Maryland shut out Wake Forest, 31-0.
Maryland had a season-high 11 tackles for loss vs. Towson (10/1). Joe Vellano led with 2.5, while David Mackall and Demetrius Hartsfield had two each. Both of Mackall's TFLs were sacks, which matched a career-high for the sophomore (also against Miami, 11/6/10). Mackall is now tied for seventh in the ACC in sacks (0.75 per game). Since the start of the 2003 season, the Terps have recorded double digit tackles for loss on just six occasions (10 vs. Wake Forest, 11/27/04; 10 at NC State, 11/26/05; 10 vs. Nevada, 12/30/08; 10 vs. Middle Tennessee St., 9/19/09; 10 vs. Virginia, 10/17/09)
Senior Davin Meggett cracked the top 15 on the Maryland career rushing yards list with his 102-yard day against Towson (10/1). Meggett now has 1,842 yards, which ranks 14th. He posted his third career 100-yard game and second this season (against West Virginia 9/17/11).
With his 5-yard TD run in the third quarter of the Towson game, Justus Pickett became the first true freshman running back to score a touchdown since Meggett in 2008. Pickett had season highs in carries (14) and yards (82). True freshman fullback Tyler Cierski also had a 5-yard TD reception.
The Terps currently have four of the top 11 tacklers in the ACC. Matt Robinson (out for the season) is averaging 12.0 tackles per game (second), Demetrius Hartsfield is third (11.8), Eric Franklin is 10th (9.2) and Kenny Tate is 11th at 8.8 pg.
Danny O'Brien became the 15th QB in school history to throw for more than 3,000 yards with his 289-yard performance vs. West Virginia (9/17). Despite just 14 starts, O'Brien ranks 12th in school history (3,351) in career passing yards.
Tony Logan's career punt-return average of 13.0 yards ranks fourth in the FBS among active players.
The Terps have just nine seniors (Andrew Gonnella, Davin Meggett, Maurice Hampton, Kenny Tate, Austin Walker, Cameron Chism, Trenton Hughes, Ronnie Tyler and Quintin McCree) listed among the 44 players on the offensive and defensive two-deep. Seniors Tim Downs (long snapper) and Tony Logan (punt return) are listed as starters on special teams.
Tough Stretch Coming Up...
Wet Behind the Ears...
No Laundry on the Field...
Red Zone Improvement...
What to Look for vs. G-Tech...
Georgia Tech At-A-Glance...
MD-Ga Tech Series History...
Former Terp Earns NFL Accolades...
By The Numbers...
0... Number of games running back Davin Meggett has missed in his career.
1... Andrew Gonnella is the only senior offensive lineman on the Maryland roster.
2... So far this season Maryland has seen two of the top eight crowds in the history of Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium. There were 52,875 fans in stands for the Miami game (No. 8) and 53,627 for the West Virginia contest (No. 5).
4... Number of full-time punters (Brooks Barnard, Adam Podlesh, Travis Baltz and Nick Ferrara) the Terps have employed in the last 13 years. Barnard (1999-02), Podlesh (2003-06) and Baltz (2007-10) were all four-year starters. Ferrara punted for an injured Baltz in 2009 and took over the starting job this year.
5... Joe Vellano has recovered a pair of fumbles this season. His average of 0.50 per game is tied for fifth in the FBS.
4... Randy Edsall has taken his teams to bowl games in each of the last four seasons.
11... The Terps have 27 former players on active NFL rosters, a number which ranks 11th nationally (see chart on page 5).
14... D.J. Adams has scored 14 rushing touchdowns in just 11 career games. He is already tied for 18th on the Maryland career rushing TD chart.
15... Number of seniors on Maryland's 96-player roster.
17... Seventeen of the season-high 57 players who saw action vs. Towson (10/1) were freshmen. Since the start of the 1999, the Terps have played 17 or more freshmen in a game just seven times (20 vs. Virginia Tech, 11/14/09; 17 vs. NC State, 11/7/09; 17 vs. Clemson, 9/10/05; 18 vs. The Citadel, 9/13/03; 18 vs. Eastern Michigan, 9/8/01; 20 vs. Wake Forest, 10/21/00)
21... Number of freshmen (13 redshirts; eight true) who have played this season.