Tuesday News Conference Quotes
Saturday, Nov. 10
Maryland (4-5, 1-4 ACC)
Boston College (8-1, 4-1 ACC)
Kickoff: 8 p.m. ET
Location: College Park, Md.
Stadium: Chevy Chase Bank Field at Byrd Stadium (51,500)
TV: ABC - Dave Lamont (play-by-play), Chris Spielman (color) and Quint Kessinich (sidelines) will call the action.
Radio: Terrapin Sports Radio Network - Johnny Holliday (play-by-play), Jonathan Claiborne (color) and Tim Strachan (sidelines) have the call. XM Satellite Radio Channel 191. Pregame with Gary Stein and Scott McBrien begins at 6:30 p.m. The Terrapin Sports Radio Network (10 affiliates): LIVE 105.7 FM (WHFS) - Baltimore (Flagship); ESPN Radio 1300 AM (WJFK) - Baltimore (Flagship); WJFK 106.7 FM - Washington D.C.; WTBO AM 1450 - Cumberland; WFMD AM 930 - Frederick; WARK AM 1490 - Hagerstown; WMSG AM 1050 - Oakland; WQMR FM 101.1 - Ocean City; WMED 1460 AM - Easton; WPTX 1690 AM - Lexington Park, Md.
In the Red Zone...
The University of Maryland entertains No. 8 Boston College Saturday in its final home game of the 2007 season. The game will serve as Senior Day for 15 Terps and is also Letterman's Day with many former players returning to campus. The Terrapins are coming off a heart-wrenching 16-13 loss at North Carolina, while BC was knocked from the unbeaten ranks in a 27-17 defeat at the hands of Florida State. The Eagles remain atop the Atlantic Division with a 4-1 record. Saturday's game is slated to kick off at 8 p.m. ET from a sold-out Chevy Chase Bank Field at Byrd Stadium and be broadcast regionally on ABC. The Eagles have won the last three meetings with Maryland, including both matchups as ACC foes. The Terrapin Sports Radio Network will handle the broadcast of the contest with pregame starting at 6:30 p.m. The game will be replayed at 7:30 p.m. Sunday on Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic.
The Terps got back on track defensively against North Carolina, holding the Tar Heels to 259 total yards, the lowest output by an ACC foe this season. Maryland heads into the weekend ranked 47th nationally in total defense (355.2 ypg), including the 26th-ranked pass defense (196.2 ypg). BC ranks first in the ACC in total offense (442.6 ypg), led by quarterback Matt Ryan's 316.4 passing yards per game. Junior linebacker Erin Henderson has racked up 99 tackles on the season despite being hampered by a knee injury the last month. Henderson missed the Georgia Tech game (Oct. 6), but returned to post a career-high 18 stops vs. Virginia (Oct. 20). He ranks first in the ACC and third in the nation in tackles (12.4 pg). He has led the team in tackles each game he has played this season. Henderson was a preseason All-American and is a Butkus Award semifinalist. He is also on the watch lists for the Nagurski Trophy, and Bednarik Award. Junior Dave Philistin, a first-year starter at Mike linebacker, has been solid, averaging 9.4 tackles per game (third in the ACC). Senior tackle Dre Moore has a team-high four sacks, while junior cornerback Kevin Barnes has led the secondary with four interceptions, including one vs. UNC.
The Terps offense, which was been decimated by injuries (only four players have started all nine games), is led by a solid ground game, which features senior backs Lance Ball and Keon Lattimore. Lattimore ranks fourth in the ACC and 61st nationally in rushing (78.8 ypg), and has tallied 11 rushing TDs. Maryland's 149.9 rushing yards per game ranks fifth in the ACC. BC is seventh in the ACC in total defense (331.3 ypg), including first in rushing defense (58.0). Sophomore WR Darrius Heyward-Bey, a freshman All-American, leads the Terps in receptions (32) and receiving yards (483). The offensive line has essentially playing without three starters. Guards Andrew Crummey and Jaimie Thomas are out with fractured fibulas, while left tackle Scott Burley has missed most of the last two games with ankle woes. A preseason All-American and candidate for the Lombardi Award and Outland Trophy, Crummey fractured his left fibula vs. Georgia Tech (Oct. 6). Thomas is out for the season, while Crummey may return later this month. Sophomore Chris Turner has stepped under center for junior Jordan Steffy who is in his first year as a starter. Steffy missed the Georgia Tech and Virginia games due to the effects of a concussion suffered at Rutgers. Turner has been the starter for the last four games and has completed 62 percent of his passes this season.
The Terps special teams has distinguished itself well after nine games despite three new starters. True freshman Travis Baltz and junior place-kicker Obi Egekeze are both in their first season as starters. Baltz ranks eighth in the ACC in punting average (41.3), including second (44.1) in league contests. Egekeze has hit 9 of 13 field goals, with two of the misses coming from beyond 50 yards. Redshirt freshman Da'Rel Scott, a backup running back, has been the No. 1 kickoff return man, though he has been slowed by injuries. He's averaging 19.5 yards per return. Junior Danny Oquendo is the lone returning specialist. He averages 8.2 yards per punt return, which is ninth in the league. The Terps rank fourth in the country in kickoff return yardage defense (17.4 ypr) and 36th in punt return yardage defense (6.9 ypr).
Saturday will serve as senior day for 15 Terps as Christian Varner, Isaiah Gardner, Jason Goode, Keon Lattimore, Colin Nelson, J.J. Justice, Lance Ball, Chris Roberts, Jermaine Lemons, Brendan McDermond, Andrew Crummey, Carlos Feliciano, Joey Haynos, Matt Goldberg and Dre Moore will play their final game at Byrd Stadium.
Maryland is 195-160-4 (.549) all-time in ACC contests, including a 31-22 (.596) mark under Friedgen.
Saturday's game marks the 300th contest in Byrd Stadium history. The Terps have an all-time record of 188-110-1 (.630) at Byrd.
Maryland is facing its third top 10 team of the season. It's just the second time in school history the Terps have faced three top 10 teams in the same season (also 1982). They lost to No. 4 West Virginia, 31-14, on Sept. 13 and downed No. 10 Rutgers, 34-24, on Sept. 29. Maryland has never defeated two top 10 teams in the same season.
Running backs Lance Ball and Keon Lattimore are closing in on becoming the second duo in school history to post 10 or more rushing touchdowns in the same season. Lattimore 11 rushing scores (second in the ACC), while Ball has nine. Bruce Perry and Marc Riley each had 10 during the 2001 campaign.
Ball became the ninth back in school history to go over 2,000 career rushing yards with his team-high 86 yards in the win over Georgia Tech (Oct. 6). He needs six rushing yards to move from seventh to sixth on Maryland's career rushing yards chart. Ball, who has 2,260 career rushing yards, passed Willie Joyner (1980-83, 2,140) and Alvin Blount (1983-86, 2,158) vs. Clemson (Oct. 27).
Lattimore needs eight rushing yards to move from 15th to 14th on the Maryland career rushing list (pg. 5). Art Seymore (1970-72, 1,611) is currently 14th. With 51 yards on the ground vs. Clemson (Oct. 27), Lattimore moved up two spots passing Alvin Maddox (1975-78, 1,571) and Bren Lowery (1986-89, 1,611). Lattimore has 1,648 career rushing yards.
Darrius Heyward-Bey ranks 19th on Maryland's career receiving yards list (1,177) and has a chance to move into the top 10 before season's end despite just 22 games at the position.
Despite nine miscues vs. North Carolina (Nov. 3), Maryland is second- least penalized team in the ACC (5.2 pg). That mark also ranks tied for 17th in the nation. In terms of yards (44.2 pg), Maryland is the least penalized team in the ACC. That mark ranks 16th nationally.
The Terps are currently tied for fifth in the ACC and 38th in the NCAA in turnover margin (+0.44). Maryland has forced 18 turnovers on the season. The Terrapins recovered two fumbles and picked off a pass in the win over Rutgers and forced fumbles in both the Georgia Tech and Clemson games. They also forced three turnovers vs. UNC (Nov. 3).
The Terps' 2007 schedule is ranked 29th-most difficult in the nation, based on records of the opposition. Maryland's foes so far this season have posted a record of 32-28 record and their next three opponents have a combined mark of 16-9.
Young Terps Step Up...
Maryland used one more of its true freshmen vs. Clemson (Oct. 27). Fullback Haroon Brown saw action in place of an injured Cory Jackson. In addition, Bruce Campbell got the starting nod at left tackle in place of Scott Burley, who was also out injured. Campbell had played as a reserve vs. Villanova in the season opener. Brown was the fourth true freshman to play this season (also Travis Baltz and Dominique Herald). Junior Olugbemi Otulaja, a walk-on defensive lineman, and sophomore LB Chris Clinton also saw their first career action vs. Clemson. In addition, sophomore DL Deege Galt saw his first career action vs. UNC (Nov. 3).
Injuries Taking a Toll...
The Terps have been hit by the injury bug in some key areas, RG Andrew Crummey, a preseason All-American, could miss the rest of the regular season after fracturing his left fibula vs. Georgia Tech (Oct. 6). Reserve DT Travis Ivey has missed the last three weeks. He suffered a knee injury vs. the Yellow Jackets. LB Rick Costa, who was starting for an injured Erin Henderson, incurred a sprained neck vs. the Yellow Jackets and is out indefinitely. QB Jordan Steffy sat out vs. Georgia Tech and Virginia after suffering a concussion vs. Rutgers (Sept. 29). He was cleared to play the last two weeks. The injuries continued the last three weeks. Starting left guard Jaimie Thomas was lost for the season when he fractured his right fibula vs. Virginia (Oct. 20). FB Cory Jackson played most of the Virginia game with a broken hand and missed the Clemson contest. He returned vs. UNC (Nov. 3). In addition, DE Mack Frost injured his right knee vs. the Cavaliers and is lost for the season. TE Dan Gronkowski left the Clemson game with a knee injury. He missed the UNC game and is most likely out this weekend. LT Scott Burley has played the last two weeks, but sparingly due to an ankle injury. His backup, true freshman Bruce Campbell, has also been on and off the field with an ankle injury. Redshirt freshman Paul Pinegar, a walk-on, has replaced them. Junior Drew Robinson, a backup safety and special teams player, appears to be out for the season with a knee injury, one he suffered vs. the Tar Heels. The Terps also lost Alex Wujciak, who was expected to vie for one of the starting linebacker roles, during the preseason. In all, the Terps have 13 members of the two-deep missed at least one game this season due to injury. That number does not include Burley even though he had just three plays vs. Clemson (Oct. 27).
Henderson Doesn't Miss A Beat...
Junior LB Erin Henderson returned to the lineup against Virginia (Oct. 20) after missing the Georgia Tech game (Oct. 6) with a knee injury and picked up right where he left off, totaling a career-high 18 tackles. He also tallied a game-high 15 stops vs. Clemson (Oct. 27) and 11 vs. UNC (Nov. 3). The junior has led Maryland in stops in all eight games he has played in this season. Henderson was selected as one of 10 semifinalists on Oct. 18 for the Butkus Award, given to the nation's best collegiate linebacker, as announced by the Downtown Athletic Club of Orlando (DACO). He ranks first in the ACC and third nationally in tackles per game (12.4).
Senior backs Keon Lattimore and Lance Ball rank among the top running back duos in the nation and lead the fifth-ranked rushing offense (143.6 ypg) in the ACC. Lattimore has posted four 100-yard games and tallied 709 yards on the season. His 78.8 yards per game rank fourth in the ACC and 61st in the nation and Ball's 59.0 ypg are ninth in the ACC. The Terps are the only team in the league with two players ranked among the top 10 rushers. Ball and Lattimore have combined for 19 rushing touchdowns and are on pace to post over 1,700 rushing yards. Last season, Ball and Lattimore combined for over 1,500 yards and were just one of just five running back tandems in the nation to gain over 700 yards apiece.
Boston College at-A-Glance...
Boston College started off the year on fire, winning its first eight games and rising to as high as No. 2 in the country. Last weekend's loss to Florida State likely knocked BC out of the BCS title picture.
The Eagles now stand at 8-1 overall and 4-1 in the ACC. They lead the ACC's Atlantic division.
BC quarterback Matt Ryan has been at the forefront of the Heisman Trophy race all season, but threw three interceptions in the loss to the Seminoles, including one that Florida State's Geno Hayes returned for a touchdown late in the fourth quarter to clinch the win.
Ryan has dominated for much of the year, however, averaging more than 316 yards passing per game. He has thrown 21 touchdowns to 11 interceptions.
Andre Callender leads the ACC in scoring at 8.2 points per game. He has scored 12 touchdowns overall, including eight on the ground.
The Eagles are more than just an offensive juggernaut, however. They boast the nation's best run defense, allowing only 58 yards per game on the ground.
Passing against BC has proven dangerous as well. The Eagles have 18 interceptions on the year, after totaling 21 last season. Senior Jamie Silva leads the ACC with five picks.
Maryland-Boston College Series History...
Maryland and Boston College will face off for the fifth time this Saturday. The Eagles are own a 3-1 edge in the all-time series, and are riding a three-game winning streak in the series. Maryland's only win in the series came in 1985 when the Terps beat the Eagles 31-13 in Foxboro, Mass.
Since Boston College joined the ACC, the Terps haven't had much success against the Eagles. Maryland fell 31-16 in College Park two seasons ago, and 38-16 at Boston College last year.
Last season, Boston College's Jolonn Dunbar put the Terps in an early 14-0 hole, scoring on fumble returns of 14 and 38 yards. Boston College scored a third touchdown on an interception return for a touchdown by cornerback DeJuan Tribble, as the Eagles went on to win 38-16. The loss snapped a five-game winning streak for Maryland.
Maryland has been quick out of the gate this season, outscoring its opponents 60-19 in the opening quarter of games.
The Terrapins rushing attack ranks fifth in the ACC and 71st nationally (143.6 ypg).
Maryland has done a solid job of holding the ball and keeping it away from its opponents. The Terps rank 30th in the NCAA in time of possession, holding the ball for an average of 31:05 minutes per game. Through their first five games of the year, the Terps led the nation in TOP, averaging 34:48 minutes per game.
Maryland is winning the time of possession battle partly because it is holding onto the ball. The Terps have only lost 14 turnovers this season, tied for 22nd best in the country.
The Terps posted a season-high 458 yards of total offense vs. No. 10 Rutgers (Sept. 29) and had over 200 rushing and passing yards for the second time this season (also Villanova). QB Chris Turner came off the bench to throw for 149 yards in his first significant career action.
One of the foremost offensive minds in the collegiate or pro game, head coach Ralph Friedgen is in his second season as the Terps' offensive coordinator.
With 11 touchdowns on the season, running back Keon Lattimore has now more than tripled his season total from each of the last two seasons (three).
Lattimore had a spectacular seven-game stretch starting with the final two games of the 2006 season. He had ran for 737 yards in those games (119 vs. Wake Forest, 85 vs. Purdue, 106 vs. Villanova, 111 vs. FIU, 80 vs. WVU, 112 vs. WFU, and 124 vs. Rutgers.). This season he is averaging 78.78 rushing yards per game which puts him fourth in the conference and 61st in the country.
Running backs Keon Lattimore and Lance Ball have become quite familiar with the end zone this season. The seniors have scored a combined 20 touchdowns on the year. Lattimore has 11 touchdowns, which ties him for the eighth best single-season output. Ball is tied for 15th on the single-season list with nine scores on the ground. Lattimore has 17 touchdowns in his career, tied for 13th on the school's career rushing list.
Only two pairs of Maryland backs have ever rushed for as many combined touchdowns in a single season. Chris Downs (13) and Josh Allen (8) totaled 21 in 2002, and Bruce Berry and Marc Riley had 10 each for the Terps in 2001.
Lattimore and Ball average a combined 13.33 points per game. Lattimore (7.33 ppg) and Ball (6.00 ppg) are tied for sixth and tied for 13th, respectively, in the ACC.
With 69 yards on the ground against North Carolina, Ball moved closer to sixth place on the school's career rushing list. He currently ranks seventh with 2,260 yards for his career. He needs only six more yards to match Louis Carter (1972-74), who is sixth with 2,266. Keon Lattimore ran for 29 yards on the day and needs eight yards to catch Art Seymore (1970-72) who has 1,656 in 14th place.
The dynamic Ball-Lattimore tailback duo combined for 1,558 yards last season, and have carried that success into the 2007 season. Through nine games this year, the pair have combined for 1,250 yards rushing and 20 touchdowns on 293 carries. Lattimore and Ball were one of just five running-back combos in the nation last season to collect over 700 rushing yards apiece.
Lattimore has rushed for over 100 yards in four of Maryland's nine games this season, a number which is even more impressive considering he is splitting time with Ball.
Only six players in school history have more than 100-yard rushing games in a season than Lattimore, who currently stands at four. Steve Atkins (1978) and Charlie Wysocki (1980) jointly hold the record with eight in one year.
Lattimore has six career 100-yard rushing games (119 vs. Wake Forest and 114 vs. Virginia in 2006; 106 vs. Villanova, 111 vs. FIU, 112 vs. WFU, and 124 vs. RU in 2007). That puts him in a tie for fifth on Maryland's career list.
When Lattimore finished with 111 yards on 12 carries against Florida International in week two, he became the first Terrapin back to open the season with back-to-back 100-yard rushing games since Bruce Perry opened with five straight 100-yard games in Maryland's ACC Championship season in 2001.
After getting shut out by Clemson, sophomore wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey rebounded nicely with five catches for 64 yards against North Carolina. He had caught a pass in 19 consecutive games before the Clemson game. In 22 career games, Heyward-Bey has led the team in receiving yards in 11 times (Georgia Tech -111, Florida State - 57, Miami - 175, Purdue - 81 in 2006), including seven of the Terrapins' games this season (Villanova - 81, FIU - 48, WVU - 56, RU - 61, GT - 109, UVA - 54, and UNC - 64).
Heyward-Bey currently ranks 11th in the ACC in receiving yards per game (53.67). He is tied for 16th in the conference in receptions per game (3.56).
Redshirt freshman wideout Adrian Cannon had not seen game action since the season opener against Villanova, but had a career day against Clemson. Cannon caught two balls for 60 yards, including one for 44, Maryland's longest play of the day. He again saw significant time against North Carolina and added another catch to his season total.
Against Clemson, wide receiver Isaiah Williams matched a career high with five catches for 47 yards. He has had five catches in a game once before - in last season's game against Clemson. He had 66 yards receiving in that game.
Entering the season, no quarterback on the Maryland roster had ever started a game. Nine games in, Maryland finds itself with two capable signal callers - Chris Turner and Jordan Steffy.
Prior to his injury, Steffy was efficient and accurate while directing the Terrapin offense. He is 68 of 100 (68.0 percent) for 674 yards on the year. His completion percentage leads the ACC.
In his first five games as a starter, Steffy owns a pass efficiency rating of 123.22 which would rank ninth in the conference if he had played in enough games (75 percent) to qualify.
Turner has been solid in relief of Steffy, who left the Rutgers game just before halftime with an injury and missed the next two games versus Georgia Tech and Virginia.
Turner has completed 80 of 129 passes for 968 yards. He owns an efficiency rating of 121.40, 10th best in the ACC.
In his first career start, Turner threw for 255 yards against Georgia Tech on 10 of 17 passing. It was the most yards through the air by a Terrapin quarterback since Sam Hollenbach threw for 374 yards against North Carolina on Nov. 12, 2005.
The 255 yards passing by Turner were the most by a Maryland quarterback in a starting debut since Scott Zolak threw for 303 in a 20-13 win over Virginia Tech in 1990. Only one other quarterback since 1991 (Scott Milanovich, 253 vs. Virginia in 1993) surpassed 200 yards in their first career start.
In the previous game, Turner led Maryland to an upset of then No. 10 Rutgers. Turner threw for 149 yards on 14 of 20 passing, and led four second half scoring drives. He was named ACC Co-Offensive Back of the Week for his performance against the Scarlet Knights.
The 78-yard touchdown pass Turner threw to reserve tight end Jason Goode against Georgia Tech was the first career score for each player. It was also the longest career play for each. Goode's previous career-long was a 57 yard reception against Clemson last year.
In his first game as a collegiate starter, Steffy completed 19 of 24 passes (79 percent) for 174 yards and one interception. The junior's debut was the most efficient effort by a Maryland quarterback starting his first career game since Brian Cummings completed 83 percent of his passes in a 1995 win over Tulane to open the year.
Joey Haynos and Dan Gronkowski form one of the top tight end duos in the nation, although the latter will be out at least this week with a knee injury. Each has started at the position. In fact, even though Haynos was the second-leading receiver on the team in 2006, Gronkowski started more games in the Terps' two-tight end set. Gronkowski opened nine contests, while Haynos started six. Haynos is a member of the Mackey Award watch list.
With Gronkowski hurt, Goode has seen more time, and registered a career-high three catches in the Carolina game. He as averaged 21.7 yards per catch this season, the most of any Terp with at least five receptions.
Injuries have decimated the offensive line. With the injury to RG Andrew Crummey (fractured fibula), the Terps have just one returning starter from last season (C Edwin Williams) playing on the offensive line, though the group has quite a bit of experience. LG Jaimie Thomas, who was lost for the season in the Virginia game (Oct. 20), played in all 13 games last season, starting three, while Dane Randolph played in 11 games, mostly at right tackle. Randolph started four games there, including the Champs Sports Bowl. Williams and Randolph are the only lineman to start all nine games. Starting left tackle Scott Burley missed all but three plays in the Clemson game (Oct. 27) with an ankle injury and true freshman Bruce Campbell got the start in his place, before he too had to leave with an ankle injury. Both were hampered vs. UNC (Nov. 3) and played sparingly. Burley has played in each of the last three seasons, including eight games as a sophomore in 2005, but this is his first chance to start. Junior Jack Griffin, meanwhile, who was penciled in as the No. 2 right tackle, redshirted last season, but did see action as a freshman and sophomore, though that came on the d-line. Griffin has stepped into Crummey's starting right guard role. Sophomore Phil Costa served as the reserve center and guard. Costa started at right guard for Crummey vs. Virginia, but slid over to left guard to take over Thomas' spot beginning with the Clemson game (Oct. 27). Friedgen considered the Terps to have seven starters along the o-line due to the skill and versatility of this group. Injuries to Crummey and Thomas have reduced that number to five.
Crummey has started a team-high 34 games, while Williams' 22 consecutive starts lead the offense. Williams is the only offensive returnee to start all 13 games in 2006.
Sophomore Josh Portis was ruled ineligible for the year just prior to the season opener. Turner, who was second on the depth chart with Portis for much of preseason camp, moved to No. 1 on the depth chart due to Steffy's injury and has remained there the last four games.
The Terps rank 10th in the ACC and 47th in the nation in total defense (355.22 yards per game). All nine ACC teams which rank ahead of the Terps are among the top 39 in the nation in total defense.
The Terrapin defense stepped up against North Carolina (Nov. 3) with its best effort since the Florida International game, holding the Tar Heels to 259 yards of total offense. Maryland had been allowing an average of 367.2 yards per game.
Since sitting out the Georgia Tech game due to injury, Maryland's Erin Henderson has been on a tear, posting 44 stops in his last three games. The linebacker had a career-high 18 tackles against Virginia, and made another 15 stops in the loss to Clemson. Against North Carolina he posted 11 tackles. He leads the ACC in tackles with 12.38 per game, which also ranks third in the country. The junior has led the team in stops each game he has played this season. Henderson was a preseason All-American is also on the watch lists for the Nagurski Trophy and Bednarik Award.
On Thursday October 18, Henderson was selected as one of 10 semifinalists for the Butkus Award, given to the nation's best collegiate linebacker, as announced by the Downtown Athletic Club of Orlando (DACO).
In the upset of No. 10 Rutgers, Henderson had 11 total tackles despite playing over three quarters with a knee sprain. He led the team in stops in five of the Terps 13 games a season ago. Henderson is the returning starter at weakside linebacker, where he tallied 8.8 tackles per game last season, second most in the ACC.
Maryland's pass defense has been solid thus far, allowing only 296.22 yards per game by opponents, tied for 26th best in the nation.
Maryland added two more interceptions against North Carolina Saturday, bringing its season total to nine. The Terps had eight all of last year. On North Carolina's first possession, junior Kevin Barnes picked off a deep T.J. Yates pass for his fourth interception of the year. He leads all Maryland players in picks, and is tied for third in the conference and 27th in the country in that category. Isaiah Gardner had Maryland's other interception in the second quarter.
Linebackers Adrian Moten and Moses Fokou also each forced a fumble against UNC, although neither resulted in possession for Maryland. The Heels recovered one fumble, and Henderson grabbed the other for the Terps, but subsequently fumbled the ball back to Carolina.
Two Terrapins recorded their first career sacks against Carolina. Moten, a redshirt freshman who has impressed the Maryland coaches with his ability to play all three linebacker positions, dropped T.J. Yates for a loss of seven yards. Reserve defensive tackle Olugbemi Otulaja also got in on the action, pulling down the Carolina QB for a loss of 10.
The Terps picked off Wake Forest's Riley Skinner three times on Sept. 22. The last time Maryland had intercepted three passes in a game was Oct. 20, 2005, against Virginia Tech. Against Wake, Barnes, Gardner and Henderson all had picks.
When Barnes isn't picking off quarterbacks, he's swatting the ball away from receivers. The junior is fourth in the conference in passes defended with 1.11 per game, a number that is tied for 45th nationally. He leads all Terps with seven pass breakups.
Maryland posted three sacks in both the Virginia and North Carolina games, the most the Terps have had since the season opener. Maryland sacked Villanova quarterback Antwon Young four times in that game, the most by Maryland since posting the same number vs. NC State last season (Oct. 21).
Senior Dre Moore, netted two sacks against Villanova, and added two more against the Cavaliers. Against Clemson he stepped up with another big game, forcing a fumble of quarterback Cullen Harper in the first half and notching seven tackles. He leads all Terrapin defensive linemen with 44 tackles.
Six Terrapin defenders have started more than 15 career games for Maryland and three (Jeremy Navarre, Trey Covington and Christian Varner) have started more than 30. Covington has started 30 of the last 31 games at LEO, a hybrid linebacker/defensive end position, while Varner has started 32 of the last 33 at safety, including a team-high 31 straight. In addition, Navarre has started 31 of the last 33 contests.
Defensive linemen Mack Frost and Navarre each had key fourth quarter sacks of Rutgers QB Mike Teel in the upset win. They were the first two sacks allowed by Rutgers on the year.
Navarre's came on a fourth down as Rutgers, then trailing by three, was attempting to tie or take the lead. Navarre's hit forced a fumble, and Maryland took over on downs, setting up Lance Ball's second touchdown of the day on the very next play. For Frost it was his first of the season.
Navarre tallied a career-high nine tackles vs. Clemson (Oct. 27).
In their first two games of the year, the Terps held back-to-back opponents below 200 yards of total offense for the first time since 2003. In that year, Maryland held The Citadel to 137 yards of total offense in a 61-0 win, and then limited West Virginia to 156 in a 34-7 win the following week.
Prior to West Virginia (Sept. 13), the Terps had not allowed the opposing team to rush for 100 yards in three straight games (Purdue, 21 yards, Villanova, 12 yds, FIU, 82 yds.).
Maryland held Rutgers to 82 yards on 23 carries on Sept. 29, marking the third time this season the Terps did not allow 100 yards rushing. Rutgers entered the game averaging 228.3 yards per game on the ground.
One area of strength for the Terrapins in preseason camp was the defensive line, where the Terps returned Moore and fellow senior Carlos Feliciano, as well as juniors Frost and Navarre. Frost consistently drew praise from Friedgen for his work in preseason practice, while the head coach has stated that Moore is playing the best football of his career. Frost, however, was lost for the season with a knee injury suffered vs. Virginia (Oct. 20).
In the season opener versus Villanova, Dave Philistin got the starting nod at middle linebacker, marking the third consecutive season the Terps have opened the year with a different Mike from the year before. Wesley Jefferson, who manned the middle for the Terps a year ago after replacing D'Qwell Jackson in 2006, graduated early to pursue a career as a state trooper. Jefferson was second on the team in tackles in 2006. Chase Bullock entered the fall No. 1 on the depth chart and remained there until an injury forced him out of the lineup.
Philistin has more than filled the void left by Jefferson. He has stepped up his play with five consecutive games with double-digit tackles, including 10 against North Carolina. He currently ranks third in the ACC and tied for 36th in the nation in tackles per game (9.8). Against Georgia Tech he led the team in tackles with a career-high 21. It marked the second straight game that he had set a new career record, after he totaled 11 against Rutgers. Philistin's 21 stops were the most for a Terrapin since Eric Barton tallied 22 in 1998 against North Carolina. Philistin was named ACC Defensive Lineman of the Week for his performance against the Jackets.
Maryland has had at least one defensive player drafted into the NFL in each of the last 11 seasons and 17 defensive players overall in that time span, including cornerback Josh Wilson last season. Of the Terps defenders selected, 11 have gone in the first three rounds, including first round picks Chad Scott (1997) and Shawne Merriman (2005).
Varner and Gardner are the only two defensive returnees to start all 13 games last season. Jefferson was the only other defender to start each contest in 2006.
The Terps suffered a major loss in the preseason when LB Alex Wujciak injured a knee during a practice. He had ACL surgery at the end of August and should return next season. The redshirt freshman was expected to play LEO and possibly at Mike.
Special Teams Notes...
In punter Adam Podlesh and kicker Dan Ennis, the Terps never had to worry about their special teams last season. Podlesh was a four-time All-ACC punter and two-time semifinalist for the Ray Guy Award, while Ennis connected on 20 of 25 field goals last season and tied for ninth nationally in field goals per game (1.54).
The Terrapins tapped place-kicker Obi Egekeze and punter Travis Baltz at the start of the season to replace their sensational specialists from 2006, and the returns have been solid. Egekeze has been near perfect this season, the one exception coming in the win over Rutgers game (Sept. 29) when he went 2-for-5. Through nine games Egekeze is a perfect 25-for-25 on PATs, and 9 of 13 on field goal attempts. Two of those misses have come from beyond 50 yards (52 vs. FIU; 51 vs. Rutgers). He ranks 10th in the ACC in kick scoring (5.8).
Baltz, a true freshman, has been solid thus far in his brief Maryland career, ranking ninth in the ACC in average (41.3). After averaging 43.0 yards on two punts against Villanova, Baltz averaged 37.9 yards on nine punts against FIU, but pinned the Golden Panthers' inside their 20-yard line on five of his nine kicks. The five punts inside the 20 were the most by a Maryland punter since Brooks Barnard had six in Ralph Friedgen's first game as head coach, a 23-7 win over North Carolina in 2001. Baltz's nine punts were the most by a Maryland punter since Adam Podlesh booted the ball 11 times in a 13-3 loss to NC State in 2004.
In October, Maryland faced three punters ranked in the top-10 nationally in punting average, but Baltz acquitted himself well in those games, out-punting Virginia's Ryan Weigand and Georgia Tech's Durant Brooks who currently rank fifth and eighth in the NCAA in yards per punt. Baltz has averaged 41.3 yards on 47 punts with 12 downed inside the 20-yard line.
Baltz has had his best outings vs. ACC competition. Against Wake Forest, Baltz punted six times for 268 yards, a 44.7 average. He recorded one punt for a then career long of 54 yards, and put two balls inside the 20-yard line. In the win over Georgia Tech, Baltz averaged a career-high 49.6 yards per punt (five attempts), including a career long of 65 yards. It was the 10th best single-game average in Maryland history. In the loss to Virginia, Baltz averaged 44.7 yards on six punts and put two balls inside the 10. He ranks eighth in the ACC in punting (41.3 ypp), including 44.1 in league games, second best in the ACC.
Kickoff specialist Chris Roberts has also helped pick up the special teams unit. He's averaged over 60 yards per kickoff, with opponents' average starting point of drives at the 27-yard line. He had his first touchback vs. Rutgers (Sept. 29). The Scarlet Knights averaged less than 18 yards per kickoff return.
Roberts' strong play combined with strong tackling has the Terps ranked fourth in the nation in kickoff return yardage defense (17.41 ypr).
Egekeze and Baltz hope to live up to the Terps' lofty standards. Maryland has a strong history of special teams play in the Friedgen era. Podlesh, as well as Barnard and former kicker Nick Novak, moved on to the NFL. Although Egekeze served as a kickoff specialist last season, neither he nor Baltz had attempted a kick in a game prior to the 2007 opener.
When Baltz entered the Villanova game (Sept. 1) in the second quarter, he became the first true freshman to start an opening-day game for the Terps since defensive end Jeremy Navarre in 2005, and only the second of the Ralph Friedgen era.
The Terps have some big shoes to fill at kick returner as Josh Wilson has taken his game to the NFL. Wilson ranked third in the ACC (11th nationally) last season in kick returns (27.3 ypr) en route to setting a single-season school record for return yards (847). Backup running back Da'Rel Scott got a shot at returning kicks against Wake Forest (Sept. 22) and responded with 101 yards on four returns, including a long return of 39 yards. He has 293 yards on 15 returns for the year. Reserve safety Terrell Skinner, who moved from wide receiver in the spring, opened the season as the primary kick returner, and has averaged 18.5 yards on six returns.
Maryland is fortunate to have the sure-handed Danny Oquendo back to handle punt return duties. Last season, Oquendo ranked eighth in the ACC and 53rd nationally in return average (8.4). Through seven games this season, Oquendo has averaged 8.2 yards on 15 returns. Christian Varner has served as Oquendo's backup, returning three punts for 20 yards.
By The Numbers...
0...Career collegiate starts by the Terps' three quarterbacks entering the season.
2...Travis Baltz's punting average in ACC games (44.1), a mark which ranks second in the conference.
3...Dave Philistin ranks third in the ACC in tackles (9.8 pg). Teammate Erin Henderson is first (12.4).
4...Number of offensive players (Edwin Williams, Dane Randolph, Keon Lattimore and Darrius Heyward-Bey) who have started all nine games
4...Keon Lattimore's four 100-yard games rank tied for seventh on the Terps single-season chart. Charles Wysocki (1980) and Steve Atkins (1978) each had a Maryland record eight 100-yard games.
5...Dave Philistin's 21 tackles vs. Georgia Tech (Oct. 6) are the fifth-most in an NCAA Bowl Subdivision game this season. Bryce Hudman of SMU had 26 vs. Arkansas State (Sept. 15), Lamar Myles of Louisville posted 22 vs. Kentucky (Sept. 15), Austin Thomas of Indiana had 22 vs. Michigan State (Oct. 13), Russell Allen of San Diego State tallied 22 vs. Utah (Oct. 13) and Gerlad McRath of Southern Miss. posted 21 vs. UCF (Oct. 28).
6...Obi Egekeze has connected on six of his last seven field goal attempts.
9...Joey Haynos has nine receptions over the last two games.
10...Erin Henderson is one of 10 semifinalists for the Butkus Award, honoring the top linebacker in the nation.
13...Number of players on the two-deep who have missed at least one game due to injury. The list includes Jordan Steffy, Andrew Crummey, Jaimie Thomas, Cory Jackson, Dan Gronkowski, Mack Frost, Travis Ivey, Rick Costa, Alex Wujciak, Richard Taylor, Erin Henderson, Chase Bullock and Da'Rel Scott. In addition, Scott Burley saw action in just three plays vs. Clemson (Oct. 27) due to injury. Both Burley and Bruce Campbell were limited in the North Carolina game (Nov. 3).
32...Christian Varner has started a team-high 32 consecutive games.
70...Chris Turner had thrown 70 consecutive passes without an interception until his second quarter pick vs. Clemson (Oct. 27).