Terps Make Final Preparations for Duke
Oct. 22, 2009
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The Maryland football team made final preparations Thursday for its game with the Duke Blue Devils.
The Terps held a 90-minute workout which focused on the gameplan for Saturday's matchup with Duke (3-3, 1-1 ACC). The game is set for 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Wallace Wade Stadium in Durham, N.C.
The meeting is the first between the two ACC teams since 2004, when the Terps defeated the Blue Devils 55-21 in Durham. Maryland leads the all-time series 30-18, and has won the last five meetings. Duke, however, is much improved under second-year coach David Cutcliffe.
"They've got a veteran team," Friedgen said of Duke. "I've been admiring (Duke quarterback) Thaddeus Lewis since he was playing as a true freshman. I thought he was exceptional at that time. Now he's a senior, he's very polished."
The Terps (2-5, 1-2) will face a stiff challenge in the Blue Devils' potent offense, but have a number of playmakers to counter Duke's.
Junior linebacker Alex Wujciak leads the ACC and ranks sixth nationally in tackles per game (11.0), and has recorded double-digit tackles in five of seven games this season. Junior linebacker Adrian Moten leads the team with five sacks, ranking fifth in the ACC in that category (0.7 per game). As a team, Maryland has 20 sacks on the season, tops in the conference.
Offensively, the Terps are led by wide receiver Torrey Smith and quarterback Chris Turner. Smith ranks second in the ACC with 79 receiving yards per game, and leads the nation in all-purpose yards (207.7 pg). Turner is averaging 235.9 passing yards per game, and has spread the ball around to a talented receiving corps this season. Five Terps have at least 10 receptions this season, and 11 have five or more receptions.
Lewis, meanwhile, is second in the ACC in passing yards per game (266.8). Lewis threw for 459 yards and five touchdowns in a 49-28 road win over NC State (10/10). A potent receiving corps led by junior WR Austin Kelly provides a number of targets for Lewis. Duke has four receivers, Kelly, Johnny Williams, Donovan Varner, and Connor Vernon, with at least one TD catch and reception of over 50 yards this season.
Despite coming off a tough loss to Virginia last week, Friedgen thought the Terps had one of their best weeks of practice.
"We've had a very good week of practice," Friedgen said. "It's been a very physical week of practice. I think we're playing faster than we've played before. It's the first week I've seen us at a faster tempo."
Friedgen thought it was a very competitive week and saw growth in his team which has 23 freshmen who have seen action this season.
"Some of our younger guys are not playing like freshmen anymore," Friedgen said. "They're not in awe of the situation and they've played in games now. Even our second team is playing better."
Following Thursday's practice, Friedgen announced that Kevin Dorsey will serve as special-teams captain against Duke. Dorsey, a reserve wideout, has a team-high seven special teams tackles.
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.
Terps to Play Fork Union Monday: Maryland will hold a junior varsity game Monday against Fork Union Military Academy on the team's practice field which is adjacent to Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium. The game will begin at 4 p.m. and is open to the public.
Light Practice Schedule: With the team off on Saturday, Oct. 31, Maryland are scheduled to practice on Wednesday and Thursday next week.