Terps Ready For ACC Road Opener
Oct. 8, 2009
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The Maryland football team made final preparations Thursday for the Wake Forest game (6:30 p.m. Saturday), the Terrapins first ACC road contest of the season.
The Terps (2-3, 1-0) are looking to build on the momentum of last week's 24-21 victory over Clemson.
"The team's that have the confidence - you talk about the swagger - they have that inner confidence that they're going to win," Maryland head coach Ralph Friedgen said after Thursday's practice. "And that's what we have to develop. We have to get to that point where we know what we have to do to be successful. That's a learning thing just like anything else. That's why this game is very important; to get some momentum, get back-to-back wins, to win on the road. Those are all confidence building things. For a young team, I think that's really important."
The elimination of turnovers and penalties has been a primary focus over the last two weeks, and Friedgen has seen improvement in both areas.
"I thought ball security was very good this week, and our penalties were down this week," Friedgen said. "Hopefully we'll do better on Saturday. I definitely see - especially the first team offensively - getting a little bit better."
The Terps are coming off their two best defensive efforts of the year, having allowed 249 and 274 yards of total offense against Rutgers and Clemson, respectively, but will be put to a tough test against Wake Forest.
The Demon Deacons (3-2, 1-1) are leading the ACC in total offense with an average of 408 yards per game, and are the only team in the league to rank in the top five of both passing and rushing offense.
Quarterback Riley Skinner leads the league in passing efficiency with a rating of 154.4, and Wake Forest has a number of talented wide receivers. Marshall Williams ranks third in the league with an average of 80.2 receiving yards per game, and has posted 18 catches for 252 yards and three touchdowns over the past two games. Chris Givens ranks second on the team with 21 receptions, and last week against N.C. State posted a career-high eight receptions for 113 yards and a touchdown.
Maryland QB Chris Turner is coming off his most efficient game of the season, completing 19 of 26 passes for 215 yards and two touchdowns for a 165.92 efficiency rating against Clemson. In Maryland's go-ahead drive before halftime, Turner was 5-for-5 passing for 54 yards and a touchdown, as well as rushing the ball four times for 27 yards.
Terrapin wide receiver Torrey Smith ranks second in the nation with an average of 230.6 all-purpose yards per game, and ranks second in the ACC in receiving yards per game (89.8).
"This is a very important game," Friedgen said. "To win on the road and be 2-0 - we take it one week at a time - but you have a pretty good situation if you get this game."
Following Thursday's practice Friedgen announced that fullback Cory Jackson will serve as special-teams captain against Wake Forest.
Running back Davin Meggett, a product of Surrattsville HS in Clinton, Md., will carry the Maryland state flag onto the field, while Demetrius Hartsfield, a native of Raleigh, N.C, will bring out the American flag.
Saturday's game will be broadcast live on the Terrapin Sports Radio Network and streamed on ESPN360. Comcast SportsNet will show a replay of the webcast in the Washington D.C./Baltimore market at 7:30 p.m. Sunday.