Maryland Set For Saturday's Road Trip to North Carolina
Nov. 1, 2007
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The University of Maryland football team held its final practice session of the week Thursday afternoon. The team departs for Chapel Hill, N.C., Friday to take on the University of North Carolina.
The Terps (4-4, 1-3 ACC) and Tar Heels are set to kick off in Chapel Hill at 3:45 p.m. ET Saturday. The ACC interdivisional contest will be broadcast nationally on ESPNU.
North Carolina (2-6, 1-3) has only won two games this season under new head coach Butch Davis, but the Heels have improved over the last month, knocking off Miami (33-27) and falling to No. 7 South Carolina, 21-15.
Maryland Coach Ralph Friedgen and the Terrapins have endured a rough stretch of injuries to key players, but Friedgen said he hasn't seen his team lose focus at practice.
"I think we've had a good week of practice," he said after Thursday's session. "For the most part the guys on our first team have worked extremely hard. I appreciate it as a coach, because it's really coming from them. I don't have to stand there with a bull whip and scream and yell at them."
"I think when all this is over with and we get people back [from injuries], we will be better for this," he said. "These are tough times right now. A lot of guys are getting work and getting better, and they're going to make us stronger when other people get back."
One player finally ready to return to the field is quarterback Jordan Steffy, who started the first four games of the season before suffering a concussion at the end of the first half against Rutgers. He was cleared to play vs. Clemson, but was not inserted into the game.
Friedgen said after practice Thursday that sophomore Chris Turner will start, but that both players could see time against the Heels.
"Today they were both sharp," Friedgen said. "I was impressed with Jordan in the two-minute drill. You know, I look at it as a strength. I wish I had two like that at every position."
In the two-minute drill, Steffy took the reins of the second-team offense at his own 40-yard line with 1:29 to play, and led his team on a nine-play march down the field for a field goal with time to spare.
A 28-yard pass from Steffy to wide receiver Emani Lee-Odai marked the drive's big play and moved the ball to defense's 14 with 56 seconds left. Needing only a field goal to win, Steffy milked the clock and then spiked the ball to set up a 22-yard field goal from Obi Egekeze.
The first-team defense had more success, forcing the first-team offense off the field in three plays. Linebacker Moise Fokou sacked Turner on second down, and J.J. Justice picked off Turner on a long third-down pass to end the drive.
At the conclusion of practice, Friedgen announced the captains for Saturday's game. Senior defensive tackle Dre Moore, a native of Charlotte, N.C., will represent the defense, while tight end Joey Haynos was selected as the offensive captain. Punt returner Danny Oquendo will captain the special teams unit.
Lansford Watson, a freshman tight end from Brooklyn, N.Y., and Arnold Davies, a junior defensive back from Silver Spring, Md., were chosen as the offensive and defensive scout team players of the week, respectively.
The broadcast of the game can also be heard over the Terrapin Sports Radio Network, which includes WHFS 105.7 FM in Baltimore, WJFK 1300 AM in Baltimore and WJFK 106.7 FM in Washington, D.C.
The game will be replayed at 7:30 p.m. Sunday on Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, following the replay of the Outback Steakhouse Ralph Friedgen Television Show.
The Friedgen Television Show airs initially at 11:30 a.m. each Saturday.