Gameday Parking Information
Saturday, Oct. 25
Maryland (5-2, 2-1 ACC)
North Carolina State (2-5, 0-3 ACC)
Kickoff: 3:30 p.m. ET
Location: College Park, Md.
Stadium: Chevy Chase Bank Field at Byrd Stadium (51,500)
TV: ESPN360 (Web streaming) - Chip Tarkenton (play-by-play) and Stan Lewter (color) will call the action. Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic will show a two-hour replay of the game at 7:30 p.m. Sunday.
Radio: Terrapin Sports Radio Network - Johnny Holliday (play-by-play), Jonathan Claiborne (color) and Tim Strachan (sidelines) have the call. XM Satellite Radio Channel 190. Pregame with Gary Stein and Scott McBrien begins at 2 p.m. Click here to Listen Live on-line. The Terrapin Sports Radio Network (14 affiliates): 105.7 FM (WHFS) - Baltimore (Flagship); ESPN Radio 1300 AM (WJFK) - Baltimore (Flagship); WJFK 106.7 FM - Washington D.C.; WCEM AM 1240 - Cambridge; WBEY 97.9 FM - Crisfield; WGOP AM 540 - Crisfield; WTBO AM 1450 - Cumberland; WFMD AM 930 - Frederick; WARK AM 1490 - Hagerstown; WPTX 1690 AM - Lexington Park, Md.; WVMD 99.5 FM - Midland; WMSG AM 1050 - Oakland; WQMR FM 101.1 - Ocean City; WTGM AM 960 - Salisbury.
Tickets: Tickets are available through the Maryland Athletics Ticket Office. Fans my call 1-800-IM-A-TERP or click here. Click here for Gameday Quick Facts about tickets, will call, parking and shuttles.
Terps on the Air...
Maryland's football broadcasting lineup for 2008-09, includes the Ralph Friedgen Radio Show and the Ralph Friedgen Television Show (FridgeTV). The Ralph Friedgen Radio Show airs from 8-9 p.m. each Wednesday during the season on the Terrapin Sports Radio Network which increased from 10 to 14 affiliates this season. The Ralph Friedgen Television Show, which is presented by Outback Steakhouse, airs weekly at 11:30 a.m. Saturday on Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic. The fast-paced, 30-minute show goes behind the scenes with Friedgen and the Maryland football team. Replays of the show are normally scheduled for 7 p.m. Sunday on Comcast SportsNet, just prior to the rebroadcast of the Terps most recent football game (note: Saturday's game will replay at 4 p.m. Sunday). Comcast SportsNet will carry the official rebroadcasts of all 12 University of Maryland football games. Friedgen also appears each Wednesday during the season on Comcast's SportsNite wrap-up show. Comcast goes live "Inside the Coach's Office" with Friedgen at 6:45 p.m. each Wednesday.
Maryland, which is receiving votes in both major national polls, enters this weekend's Homecoming game with North Carolina State on a bit of a roll having won four of its last five games, including two ACC contests. The Terrapins, tied for first in the Atlantic Division, are coming off their fifth-straight win over a ranked team (AP poll) after their 26-0 victory Saturday over No. 21 Wake Forest. The Terps will try to extend their five-game winning streak at Chevy Chase Bank Field at Byrd Stadium and become bowl eligible for the sixth time in the last eight seasons with a win Saturday vs. the Wolfpack. The game is scheduled to kick off at 3:30 p.m. and can be heard on the Terrapin Sports Radio Network. The matchup will not be televised, but will be streamed live over the internet on ESPN 360. Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic will show a two-hour replay of the game at 7:30 p.m. Sunday.
Maryland picked up its fifth straight win over a nationally-ranked opponent (AP poll) when the Terps downed Wake Forest, 26-0, Saturday in College Park. Earlier this season, the Terps knocked off No. 20 Clemson and No. 23 California. They also defeated No. 8 Boston College and No. 10 Rutgers in 2007. The Terps are the only team in the nation to have knocked off three ranked opponents this year. Two of the Terps' final five foes (No. 24 Florida State and No. 23 Boston College) are currently ranked in the top 25.
Maryland hoped to rebound from its first shutout in four years (31-0 to Virginia, Oct. 4) when Wake Forest visited Byrd Stadium last Saturday, and the Terps did just that. Junior Chris Turner, the top-rated passer in the ACC, completed a career-best 28 of 41 passes for a season-high 321 yards and Darrius Heyward-Bey posted a career-high 11 receptions as the Terps posted 470 total yards of offense and scored six times against the 17th-ranked defense in the nation. The Terps enter this weekend ranked second in the ACC in total offense (372.0 ypg), including the fifth-ranked ground attack (161.6 ypg) led by sophomore Da'Rel Scott, who ranks 31st in the nation (second in the ACC) in rushing (92.5 ypg). Opening holes for the running game and protecting Turner is a veteran offensive line which returns seven of its top eight performers from a year ago, including senior center Edwin Williams, a member of the watch lists for the Rimington Trophy and Lombardi Award. Senior TE Dan Gronkowski, a member of the preseason watch list for the Mackey Award, is second on the team in receptions (19), trailing only Heyward-Bey (23).
The Maryland defense also rebounded from a subpar effort vs. Virginia with a stellar performance in the win over Wake Forest. The Terps held the Demon Deacons to a season-low 219 yards of total offense, including just 73 on the ground. The Terps, who posted their first shutout in five seasons, are among the stingiest teams in the nation, yielding 18.6 points per game (30th nationally). They also matched a season-high with five sacks. Sophomore linebacker Alex Wujciak is the team's leading tackler (65). He has posted 48 tackles over the last four games, including a career-high 16 vs. Clemson. Senior DT Jeremy Navarre anchors the defensive line, having posted 35 tackles on the year. Senior LB Moise Fokou has been active throughout the season, while senior LB Dave Philistin continues to make plays. Philistin is second on team in tackles (55) and Fokou has posted a team-best four sacks. Senior CB Kevin Barnes headlines the secondary, ranking tied for third in the ACC in passes defended (1.0 per game).
The Terps special teams has been an improving unit through the first half of the season. Sophomore punter Travis Baltz and senior place-kicker Obi Egekeze are both in their second seasons as starters. Baltz, a freshman All-ACC choice last season, ranks second in league in punting (41.7 ypp), while Egekeze has connected on his last nine field-goal attempts after missing his first five. Senior Danny Oquendo is the punt returner for the third straight season, while redshirt freshman Torrey Smith has emerged as a playmaker as the kickoff returner. Smith, a reserve wideout, is averaging 25.4 yards per return, which is seventh in the ACC.
Maryland has won at least five of its first seven games for the fifth time in Ralph Friedgen's eight seasons, and first time since 2006, when the team finished 9-4 and beat Purdue in the Champs Sports Bowl.
The Terps' shutout of Wake Forest marked the first time it has held a ranked opponent scoreless since Sept. 24, 1955, when No. 5 Maryland beat No. 1 UCLA 7-0 at Chevy Chase Bank Field at Byrd Stadium.
By holding Wake Forest scoreless Saturday, Maryland has responded to a shutout loss by shutting out an opponent the ensuing game for the first time since 1957. In that season, Maryland lost to Duke 14-0 (10/5/57) before responding with a 27-0 win over the Demon Deacons the following week (10/12/57).
Saturday's shutout is the Terps' first at home since keeping The Citadel off the scoreboard in a 61-0 win on Sept. 13, 2003. It is the team's first shutout of an ACC foe since topping Wake Forest 52-0 on Oct. 19, 1996. WFU was also shut out for the first time in 124 games.
Maryland's 2008 schedule is ranked 27th-most difficult over the last five games of the season, according to NCAA.com. The Terps' final five opponents have a combined record of 16-11 (.593) and four of those teams are either ranked or have been ranked in the top 25 this season.
Chris Turner, who became the 14th signal-caller in school history to reach 3,000 career passing yards last week, needs 150 passing yards to reach Maryland's all-time top 10 list.
With Saturday's win over Wake Forest, Maryland moved to 5-0 during day games this season.
Maryland is 198-163-4 (.548) all-time in ACC games, including a 35-24 (.593) mark under Friedgen. The Terps have an all-time record of 597-518-43 (.534).
Friedgen Supports `Coach to Cure MD Program'...
Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen is pledging his support in the fight against Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy by wearing an arm band Saturday vs. NC State as part of the Coach to Cure MD program. Friedgen is joining college football coaches across the country in wearing a customized arm band to advocate Coach to the Cure MD, a nationwide charitable project sponsored by the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA). During Saturday's slate of college football games, fans will be encouraged to donate to muscular dystrophy research either online at CoachToCureMD.org or by texting the word `cure' to 90999 to automatically donate $5 from their mobile phones. Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy is the most common fatal genetic disorder diagnosed during childhood. Because the Duchenne gene is found on the X-chromosome, it primarily affects boys and occurs across all races and cultures. Boys and young men with Duchenne lack dystrophin, a protein critical to the structural stability of muscle fibers. Patients develop progressive muscle weakness that eventually causes loss of mobility, wheelchair dependency and a decline in respiratory and cardiac function. Currently, there is no cure for Duchenne and limited therapeutic options exist. The AFCA is joining with the Parent Project for Muscular Dystrophy (PPMD) to make Coach to Cure MD a reality and generate support for research using the one-day, gameday event.
Moving up the Ranks...
With their exceptional performances during the win over Wake Forest (10/18), Maryland's offensive and defensive units catapulted up the conference rankings in several key statistical categories.
The Terps offense netted season highs with 22 first downs and 330 passing yards against the Demon Deacons, and its 470 total yards marked the team's second-most in a game this season. Maryland now ranks second in the ACC in total offense (372.0 ypg), and third in passing offense (210.4 ypg), pass efficiency (128.6) and third-down efficiency (42.4 percent).
Maryland's defense held the Demon Deacons scoreless despite a pair of Wake Forest drives that started at the Terps' 25 and 30-yard lines. For the game, Maryland limited Wake Forest to 14 first downs and 219 total yards, the latter of which represents the lowest total for an opponent this season. The Terps now rank 30th in the nation (FBS) in scoring defense (18.6 ppg).
Maryland's offensive line held Wake Forest without a sack Saturday and has now surrendered just two sacks during the last four games. Thanks largely to its offensive line, Maryland ranks fourth in the ACC and tied for 39th in the nation (FBS) in fewest sacks allowed (1.43 pg).
Closing the Door...
After scoring a touchdown on its first drive of the Wake Forest game (10/18), the Terps offense turned the ball over twice inside its own territory on two of the next three possessions. But the Maryland defense stiffened, allowing just two total yards and no points (two missed field goals) on those two Wake Forest drives. On the season, the Maryland offense has turned the ball 13 times, but the defense has surrendered just 14 opponent points off those miscues.
Terps' Tackling tandem...
As has been the case all season, LBs Alex Wujciak and Dave Philistin paced Maryland in tackles against Wake Forest. Wujciak tallied a game-high 13 stops while Philistin notched 10 tackles and one sack.
Maryland is now 4-0 this season when Wujciak and/or Philistin reach double digits in tackles.
Wujciak ranks second in the ACC and tied for 25th in the nation (FBS) in tackles (9.3 pg). Philistin currently ranks second on the team, 11th in the ACC and tied for 77th nationally in stops (7.9 pg).
Wujciak's 16 tackles vs. Clemson are tied for the second most this season in the ACC during a single game (18 by Jon Copper, UVa; 16 by Michael Tauiliili, Duke and Kavell Conner, Clemson).
Quick Strike Ability...
The Terps have shown a knack for getting on the board quickly this season. Thus far in 2008, 13 of the team's 19 touchdowns have come on drives of five plays or less in fewer than 2:00. The latest such score came on a four-play drive in 2:12 Saturday against Wake Forest, highlighted by WR Danny Oquendo's 50-yard TD reception from QB Chris Turner. That offensive explosiveness has enabled the Terps to outscore opponents by 30 points this season despite having accounted for fewer first downs.
Heyward-Bey Leading the Way...
WR Darrius Heyward-Bey has served as a game-changer for the Maryland offense all season, but he enjoyed a career day of sorts Saturday against Wake Forest. The junior wideout recorded a career-high 11 receptions for a season-high 101 yards against the Demon Deacons, including his fourth receiving TD (fifth total TD) of the season on a 9-yard pass from RB Da'Rel Scott during the game's opening drive.
Heyward-Bey's 11 catches Saturday tied for the sixth-highest single-game total in school history. In the first half alone, he caught a career-high eight balls for a season-high 94 yards. His performance marked his first 100-yard receiving game of the season and the fourth of his career.
Heyward-Bey currently leads the team and ranks 10th in the ACC in receiving yards (53.7 ypg). He also leads the team in receptions and TD scoring (4.3 ppg) and stands third in all-purpose yards (80.4 ypg).
When Heyward-Bey touches the football this season, good things tend to happen for the Terps offense. On seven rushing attempts thus far in 2008, Heyward-Bey has totaled 187 yards (26.7 ypc), which is the third-most rushing yards on the team and tops in the nation among wide receivers in the FBS.
Following his 76-yard scamper on a reverse at Clemson (9/27) to set up a score, Heyward-Bey now has three plays of more than 75 yards in his Terrapins career. He also notched an 80-yard TD catch earlier this season vs. MTSU and had a team-record 96-yard TD reception against Miami during the 2006 season.
Heyward-Bey has caught at least one pass in 29 of the last 32 contests dating back to the 2006 season. In addition, his 15.6 career yards per catch average ranks No. 7 nationally among active players.
Heyward-Bey has continued his ascent through Maryland's career records this season. His 11 receptions against Wake Forest enabled him to pass Gulian Gary (1998-2001) to move into fifth place on the Terps' all-time receptions list with 119 for his career.
With his 9-yard TD reception during the first quarter Saturday, he moved into a tie with Gary Collins (1959-61) for fourth place in school history with 12 career receiving TDs.
Heyward-Bey still ranks fourth all-time in Maryland history with 1,856 career receiving yards following his performance Saturday.
Heyward-Bey is one of 10 players in the nation to have two plays this season of 75 yards or greater. He caught an 80-yard TD pass from Chris Turner vs. MTSU (9/6) and ran a 76-yard reverse to set up a score vs. Clemson (9/27). The other players are RB Javhid Best (California), WR Darius Passmore (Marshall), RB Marcus Thigpen (Indiana), RB Lonyae Miller (Fresno State), RB Jonathan Dwyer (Georgia Tech), RB Kory Sheets (Purdue), RB Glen Coffee (Alabama), and RB Tyrell Fenroy and WR Jason Chery of La.-Lafayette.
Turner on Target...
QB Chris Turner has orchestrated the Maryland offense effectively throughout the 2008 campaign, and enjoyed perhaps his best game of the season Saturday vs. Wake Forest. The junior signal-caller completed a career-high 28 of 41 passes for a season-high 321 yards, including a 50-yard touchdown strike to WR Danny Oquendo during the fourth quarter that enabled Turner to tie his career high with his seventh TD pass of the season.
Turner's performance Saturday came against a Wake Forest team that was leading the nation in defensive pass efficiency entering the game. Maryland's 330 total passing yards are the most given up by the Demon Deacons this season (previous high: 253 passing yards to Ole Miss on Sept. 6).
Continuing to prove his worth in big games, Turner is now 4-0 as a starter against ranked opponents (also with wins over No. 20 Clemson and No. 23 Cal in 2008; win over No. 8 Boston College in 2007). He also played an integral role in the other such game (win over No. 10 Rutgers in 2007) during Maryland's four-game winning streak against ranked foes. The Simi Valley, Calif., native has yet to throw an interception vs. a ranked opponent. In four games vs. the top 25, Turner has completed 94 of 137 passes (68.6 percent) for 1,135 yards and seven TDs.
Turner currently ranks first in the ACC and 50th in the nation (FBS) in passing efficiency (128.4). The junior signal-caller also ranks tied for third in the ACC in touchdown passes (seventh), as well as second in the conference and 63rd nationally in passing yards (186.0 ypg).
With his 10-yard completion to Oquendo during the third quarter Saturday vs. Wake Forest, Turner became the 14th Maryland signal-caller to surpass 3,000 passing yards for his career.
In 18 career games, Turner has thrown for 3,260 yards which ranks 11th on Maryland's all-time list, as he passed Scott Zolak (1988-90), Shaun Hill (2000-01) and Bob Avellini (1972-74) with his performance vs. Wake Forest (see chart on pg. 6). Turner also currently ranks 12th in school history with 261 career completions, 13th with 419 career pass attempts and 19th with 14 career touchdown passes.
Turner has thrown for at least 200 yards in 10 of his last 12 starts.
Turner has also been sharp on third down this season, completing 62 percent (38 of 61) of his passes.
Despite being only a redshirt sophomore, RB Da'Rel Scott has carried the bulk of the load for the Terps' running game so far in 2008. His offensive role, however, expanded Saturday vs. Wake Forest. Scott took a handoff during the game's opening drive and completed a 9-yard TD pass to WR Darrius Heyward-Bey. The play marked the first career pass completion and TD pass for Scott, who threw an incomplete pass earlier this season vs. California (9/13). Scott added a game-high 73 rushing yards on 18 carries vs. the Demon Deacons.
Scott currently ranks second in the ACC and 31st in the nation (FBS) in rushing (92.5 ypg). He also leads the team and ranks seventh in the ACC and 96th nationally in all-purpose yards (105.3 ypg). He also stands second on the team in touchdown scoring (4.0 ppg).
In addition to his season-long 25-yard reception against Clemson on Sept. 27, Scott has six carries of at least 24 yards in 2008 (40, 37 and 26 against Delaware; 63 and 24 versus MTSU; 24 against Cal).
Scott started his sophomore campaign with a bang, compiling 407 yards in the first three games, including a season opener-record 197 yards vs. Delaware on Aug. 30. Scott's three-game rushing total ranks sixth on Maryland's all-time list for most rushing yards through the first three games of a season (see chart on pg. 6).
William's Clutch Play...
Offensive lineman rarely get fanfare, but C Edwin Williams camp up big for the Terps during their opening scoring drive against Wake Forest. The senior leader recovered a Maryland fumble at the Demon Deacon's 13-yard line to keep the drive alive, and the Terps proceeded to score its first TD of the game two plays later.
Williams now has started 33 consecutive games for the Terps, which is tops among the team's offensive players.
Through the Uprights...
PK Obi Egekeze connected on four field goals against Wake Forest (10/18), including a season-long 40-yard field goal during the second quarter. He added a 39-yarder near the end of the first half and field goals of 35 and 26 yards during the third quarter, setting a career high for field goals in a game.
Egekeze's performance marked the first four field-goal game for Maryland since PK Dan Ennis connected on four at Boston College on Nov. 18, 2006.
Having now hit nine consecutive field goals, Egekeze currently ranks tied for second in the ACC and tied for 32nd in the nation (FBS) in field goals (1.29 pg). He also ranks fifth in the ACC in kick scoring (6.6 ppg).
At his best during conference play, Egekeze has now hit 19 of 20 field goals (95.0 percent) during ACC contests over the course of his career.
With his performance vs. Wake Forest, Egekeze passed Ed Loncar (1976-78) to move into sole possession of 10th place on Maryland's all-time list with 26 career field goals.
Under first-year offensive coordinator James Franklin, Maryland's offense has developed into one for which the quarterback is not necessarily the only player to throw the ball. RB Da'Rel Scott's 9-yard TD pass to WR Darrius Heyward-Bey against Wake Forest marked the second time this season a non-quarterback threw a TD pass for the Terps.
Earlier this season in the game against Eastern Michigan (9/20), all three of Maryland's first-string wide receivers got involved in a trick play that resulted in a touchdown. Heyward-Bey took a handoff and threw a lateral to fellow WR Danny Oquendo, who threw a 43-yard TD pass to fellow WR Isaiah Williams. The play marked Oquendo's first career touchdown pass and Williams' first score of the season. Oquendo became Maryland's first non-quarterback to throw a touchdown pass since RB Josh Allen threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to Oquendo vs. Boston College on Nov. 18, 2006.
Maryland's offensive creativity continued against Virginia (10/4). On the final play of the first half, QB Chris Turner connected with Williams for an 11-yard gain. Williams proceeded to shovel the ball to a streaking Heyward-Bey (25 yards), who tossed a lateral pass to Scott (nine yards). The play totaled 45 yards, making it the Terps' third-longest pass play of the season.
Maryland's Mr. Versatility...
Sure-handed WR Danny Oquendo had another productive game against Wake Forest, recording three receptions for a career-high 90 yards, including a 50-yard TD pass from QB Chris Turner that represents Maryland's second-longest pass play of the season.
Oquendo currently ranks second on the team in receiving yards (223) and third in receptions (15) this season.
With one punt return for 1 yard vs. Virginia, Oquendo continues to expand his Maryland legacy. He ranks eighth all-time on the Maryland career list with 411 punt return yards.
Oquendo has also had key contributions in other areas. He completed his lone pass on the season, a 43-yard TD pass to Isaiah Williams off a fake reverse and had a hand in thwarting three on-sides kicks vs. Cal (9/13).
LB Moise Fokou burst through the Demon Deacons' offensive line to sack QB Riley Skinner for a 7-yard loss during the fourth quarter of Saturday's game. That sack gave Fokou a team-high four on the season, as he now has doubled his career total entering the season.
Fokou leads the team, ranks fifth in the ACC and tied for 54th in the nation in sacks (0.57 pg). He also leads the team in tackles for loss (0.93 pg) and has tallied 41 stops on the season.
Four other Terps also got to the quarterback Saturday vs. Wake Forest. LBs Trey Covington and Dave Philistin and DLs Dean Muhtadi and Jeremy Navarre also recorded sacks. The five sacks tied a season high for the Terps (also vs. California, Sept. 13).
NC State At-A-Glance...
North Carolina State (2-5, 0-3 ACC) has lost three consecutive games since upsetting then-No. 15 East Carolina 30-24 in overtime on Sept. 20. The Wolfpack lost to Boston College on Oct. 4, though the teams were tied at 31-all late in the game. Florida State, meanwhile, scored the final 13 points in a 26-17 win on Oct. 16.
Redshirt freshman QB Russell Wilson leads the Wolfpack's offense, having thrown six touchdowns to just one interception. His two biggest playmakers offensively are WR Owen Spencer (405 receiving yards and two touchdowns) and RB Andre Brown (375 rushing yards and four total touchdowns).
NC State's defense features a host of productive players, including DL Willie Young (3.5 sacks), LB Nate Irving (three interceptions) and LB Ray Michael (52 tackles).
The Wolfpack boasts one of the ACC's best special teams units. NC State currently ranks first in the conference in kickoff returns (25.1 ypr) and second in net punting (36.9 ypp).
Speedy WR T.J. Graham is a dual threat as a kickoff and punt returner for the Wolfpack, and the true freshman ranks second in the ACC in all-purpose yards (142.3). Graham scored on a 100-yard kickoff return three weeks ago against Boston College.
Maryland-NC State Series History...
Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen is 5-2 against NC State.
This game marks the 65th meeting between Maryland and North Carolina State. The schools first met in 1909 when NC State shut out Maryland 33-0. The teams have met every season since 1956, and the series is tied at 30-30-4 edge in the series.
The Wolfpack took eight of nine from the Terps from 1991 to 1999, before the Terps turned things around in the new millennium. Maryland has won six of eight in the series since 2000, with the games frequently ending in dramatic fashion. Before last season's 37-0 Maryland win, the previous seven games were decided by an average of 5.4 points per game. Nick Novak hit game-winning field goals for the Terps in the final seconds in 2002 and 2003, and Maryland scored the decisive touchdown in 2001 with 41 seconds left. Quarterback Shaun Hill rallied the Terps from a 15-point halftime deficit in the 2000 game for a 35-28 double-overtime victory.
In last season's matchup, Lance Ball and Keon Lattimore rushed for two TDs apiece as Maryland shut out North Carolina State, 37-0, in the regular-season finale. The Terrapins posted their first shutout since 2003 and first in a league game since 1996. They became bowl eligible for the fifth time in the last seven years. Chris Turner was 19 of 24 for 206 yards and had a 41-yard keeper that set up a TD for Maryland which scored on four straight possessions in the first half to take control of the game. The Terrapins ran for a season-high 249 yards while holding the Wolfpack to just 10 rushing yards.
Playing a greater role due to injuries in the secondary, Jamari McCollough has proven extremely valuable defensively this season. The junior safety accounted for his third interception of the season when he tracked down an overthrown deep pass by Clemson QB Cullen Harper in Maryland's win over the Tigers (9/27). The play gave McCollough three picks in a six-quarter span dating back to the Eastern Michigan game (9/20). He had two vs. the Eagles, including one in the end zone during a first-half scoring threat.
McCollough, who did not have any interceptions entering the season, currently leads the team, ranks tied for ninth in the ACC and tied for 29th in the nation in interceptions (.43 pg).
Breaking Up Is Easy To Do...
The Terps defense continued to disrupt the opposing quarterback's passing during the win over Wake Forest (10/18). Led by DL Jeremy Navarre, Maryland posted five PBUs vs. the Demon Deacons. Navarre had two while DBs Nolan Carroll, Terrell Skinner and Kenny Tate contributed one PBU apiece. For Tate, a true freshman, it marked the first PBU of his career.
Because he missed time with an injury earlier this season, Carroll has not played in enough games to qualify for conference leaders. However, he leads the team with six PBUs this season. Fellow DB Kevin Barnes currently ranks tied for third in the ACC and tied for 44th in the nation in passes defended (1.0 pg).
As a team, the Terps have already broken up 30 passes this season (4.3 pg). They averaged 3.5 per game last season.
Mr. Smith Comes from Washington...
WR Torrey Smith only had one opportunity to return a kickoff vs. Wake Forest, but the redshirt freshman made the most of it, returning it 34 yards to give the Terps offense the ball at their own 42-yard line.
Smith currently ranks seventh in the ACC and 33rd in the nation (FBS) in kick return average (25.4 ypr). He also ranks second on the team and 10th in the ACC in all-purpose yards (90.6 ypg).
`Gronk' Going strong...
Continuing his steady play, TE Dan Gronkowski snared a career-high six catches for 52 yards against Wake Forest to build on what already has become a career season for the senior. It marked the sixth consecutive game in which he has tallied multiple receptions.
A candidate for the John Mackey Award, bestowed to the nation's top tight end, Gronkowski currently ranks second on the team in receptions (19) and third in receiving yards (186).
Maryland's special teams unit has come up big all season long. During Saturday's win over Wake Forest, PK Obi Egekeze kicked four field goal to provide Maryland some breathing room, but that was hardly the first standout performance on special teams for the Terps this season. One week after LB Adrian Moten blocked a punt and WR Torrey Smith notched a 57-yard kickoff return in a win over Eastern Michigan (9/20), LS Andrew Schmitt recovered a muffed punt against Clemson (9/27) to set up a Maryland field goal in that upset victory.
Portis Provides Change of Pace...
Second-string QB Josh Portis is using his speed to add a new dimension to the Terps offense this season, accounting for 13 more rushing yards vs. Wake Forest. With 167 yards on 29 carries so far this season, Portis already has the most rushing yards by a Maryland quarterback since Scott McBrien ran for 259 yards in 2003.
Big Play Ability...
The Terps offense has notched 36 plays of 20 yards or more so far this season. Of those 36 instances, WR Darrius Heyward-Bey has accounted for 10 of them (seven receiving and three rushing) and RB Da'Rel Scott has accounted for seven of them (six rushing and one receiving).
Friedgen Preaches Discipline...
Head coach Ralph Friedgen and his staff continually preach disciplined play to the Terps, and the team seems to be listening. Through the first seven games of the season, Maryland ranks fourth in the ACC and tied for 20th nationally (FBS) in fewest penalties (4.71 pg).
Baltz's Punting Prowess...
P Travis Baltz has booted himself into the nation's elite at his position during his sophomore season. The Whitehouse, Ohio, native punted five times against Wake Forest, with a long punt of 48 yards and two punts landing inside the Demon Deacons' 20-yard line.
Baltz currently second in the ACC and 36th in the nation (FBS) in punting (41.7 ypp). Thanks in large part to Baltz, Maryland also leads the conference and ranks 15th nationally in net punting (38.1 ypp).