Solid Week of Practice Gets Terps Road Ready
Oct. 6, 2011
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The Maryland Terrapins face a number of challenges as they play on the road for the first time this season.
Not only will the Terps (2-2, 1-0 ACC) be leaving the comforts of Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium after a four-week homestand, but they are also facing an undefeated and 13th-ranked Georgia Tech (5-0, 2-0) squad which runs the triple-option rushing attack and possesses the most efficient passing offense in the FBS.
"We know that we definitely have a tough challenge ahead of us," head coach Randy Edsall said to reporters on his Thursday conference call.
Maybe the toughest task is having only one week to prepare for an unconventional offense, one which averages 587.0 yards of total offense (second in the FBS), including 378.2 rushing yards (first nationally).
"The best thing you can do is try to get as many looks at it as you possibly can and get as many reps as the plays they run," Edsall said. "That's always the tough part. You don't have enough time. You might only get two or three reps against one thing and you might need six or seven reps against it."
The Terps utilized a number of their reserve players this week on the scout team as Anthony Green played the role of Georgia Tech quarterback Tevin Washington and Brandon Ross the part of fullback. Webb Dulin and Tyrek Cheeseboro served as slot backs, while Devin Burns and Adrian Coxson were the Yellow Jackets wide receivers.
"I was pleased with the scout team," Edsall said. "It's still not going to be at the speed and precision that we'll see when we first get started on Saturday. That's always the tough part going into the game playing against this type of offense. The speed and precision takes you a little bit to get used to it."
The Terps also utilized the second team offense during portions of practice.
"I had our [second team] go down [to the defense] on Tuesday and Wednesday for a period or two to run the cards to try and even give us a faster look at it," Edsall said. "We tried to do the best things we could to get ourselves prepared the best way possible."
Despite being without starting safety Matt Robinson (out for season) and four other defensive regulars (DL Justin Anderson, LB Darin Drakeford, DL Andre Monroe and Isaiah Ross), the Terps are poised to play their first road game.
"I thought we've had very good enthusiasm this week in practice," Edsall. "I thought the kids really worked hard and they're ready to go. Now, we just have to go down and execute and play well."
Saturday's game from Bobby Dodd Stadium is scheduled to kick off at noon and will be telecast nationally on ESPNU. The game can also be heard over the Terrapin Sports Radio Network (TSRN) which includes ESPN 980 in Washington, D.C. and 105.7 FM in Baltimore.
By The Numbers: The Georgia Tech offense is averaging close to 400 rushing yards a game. "You're not going to stop them," Edsall said when asked about stopping the triple option. "Nobody stops this offense. Go back to when it was invented. This is an offense where you try and control it but you don't flat out stop it. If you can keep them under about 300 yards rushing then you've done a pretty good job, and don't let them get the big plays in the passing game."
Scout Team Players of the Week: Each Thursday during the season Edsall will announce the scout team players of the week. This week's honorees are wide receiver Webb Dulin (offense), defensive lineman Bradley Johnson (defense) and linebacker Desmond Kearse (special teams).
Inside Maryland Football: The fourth edition of Inside Maryland Football will air at 11 a.m. Saturday on Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic. The 30-minute coaches show goes behind the-scenes with the team. The first three shows are available on Terps TV Premium. The show airs each Saturday during the regular season until Dec. 3 (there was no show on Sept. 17 due to a bye the previous Saturday).
Injury Report vs. Georgia Tech: Out for Season: DB Matt Robinson, TE Dave Stinebaugh; Out for Game: DL Justin Anderson, LB Darin Drakeford, OL Justin Gilbert, LB Garrett Lederman, DL Andre Monroe, DL Isaiah Ross, LB Shaquan Virgil; Doubtful: LB Kenny Tate; Probable: PK Nick Ferrara, TE Matt Furstenburg