Tuesday's News Conference Quotes
Saturday, Nov. 24
Maryland (5-6, 2-5 ACC)
North Carolina State (5-6, 3-4 ACC)
Kickoff: Noon ET
Location: Raleigh, N.C.
Stadium: Carter-Finley Stadium (57,500)
TV: Lincoln Financial Sports/Raycom - Steve Martin (play-by-play), Rick `Doc' Walker (color) and Mike Hogewood (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 10:30 a.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 will look to become bowl eligible Saturday when it travels to Raleigh, N.C., to take on North Carolina State in the final regular-season game for both teams. A potential bowl bid will be on the line as the winner becomes eligible for postseason play. The Terrapins came up short vs. Florida State (24-16) last weekend, while NC State had its four-game winning streak snapped at Wake Forest (38-18). Saturday's game is slated to kick off at noon ET from Carter-Finley Stadium. For the second-straight week, the Terps game will be telecast regionally on Raycom/Lincoln Financial Sports. Locally the game can be seen on WNUV (Channel 54) in Baltimore and WDCA (Channel 20) in Washington, D.C. The Terrapin Sports Radio Network will handle the broadcast of the contest with pregame starting at 10:30 a.m. The game will be replayed at 7:30 p.m. Sunday on Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic.
The Terps offense, which was been decimated by injuries (only three players have started all 11 games) ranks sixth in the ACC (340.1 yards per game), but has averaged 403.5 yards over the last two weeks, including a season-best 472 total yards vs. Boston College (Nov. 10). Seniors Lance Ball and Keon Lattimore combine to average nearly 140 rushing yards per game. Lattimore ranks fourth in the ACC and 66th nationally in rushing (75.5 ypg), and has tallied a league-best 11 rushing TDs. NC State enters the weekend 64th nationally in total defense (387.4 ypg), including 11th in the ACC. Despite playing behind an offensive line which is without two starters, sophomore QB Chris Turner has been solid for the Terps. Turner, who stepped under center for junior Jordan Steffy (injured vs. Rutgers), ranks third in the ACC is passing efficiency (134.8 rating) while starting the last six games. WR Darrius Heyward-Bey, a freshman All-American in 2006, leads the Terps in receptions (42) and receiving yards (640). He has 15 catches over the last three weeks. Guards Andrew Crummey and Jaimie Thomas are out with fractured fibulas, while left tackle Scott Burley has missed quite a bit of the last four games with ankle woes. A preseason All-American, Crummey hopes to return before the end of the year, while Thomas is out for the season.
The Terps rank 48th nationally in total defense (365.6 ypg) and 39th in scoring defense (23.55 ppg). The Maryland defense stepped up against Boston College, sacking Heisman candidate Matt Ryan a season-high four times and holding the Eagles to just 45 rushing yards. The Terps also held the Florida State offense in check for most of last week's game. FSU scored on its first three drives, but then was forced to punt in each of its next eight possessions. The Terps have two of the top tacklers in the country in junior linebackers Erin Henderson and Dave Philistin, who rank sixth (11.6) and tied for 31st (10.1), respectively, in the nation in tackles per game. Henderson has led the team in tackles each game except last week despite being hampered by injuries for the last six weeks. Henderson was a preseason All-American and a Butkus Award semifinalist. Senior tackle Dre Moore has a team-high six sacks, including four in the last five games. Moore has also averaged 7.2 tackles in his last five contests. Junior cornerback Kevin Barnes has led the secondary with four of the team's 11 interceptions.
The Terps special teams has distinguished itself well after 11 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 (41.2), including second (43.2) in league contests. Egekeze has hit 14 of 19 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 was slowed by injuries earlier in the year. He's averaging 21.5 yards per return, including a career-high 33.0 vs. FSU. Junior Danny Oquendo was the lone returning specialist. SS Christian Varner has taken over as the No. 1 punt returner due to a season-ending knee injury to Oquendo. The Terps rank second in the country in kickoff return yardage defense (16.7 ypr) and 41st in punt return yardage defense (7.3 ypr).
Maryland is looking to become bowl eligible for fifth time in seven years under coach Ralph Friedgen. The Terps have won each of their last three bowl games. Maryland must defeat NC State to have any chance at gaining one of the eight available ACC bowl slots. There are currently seven teams bowl eligible in the conference and three others at 5-6 (also Miami). Miami plays at Boston College this weekend.
The Terps have won five of their last seven vs. NC State, including a 26-20 victory last season in College Park. Only one of the last seven games between the teams has been decided by more than seven points. In the Terps' last visit to Raleigh in 2005, NC State downed Maryland, 13-3.
Maryland has faced three top 10 teams this season and has gone 2-1 in those contests. This is the first time in school history the Terps have defeated two top-10 teams in the same season. It's also just the second year 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, downed No. 10 Rutgers, 34-24, on Sept. 29, and defeated No. 8 Boston College (Nov. 10).
According to the NCAA, the Terps' 2007 schedule is tied for 11th-most difficult in the nation, based on records of past opposition (55-38/.591) and 21st-toughest based on the records of all foes (54-40/.574).
With Lance Ball's rushing TD vs. Boston College (Nov. 10), Keon Lattimore and Ball became the second duo in school history to each post 10 or more rushing touchdowns in the same season. Lattimore has 11 rushing scores (first in the ACC), while Ball has 10 (second in the league). Bruce Perry and Marc Riley each had 10 during the 2001 campaign.
Ball could move into fourth place on the school's career rushing chart this weekend. He currently has 2,404 career rushing yards which is sixth on the list. He needs 13 yards to reach fifth place (2,417/Rick Badjanek, 1982-85) and 20 yards for fourth place (2,424/Bruce Perry, 1999, 2001-03). He 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).
With 46 rushing yards vs. Florida State (Nov. 17), Lattimore moved from 15th to 14th on the Maryland career rushing list. Art Seymore (1970-72, 1,611) was 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 1,694 career rushing yards.
Darrius Heyward-Bey ranks 13th on Maryland's career receiving yards list (1,334) and has a chance to move into the top 10 before season's end despite just 24 games at the position. He moved from 19th to 15th with 75 yards vs. Boston College (Nov. 10). He needs 74 yards to reach 10th on the list.
Da'Rel Scott has 494 kickoff return yards which is the most ever by a Terp freshman (12th overall on the single-season list). Scott is averaging 21.5 yards per return.
Maryland is the second-least penalized team in the ACC (5.5 pg). That mark also ranks tied for 23rd in the nation. In terms of yards (44.5 pg), Maryland is also second in the ACC.
The Terps are currently tied fourth in the ACC and tied for 26th in the NCAA in turnover margin (+0.55). Maryland has forced 21 turnovers on the season and lost the ball just 15 times. The Terrapins have forced six turnovers in the last three games. They forced three turnovers vs. UNC (Nov. 3), but did not convert them into points. However, Maryland intercepted Matt Ryan of Boston College twice and scored touchdowns on both ensuing drives. In the FSU game (Nov. 17), the Terps forced four fumbles, but were able to corral just one of them. On the season, Maryland has out-scored the opposition 65-43 off turnovers.
Maryland is 196-161-4 (.548) all-time in ACC contests, including a 32-23 (.582) mark under Ralph Friedgen. Friedgen's 55 career wins are the fourth most by any ACC coach through his first seven seasons.
The Terps' 24-16 loss to Florida State last weekend was their fourth conference setback of the season by one score or less. Maryland opened the ACC campaign with a 31-24 overtime loss to Wake Forest and also had an 18-17 defeat at the hands of Virginia (Oct. 20), as well as a 16-13 loss to North Carolina (Nov. 3). Maryland has lost four of its five ACC games by a total of 17 points.
The injuries on both sides of the ball opened the door for a few Terps in the win over Boston College (Nov. 10) . Senior reserve TE Jason Goode, playing his final game at Byrd Stadium, hauled in a career-high six passes for 56 yards. Two of those receptions came on third down and moved the chains, while two others went for touchdowns. He came into the game with six receptions on the season. Seeing his first career action at wide receiver, redshirt freshman Emani Lee-Odai hauled in three passes for 78 yards, including a 41-yarder which set up a second-quarter field goal. Reserve running back Da'Rel Scott, also a redshirt freshman, helped pick up the slack for Keon Lattimore who missed the game with a hamstring injury. Scott, who handles kickoffs and has had just a handful of snaps in the backfield, took a swing pass from Chris Turner on the first play of the Terps second drive of the second half, and raced down the sidelines for a 57-yard score. Scott displayed the speed that made him the 2005 Pennsylvania state 100-meter champion.
Terps Battle Through Injuries...
The Terps have been hit by the injury bug in some key areas this season, mostly noticeably on offense where just three players have started all 11 games. RG Andrew Crummey, a preseason All-American, has missed the last five games with a fractured left fibula (vs. Georgia Tech, Oct. 6). He hopes to return before the regular season ends. Starting left guard Jaimie Thomas was lost for the season when he fractured his right fibula vs. Virginia (Oct. 20). TE Dan Gronkowski left the Clemson game (Oct. 27) with a knee injury and missed two contests before returing vs. Florida State (Nov. 17). FB Cory Jackson played most of the Virginia game with a broken hand and missed the Clemson contest. He returned vs. UNC (Nov. 3) and has played with a wrap on his hand since the injury. Starting LT Scott Burley has played the last four 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 both of them. Most recently, WR Danny Oquendo injured a knee in practice prior to the BC game and is gone for the season. Fellow wideout LaQuan Williams hurt his knee in practice last week and is out the rest of the regular season. On defense, reserve DT Travis Ivey missed three weeks with a knee injury, but returned vs. BC. LB Rick Costa, who was starting for an injured Erin Henderson, incurred a sprained neck vs. the Yellow Jackets and is out indefintely. QB Jordan Steffy sat out vs. Georgia Tech and Virginia after suffering a concussion vs. Rutgers (Sept. 29). He was cleared to play prior to the Clemson game and played two series vs. FSU. Some key reserves are also on the shelf. Pass-rushing DE Mack Frost injured his right knee vs. the Cavaliers and is out for the season. Junior Drew Robinson, a backup safety and special teams player, is 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, 16 members of the two-deep have missed at least one game this season due to injury. That number does not include Burley even though he was in on just three plays vs. Clemson (Oct. 27).
Young Terps Step Up...
A number of youngsters have found themselves in more prominent roles recently. 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). In the win over BC (Nov. 10), redshirt freshman Emani Lee-Odai saw his first career action at wideout and responded with three catches for 71 yards. In addition, redshirt freshman Da'Rel Scott has averaged 137.5 all-purpose yards over the last two games, including a career-high 149 vs. FSU (Nov. 17).
Turning the Page...
One week after having a tough outing in a 16-13 loss to North Carolina, sophomore quarterback Chris Turner rebounded with a career effort vs. Boston College (Nov. 10). In just his fifth career start, Turner completed 21 of 27 passes (78 percent) for a career-high 337 yards and a career-best three TDs with no interceptions. He also had a career-best passing efficiency rating of 219.29, which is the sixth highest single-game rating in the ACC this season. He got the offense in gear right from the start, leading the Terps to a touchdown on the opening drive of the game and scores in seven of their first eight possessions. Turner was at his best in the clutch. He was a perfect 10-for-10 for 83 yards on third down, helping the Terps gain eight first downs. Turner also challenged the BC defense deep, completing passes four passes of more than 40 yards, a single-game high this season. Against BC, Emani Lee-Odai (41 yards), Darrius Heyward-Bey (43), Isaiah Williams (45), and Da'Rel Scott (57) had 40-plus yard receptions. Turner's performance earned him ACC Offensive Back of the Week honors.
NC State at-A-Glance...
The Wolfpack were on a four-game winning streak until falling 38-18 Saturday against Wake Forest. They are 5-6 overall, including 3-4 in the ACC.
North Carolina State is fifth in the ACC in total offense (342.6 ypg), led by the third-ranked passing offense (246.2 ypg). However, as far as efficiency the Pack is 12th in the league (106.1 rating).
NCSU has been solid against the pass all season and rank 19th in the nation in pass efficiency defense.
Senior Darrell Blackman ranks 16th in the nation in punt returns, averaging 13.1 yards per return. The wide receiver burned the Terps for a touchdown on a punt return in last season's matchup. Blackman also serves as the Wolfpack's primary kick returner and has averaged 24 yards per return. He is 49th in the nation with 133.3 all purpose yards per game.
While Blackman gives the Wolfpack return game a boost, NC State also excels in punt return defense. The Wolfpack allow only 2.71 yards per return, the best number in the country.
Junior Daniel Evans has thrown for 1,862 yards and 12 touchdowns on 176 of 310 passing. He has an efficiency rating of 112.26 for the season.
NC State averages 7.18 tackles for loss per game, tied for 22nd in the nation. Willie Young leads the Wolfpack with 1.32 tackles behind the line of scrimmage per game, tied for 25th in the NCAA.
Did You Know?...
Maryland is one of just two teams in the nation with two players averaging 10 or more tackles per game. Junior Erin Henderson is sixth in the nation with 11.6 tackles per game, while Dave Philistin is tied for 31st with 10.1 stops per contest. Tulsa has the other duo. Chris Chamberlain averages 11.5 tackles per game (seventh) and Nelson Coleman is posting 10.5 per contest which is 18th nationally.
Maryland-NC State Series History...
Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen is 4-2 against NC State.
This game marks the 64th 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 Wolfpack hold a 30-29-4 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 millenium. Maryland has won five of seven in the series since 2000, with the games frequently ending in dramatic fashion. Those games have been 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, Maryland's Sam Hollenbach threw for 115 yards and a touchdown, and Lance Ball ran for 77 yards and a score en route to a 26-20 homecoming win in College Park. The Terps converted two Wolfpack turnovers into 14 fourth quarter points, and held on for the win after NC State rallied in the fourth quarter behind a Darrell Blackman punt return for a score.
Maryland ranks sixth in the ACC in total offense (340.1 ypg), including fifth in rushing offense (138.1 ypg). The rushing attack is also 73rd nationally (142.7 ypg).
The Terps are third in the conference in red zone offense, scoring on 37 of their 41 trips (90.2 percent). They are also fourth in the ACC in third down conversions (40.2 percent).
Maryland has been quick out of the gate most of the season, outscoring its opponents 74-26 in the opening quarter of games. Florida State did outscore the Terps 14-3 in the opening quarter of last week's game.
Maryland rolled up a season-high 472 yards of total offense against No. 8 Boston College (Nov. 10). Maryland's previous single-game high was 458, which they recorded in the upset of No. 10 Rutgers.
The Eagles entered their matchup with the Terps with the nation's top run defense. Maryland ran up 135 yards on the ground, the highest total given up by BC this season (previously 116 vs. Virginia Tech).
The 42 points Maryland posted against BC were the most by the Terps since they defeated Virginia 45-33 two years ago at Byrd Stadium (10/1/05).
Quarterback Chris Turner had a huge night against the Eagles, completing 21 of 27 passes for 337 yards and three touchdowns. The three scoring passes by a Maryland player were the most by a Maryland player since Sam Hollenbach had three against Florida State last season (10/28/06). Turner also became the first Maryland quarterback to pass for over 300 yards since Hollenbach had 374 against North Carolina in 2005 (11/12/05).
Turner's completion percentage (77.8) vs. BC was the eighth highest single-game tally in Maryland history.
Turner completed passes four passes of more than 40 yards against the Eagles. Emani Lee-Odai (41 yards), Darrius Heyward-Bey (43), Isaiah Williams (45), and Da'Rel Scott (57) all had long receptions against the Eagles defense. For Lee-Odai, his three catches for 78 yards were his first career receptions.
Turner has now completed 101 of 156 passes for 1,547 yards. He owns an efficiency rating of 134.8, third best in the ACC, and 35th nationally.
Playing in his final game at Byrd Stadium, senior tight end Jason Goode had a career-night vs. BC, catching six passes for 56 yards and two touchdowns. He has 10 catches over the last three games after three in the first eight.
Lance Ball, also in his final game at Byrd, had a big night as well. The senior earned his first start of the season in relief of an injured Keon Lattimore and responded with his first 100-yard game of the season, totaling 109 yards against the nation's top-ranked rushing defense. It was the first 100-yard rusher BC allowed this season.
Maryland has done a solid job of holding the ball and keeping it away from its opponents. The Terps rank 36th in the NCAA in time of possession, holding the ball for an average of 30:57 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 15 turnovers this season, tied for 14th best in the country.
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, 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 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 75.5 rushing yards per game which puts him fourth in the conference and tied for 66th in the country.
Lattimore and Ball have become quite familiar with the end zone this season. The seniors have scored a combined 21 touchdowns on the year. Lattimore has 11 touchdowns on the season, which ties him for the eighth best single-season output. Ball is tied for 13th on the single-season list with 10 scores on the ground.
Only one other pair of Maryland backs -- Chris Downs (13) and Josh Allen (8) -- rushed for as many scores in a single season as Ball and Lattimore when they totaled 21 in 2002. Bruce Perry and Marc Riley had 10 each for the Terps in 2001.
Lattimore has 17 touchdowns in his career, tied for 13th on the school's career rushing TD list.
Lattimore and Ball average a combined 13.33 points per game. Lattimore (6.6 ppg) and Ball (5.5 ppg) are 10th and 15th, respectively, in the ACC.
The dynamic Ball-Lattimore tailback duo combined for 1,558 yards last season, and have carried that success into the 2007 season. Through 11 games this year, the pair have combined for 1,440 yards rushing and 21 touchdowns on 347 carries. Lattimore and Ball were one of just five running-back combos in the nation last season to collect over 700 rushing yards apiece.
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.
With 109 yards on the ground against BC, Ball tied Lattimore with six 100-yard games in his career. The pair are tied with Bruce Perry (1999-03), Mark Mason (1990-93), and Willie Joyner (1980-83). Louis Carter (1972-74) ranks fourth on the list with seven games over the century mark.
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 began 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 has rebounded nicely with 15 catches for 221 yards in his past three games. He had caught a pass in 19 consecutive games before the Clemson game. In 24 career games, Heyward-Bey has led the team in receiving yards in 12 times (Georgia Tech -111, Florida State - 57, Miami - 175, Purdue - 81 in 2006), including eight of the Terrapins' games this season (Villanova - 81, FIU - 48, WVU - 56, RU - 61, GT - 109, UVA - 54, UNC - 64, and BC - 75).
Heyward-Bey currently ranks eighth in the ACC in receiving yards per game (58.2).
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 - last season against Clemson. He had 66 yards receiving in that game. Williams set a new career-high vs. Florida State (Nov. 17), posting four receptions for a career-best 84 yards, including a career-long 66-yarder which set up a TD.
Entering the season, no quarterback on the Maryland roster had ever started a game. Maryland now finds itself with two capable signal callers - 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 five games as a starter, Steffy owned a pass efficiency rating of 123.22. He saw his first action in six weeks vs. Florida State (Nov. 17).
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.
In his first career start, Turner threw for 255 yards against Georgia Tech on 10 of 17 passing. At the time, 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 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. 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.
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 10 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 the last four games. 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 defensive 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 34 games, which is tied for the team lead with Christian Varner, while Williams' 24 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 five games.
The Terps rank 48th in the nation and 10th in the ACC in total defense (365.55 yards per game). All nine ACC teams which rank ahead of the Terps are among the top 37 in the nation in total defense.
Between defense and special teams, the Terps have forced 18 fumbles. Last season, Maryland had just 11.
The Terps forced four fumbles against the Seminoles, although they were only able to recover one. FSU had five fumbles in the game.
Despite playing through numerous injuries, linebacker Erin Henderson currently ranks sixth in the nation with 11.60 stops per game. In the four games following the Georgia Tech contest which he missed with an injured knee, the junior went on a tear, posting 57 stops in four games.
Henderson totaled only four tackles against Florida State, by far his lowest output of the year. It marked the first time this season that Henderson did not lead the Terps in tackles in a game in which he played.
Middle linebacker Dave Philistin stepped up to lead the Terps against FSU with 10 tackles. He has seven consecutive games with double-digit tackles, the longest active streak on the team.
After sitting out practice before all week with a sore back prior to the BC game, Henderson totaled 13 tackles against the Eagles, his 15th career game with double-digit tackles. Henderson was a preseason All-American and a Butkus Award semifinalist.
Defensive tackle Dre Moore netted his sixth sack of the year against Florida State. His six sacks mark the most a Terrapin has recorded in a season since Shawne Merriman had 8.5 in 2004. Moore also had seven tackles against the Noles to lead all defensive linemen.
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.
The Terps carried that momentum into their showdown with No. 8 Boston College. With a relentless pass rush, the Maryland defense harrassed BC's Matt Ryan all night and tied a season-high with four sacks in the process. Maryland's previously had four gainst Villanova in the opener.
Maryland also intercepted Ryan twice. Moore snagged his first career interception in the first quarter and he returned it 12 yards. J.J. Justice picked off a deep pass in the second half. Maryland now has 11 interceptions this season, after totaling eight all of last season.
Maryland has 14 sacks over the last five games after notching eight over the first six contests. The Terps had three sacks in both the Virginia and North Carolina games and matched a season-high with four vs. Boston College (Nov. 10). Against Florida State the Terps tacked on three more, and caused quarterback Drew Weatherford to fumble on two of those sacks.
In the season opener, the Terps sacked Villanova quarterback Antwon Young four times, the most by Maryland since posting the same number vs. NC State last season.
In October, 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). He was not chosen as one of the three finalists in the Nov. 8 announcement.
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 217.36 yards per game by opponents, 49th best in the nation.
Cornerbacks Kevin Barnes and Isaiah Gardener have combined for 20 passes defended this season, with six interceptions. Each had a pick in the North Carolina game. Barnes (.91) is tied for sixth in the ACC and tied for 74th nationally in that category. He has four picks on the season, the most by a Terp since Domonique Foxworth had five in 2002.
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. In the Florida State game, Moten sacked Drew Weatherford and forced a fumble which the Terps recovered in the fourth quarter. He has 4 1/2 tackles for loss, including 2 1/2 sacks, on the season.
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.
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 32 of the last 33 games at LEO, a hybrid linebacker/defensive end position, while Varner has started 34 of the last 35 at safety, including a team-high 33 straight. In addition, Navarre has started 33 of the last 35 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.
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.
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 seven consecutive games with double-digit tackles, including 10 against Florida State. He is currently tied for third in the ACC and tied for 31st in the nation in tackles per game (10.1). 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 11 games Egekeze is a perfect 30-for-30 on PATs, and 14 of 19 on field goal attempts. Two of those misses have come from beyond 50 yards (52 vs. FIU; 51 vs. Rutgers). He ranks ninth in the ACC in kick scoring (6.5).
Before pushing a 46-yard attempt wide left in the fourth quarter of the Florida State game (Nov. 17), Egekeze had connected on eight consecutive field goals, and not missed a kick since the Rutgers game. The junior hit a career-long kick of 46 yards in the first quarter against the Seminoles, and also hit from 29 and 37 yards in the game.
Baltz, a true freshman, has been solid thus far in his brief Maryland career, ranking eighth in the ACC with an punting average of 41.2. 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. Baltz has averaged 41.2 yards on 56 punts with 13 downed inside the 20-yard line.
Baltz has had his best outings vs. ACC competition. He ranks eighth in the ACC in punting (41.2 ypp), including 43.2 in league games, second best in the ACC. 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.
Kickoff specialist Chris Roberts has also helped pick up the special teams unit. He's averaged nearly 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 second in the nation in kickoff return yardage defense (16.67 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 494 yards on 23 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 averaged 18.5 yards on six returns.
Maryland was fortunate to have the sure-handed Danny Oquendo back to handle punt return duties, but he is likely done for the season with a knee injury. Last season, Oquendo ranked eighth in the ACC and 53rd nationally in return average (8.4). Through nine games this season, Oquendo has averaged 8.2 yards on 15 returns. Christian Varner has served as Oquendo's backup, returning five punts for 40 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 (43.2), a mark which ranks second in the conference.
3...Number of offensive players (Edwin Williams, Dane Randolph and Darrius Heyward-Bey) who have started all 11 games.
4...Dave Philistin ranks third in the ACC in tackles (10.1 pg). Teammate Erin Henderson is first (11.6).
6...Dave Philistin's 21 tackles vs. Georgia Tech (Oct. 6) are the sixth-most in an NCAA Bowl Subdivision game this season. Bryce Hudman of SMU had 26 vs. Arkansas State (Sept. 15), Durrell Mapp of UNC tallied 23 vs. NC State (Nov. 10), 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 Gerald McRath of Southern Miss. posted 21 vs. UCF (Oct. 28) and Matthew Castelo of San Jose St. had 21 vs. Louisiana Tech (Nov. 17).
11...Obi Egekeze has connected on 11 of his last 13 field goal attempts. His miss vs. FSU (Nov. 17) snapped a string of eight straight makes.
16...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, Da'Rel Scott, Danny Oquendo, Keon Lattimore and LaQuan Williams. 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 UNC (Nov. 3) and Boston College (Nov. 10) games.
21.4...Average yards per rush for Darrius Heyward-Bey this season. He leads the team with 42 catches for 640 yards, but has also aided in the running game. In the victory over BC, he accounted 112 all-purpose yards, including a 37-yard TD on a reverse.
25.8...Average yards per catch for Isaiah Williams over the last two games (five receptions for 129 yards).
34...Christian Varner has started a team-high 34 consecutive games.
51,263...The Terps averaged 51,263 fans per game this season in Byrd Stadium, the third-highest amount in school history.