The Maryland football team played its season opener against William & Mary with 13 players sidelined due to injuries. But as the Terps prepare for their fifth game of the season against Wake Forest, the team seems to have finally shaken the injury bug.
Only three players – quarterback C.J. Brown, defensive end Andre Monroe and kicker Nick Ferrara – will miss Saturday’s game due to injury. Brown and Monroe will be permanent fixtures on the depth chart this year after suffering season-ending injuries during the preseason.
“If guys are out, I can’t do anything about it. But I do worry about when we can get guys back,” coach Randy Edsall said. “Right now, I like where we are. We have two for sure guys that we lost for the season. Hopefully that can continue because the more bodies we have, the more depth we can develop.”
Another positive to come out of the Terps finally being injury free comes from the fact that Edsall won’t have to dip deeper into the team’s freshman class than he already has. The Terps have played 12 true freshmen this season, and if Edsall has his way no more will see the field during Maryland’s eight remaining games.
“That’s a relief because now you’re getting into the fifth game of the year and, for the most part, freshman who haven’t played, you’re probably not going to play them because it’s not going to be worth it to give up the redshirt,” Edsall said.
The ACC announced yesterday the league would go back to an eight-game conference schedule with the addition of Notre Dame as a partial member. The league had previously changed the conference schedule to nine games after the additions of Syracuse and Pittsburgh.
The change in scheduling has left ACC schools scrambling to find new opponents in 2013 and 2014.
Edsall met with Kevin Anderson early Thursday morning to discuss the new scheduling issue. Possibilities that have floated around ACC schools to fill out schedules include playing a second FCS team or a league opponent as a nonconference game. At the moment, though, Edsall doesn’t see either case coming into fruition at Maryland since he’s already been in contact with other FBS programs about filling the hole in the schedule.
“We started about a week or so ago trying to find out with calls to the schools that might have some open games for 2013, 2014,” Edsall said. “We’ve already been in contact with some schools to do that. We’ll end up being in pretty good shape.”
Notre Dame will start playing five ACC games a year as early as 2014.
“It’s going to be interesting,” Edsall said. “Basically, you have all the ACC schools probably have to go get a game now because everybody planned on nine [league games]. They had their schedules set. Now you have people who are going to be scrambling to get a game.”
West Virginia vs. Baylor
Edsall didn’t get to watch the West Virginia-Baylor game, which ended in a 70-63 win for the Mountaineers, because he was on the road recruiting. But after coming back and checking out the highlights, Edsall said other teams should start using the Terps’ game plan against the Mountaineers this season.
Maryland (31) held West Virginia to its lowest scoring output this season. The Mountaineers have scored 69, 42 and 70 points in their other three games.
“If I was another team, I’d take a look at our game plan and do some of those things,” Edsall said. “I heard [Baylor] went with a lot of three-man rush. If you don’t put pressure on Geno [Smith], you’ve got no chance … If you don’t get hits on him, that’s what he’ll do to you.”
Odds and ends
-- Tight end P.J. Gallo (offense), linebacker Clarence Murphy (defense) and defensive back Tony Perry (special teams) have been named the scout team players of the week.
-- Edsall said defensive end Joe Vellano would likely be probable again on this week’s depth chart. He jokingly agreed that Vellano would be getting the “Tom Brady questionable” treatment this season.
“Joe will be probable all year,” Edsall said.