Head coach Ralph Friedgen and the Terps will have revenge on their minds when Middle Tennessee State comes to College Park on Saturday afternoon at 3:30 p.m.
Last season’s 24-14 loss was a difficult pill to swallow for Terps fans, but with injuries and inexperience plaguing Maryland (1-1) in the early stages of 2009, will lightning strike twice?
The Terps will again be without left tackle Bruce Campbell and safety Jamari McCollough, but last week’s 38-35 overtime victory over James Madison also brought the loss of senior co-captain Nolan Carroll for the remainder of the season. The cornerback broke his tibia and will be replaced by sophomore Cameron Chism in the starting lineup.
Not only does Carroll’s loss hurt what was once considered an experienced secondary, but the Terps must also replace the senior’s leadership. Friedgen believes his players were inspired to finish strongly against James Madison following the injury, but what will be the long-term effect on a defense that has surrendered 87 points in its first two games?
Maryland will again face a run-oriented attack led by quarterback Dwight Dasher after struggling against James Madison’s Drew Dudzik and the spread-option last week. In Middle Tennessee State’s 31-14 victory over Memphis last Saturday, Dasher not only ran for 89 yards but threw for 231 yards and two touchdowns.
The absence of starting running back Phillip Tanner, out with a knee injury, will allow defensive coordinator Don Brown and the Maryland defense to focus on Dasher as the main running threat. The defense has yet to force a turnover this season, raising more concern as the Terrapins continue to adjust to Brown’s new defensive scheme.
Middle Tennessee State (1-1) fell to Clemson in its opener, 37-14.
Terps’ Injury Report:
Out: Nolan Carroll (leg – out for season), Bruce Campbell (foot), Jamari McCollough (foot), Louis Berman (leg), Caleb Porzel (leg), Joe Vellano (foot)
Probable: Tony Logan (shoulder)
The game will only be shown on ESPN360, so be sure to check out WNST.net, as I’ll be blogging live from Byrd Stadium throughout the afternoon. I’ll also be joining Eric Aaronson on Section 410 (AM 1570 or online at WNST.net) at 2:00 p.m. to discuss Saturday’s contest.
**Shameless plug alert:
If you’re in the Towson area, come out to Charles Village Pub (Pennsylvania Avenue) TONIGHT from 9:30 to 11:30 for the Miller Lite Towson Tigers Football Pep Rally, hosted by yours truly. I’ll have plenty of giveaways, and you can’t beat $1.75 Miller Lite bottles! Stop in, and say hello!