Tag Archive | "College Park"

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Maryland welcomes Clemson to College Park for Homecoming Saturday

Posted on 25 October 2013 by WNST Staff

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The Maryland football team welcomes ninth-ranked Clemson to College Park on Saturday for a 3:30 p.m. kickoff at Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium as the Terps celebrate homecoming and look to earn their second conference victory of the season. Maryland is coming off a 34-10 loss in Winston-Salem to Wake Forest.

LIVE Coverage on the ESPN & the Terrapin Sports Radio Network
• Saturday’s game will be broadcast on ESPN at 3:30 p.m. Mike Patrick (pbp), Ed Cunningham (color) and Jeannine Edwards (sideline) will call the action. It can also be heard on the Terrapin Sports Radio Network – Johnny Holliday (pbp), Tim Strachan (color) and Scott McBrien (sideline) have the call. The game can also be heard on Sirius Radio Channel 85 and XM Radio Channel 85, as well as over the internet at www.umterps.com.

First-and-10

• The Terps totaled 383 yards of total offense against the Demon Deacons, but were undone by three turnovers that turned into 14 Wake Forest points. Quarterback Caleb Rowe entered in the second half and threw for 207 yards and a touchdown. The scoring strike was a 56-yard, catch-and-run to wide receiver Levern Jacobs to cap a two-play, 73-yard drive that lasted 36 seconds, the offenses’ fastest scoring drive of the season. It was Maryland’s second-longest scoring play of the season and Jacobs’ first career touchdown reception.

• Jacobs led all receivers with a career-best 78 yards. Redshirt freshman Amba Etta-Tawo pulled in a personal-best six catches for a career-high 69 yards. The Terps’ top-two receivers, Stefon Diggs and Deon Long, finished with 67 yards receiving and 43 yards receiving, respectively, but suffered season-ending leg injuries in the process.

• Playing without seven regular defensive contributors on Saturday, the Terrapin defense continued to be stout against the run and held Wake Forest to 47 yards rushing, the second-lowest total by an opponent this season, and recorded seven tackles for loss. The Terps are averaging 7.7 TFL per game, which ranks 15th nationally.

• Linebacker Marcus Whitfield led the Terps with one sack and 1.5 tackles for loss. On the season, Whitfield has 6.5 sacks, which ranks fourth in the ACC, and as a team, Maryland has totaled 19 sacks, the fifth-highest total in the league. With 1.5 TFL, Whitfield now has 9.5 on the season for 89 yards. The 89 yards lost is the sixth-highest for a single-season in school history. Randy White holds the school record with 122 yards lost on 24 TFL in 1974.

• Defensive back William Likely finished with a team-best eight tackles and broke up one pass. Likely now has three pass breakups on the season and is tied with defensive back A.J. Hendy for second on the team with three passes defensed. Defensive back Sean Davis added seven tackles, while linebacker Cole Farrand had five tackles, all of which were solo. The Terps were playing without leading tackler linebacker L.A. Goree. The junior has totaled a team-best 46 tackles and has four TFL, including one sack.

• Place kicker Brad Craddock continues to be a bright spot for the Terps. Despite missing his first field goal under 50 yards, Craddock added to his season total with a kick from 23 yards out. The sophomore now has an ACC-leading 13 field goals this season and ranks second with a 1.86 field goals per game average. He is 13-for-16 on the season to rank sixth in the conference with a 81.2 percent conversion rate. Craddock has made at least one field goal in seven of the last eight games dating back to last season.

• Likely continues to pose a threat returning kickoffs for the Terps. On Saturday, the freshman averaged 30 yards on two returns and is now averaging 28.8 yards per kickoff return. Combined with Diggs’ 111 kickoff return yards, the Terps totaled 171 yards on kickoffs, the second-highest single-game total in the ACC in 2013.

• Likely ranks second in the ACC and 14th nationally averaging 28.8 yards per return. His yards per return average ranks ahead of Diggs (28.52), who set a Maryland single-season record for freshman in 2012 and placed second all-time. Likely’s season long kick return is 45 yards, which he set against Connecticut (Sept. 14) and ranks as the sixth-longest return in the ACC this season.


Quick Hitters From Wake Forest

• On Saturday, Maryland started a season-high 14 underclassmen (11 sophomores, two redshirt freshmen and one freshman). Since 1999, that total is tied for the most by a Maryland team. Last season, the Terps started 14 underclassmen at North Carolina (Nov. 24, 2012) and against Wake Forest (Oct. 6, 2012).

• Seven different Terps recorded a tackle for a loss on Saturday led by linebacker Marcus Whitfield with 1.5. As a team, Maryland finished with seven TFL to increase its season total to 54 and is averaging 7.7 per game, which ranks 15th nationally.

• Maryland’s 7.7 TFL average is the highest for a Terrapin defense since 2001. That season, the Terps averaged 9.2 per game.

• For the season, Whitfield has a team-best 9.5 TFL, which is tied for fourth in the ACC, for 89 yards, which is the sixth-highest single-season total in school history and is the most since Mark Duda totaled 94 TFL yards in 1982.

• Whitfield also added to his season total in sacks. By dropping quarterback Tanner Price for a loss of 22 yards, Whitfield increased his season mark to 6.5 sacks, the fourth-best total in the ACC. Whitfield is 1.5 sacks shy of cracking the top-15 all-time for a single season at Maryland.

• The Terps held Wake Forest to 47 yards rushing. It is the third time this season Maryland has held an opponent under 100 yards rushing (FIU, 91; UConn, 25). The Terps rank second in the ACC and 27th nationally against the run (123.7 ypg).

• With one pass broken up at Wake Forest, freshman William Likely leads the team with three on the season. Likely is tied with defensive back A.J. Hendy for for second on the team with three passes defended, a total that is tied for 18th in the ACC.

• Wide receiver Stefon Diggs totaled 178 all-purpose yards against Wake Forest. Diggs finished with 111 kick return yards and 67 yards receiving. For his career, Diggs has 2,808 all-purpose yards ranking him 15th all-time in school history and fifth among active players in the ACC.

• This season, Diggs averaged 16.58 all-purpose yards per play, the 18th-best single-season average in school history.

• Diggs and wide receiver Deon Long averaged 8.38 yards per catch (8 rec., 67 yards) and 10.75 yards per catch (4 rec., 43 yards), respectively, against Wake Forest. Among active receivers in the ACC with a minimum of 30 career receptions, Diggs ranks fifth averaging 16.3 yards per catch, while Long ranks ninth averaging 15.3 yards per catch.

• The Terps and Florida State (3) are the only two schools in the conference with two or more receivers among the top-10 in active career leaders in yards per reception.


Maryland Gameday Notes

Scout Team Players of the Week: Each Thursday during the season Edsall will announce the scout team players of the week. This week’s scout team players of the week are wide receiver Taivon Jacobs (offense), defensive lineman Malik Jones (defense), and running back Carl Buchholz (special teams).

Flag Bearers: Running back Albert Reid will carry the American flag, and defensive linemane Andre Monroe will carry the Maryland flag during Saturday’s introductions.

Game Captains: With the establishment of the leadship council for this season, Edsall will name game captains prior to each contest. The captains for the Clemson game are running back Kenneth Goins, Jr. (offense), defensive lineman Darius Kilgo (defense), and linebacker Abner Logan (special teams).


Maryland-Clemson Series History

• Saturday’s matchup between the Terps and Tigers is the 62nd all-time meeting between the two schools. Clemson leads the all-time series 33-26-2 with the Tigers winning the last three meetings.

• The Terps have won 12 of the 27 matchups at Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium with its last victory coming in 2009. The Tigers won 56-45 in 2011, the last game in College Park.

• Maryland is 4-6 in its last 10 games against Clemson. The Tigers won last season’s meeting in Death Valley, 45-10.


Media Information

• Terps on the Web: For up-to-date game stories, statistics, schedules and results, and other Maryland athletic department information, please log-on to www.umterps.com on the Internet.

-Maryland-

 

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Here’s why Baltimore doesn’t care about Maryland football

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Here’s why Baltimore doesn’t care about Maryland football

Posted on 16 October 2013 by Drew Forrester

This past Saturday evening, listener Steve sent me the following e-mail:

Drew,

I just got home from College Park after attending today’s game between Maryland and Virginia.  On the way home, the four of us in the car decided you would be the best guy to answer the question we had been discussing for about 45 minutes.  The question was this, “Why doesn’t Baltimore care about Maryland football?”  Here’s our background if that matters.  And we all agreed that would be one of the first things you would ask when you read this.  Where are you guys from?  Did you go to Maryland?  All four of us are Baltimore guys.  All born and raised here.  Only one of the four of us went to Maryland.  We have varying opinions on why there’s no passion for Maryland football in Baltimore and thought we’d see what you have to say.  Thanks alot.

Steve

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My reply to Steve comes in the form of today’s edition of Drew’s Morning Dish.

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Why doesn’t Baltimore care about Maryland football?

For starters, I need to pinpoint what I believe Baltimore’s level of interest actually is in the Maryland football program.  To say “Baltimore doesn’t care about Maryland football” isn’t fair.  Some folks in Baltimore DO care about the Terps football program.  But, the interest level here is admittedly minimal.  In rating the “level” of interest, let’s say this.  As a sports community, it’s fair to say Baltimore’s interest in the Ravens is a 9.5  The only reason it’s not a “10″ is that there are sports fans in town who, for reasons only they know, either aren’t Ravens fans or football fans.  Still, to me, the sports community in Baltimore is a 9.5 when it comes to the Ravens.  I’d say Baltimore’s level of interest for the Orioles is 8.  While clearly not as interested in the baseball team as they are the football team, Baltimore is still engaged with the Orioles to a large degree, particularly when they’ve been competitive over the last couple of years.  Maryland basketball probably comes in at a 5 or 5.5 on the rating scale.  While nowhere near as popular or “followed” as Ravens football or Orioles basketball, Terps basketball is still a “player” in the Baltimore market.

So, where does that leave Maryland football on my scale?  I’d say they’re a 2.5…in Baltimore.

How is it, then, that the state school’s football program creates so little interest in the biggest city in the state?

Here’s the easy answer, but one that requires a lot more discussion and thorough review of the last twenty five years or so:  Maryland football isn’t important in Baltimore because the folks in College Park have never really marketed the sport here.

On a large scale, Terps football has no footprint at all on the sports landscape of Baltimore.  If you stopped fifty people in Towson Town Mall today who acknowledged they were sports fans and asked them who the Ravens play this Sunday, I’d say 40 of the 50 know it’s the Steelers.  If you asked those same people who Maryland plays this Saturday, I’d say five would be the maximum number who would know the Terps are at Wake Forest.  And five might be high, honestly.

I was at a restaurant in Timonium this past Saturday night while the Terps were finishing up their exciting 27-26 win over Virginia.  Interestingly enough, I hadn’t even seen Steve’s e-mail but something struck me as I sat down with golfing friends and enjoyed a meal and some drinks while the game was on in the background.  No one in the restaurant or the bar was watching the Maryland football game.  Two of us in my group – me and my friend Dale Williams – were glued to the TV.  No one else at the tables and no one in the bar area was fixed on the TV screen that had the STATE SCHOOL playing a key conference game.  I intentionally got up at one point and canvassed the bar, where 20-25 people were stationed, and no one was paying attention to the Maryland game.

The absence of Terps football marketing isn’t really a new trend here.  In my lifetime – all of it spent in Baltimore – Maryland has never really marketed the football program to anyone outside of the general College Park/D.C. area.  Even when the team was good back in the early part of the Ralph Friedgen era, there wasn’t much in the way of marketing and promotions in the Baltimore market.  Ralph would begrudgingly make the 45-minute drive up the parkway once a year to chat with 100 or so Maryland die hards at a swanky downtown Baltimore restaurant and then he wouldn’t be seen again until the following September.  Aside from some regular coaches interviews on WNST, there was no regular media presence from Maryland at all during the Friedgen era.  The same, I’m sure, can be said for the 80′s and 90′s when head coaches popped in and out of College Park and no one in Baltimore knew what they looked like or when the Terps home opener was every September.

I can’t ever remember Maryland athletics making a concerted effort to actively recruit football fans in Baltimore to College Park five or six times a year.

Over the last 15 years, the program has been bad, very good, good, not-so-good, downright awful and now, on the road to maybe being good again.  And yet, even in that time, interest in Baltimore hasn’t really changed all that much.  Let’s say for argument sake that Maryland would have gone down to Tallahassee two weeks ago and stunned Florida State 29-23.  Would the Maryland ticket office be inundated with calls from “443″ or “410″ asking how they can get tickets to the big Clemson home game coming up in a couple of weeks?  I doubt it.

Would more people throughout the state have increased interest in Maryland if they were 6-0 right now?  Yes, perhaps.  But, would the home games be complete sell-outs between now and the end of the season?  Nope.

I bring up “winning” to counter any claims of “if they win in College Park, fans will come…”  More fans might come, actually, if Maryland football becomes a powerhouse, but my guess is those people will be streaming in from Bethesda, Rockville, Wheaton, Germantown and Bladensburg — not Baltimore.

In Baltimore, there’s so little interest overall in Terps football that nothing short of a national title would probably get the city to get off its rear end and caravan down the BW Parkway to College Park for a football game.

It’s not up to the sports fans here in town to change the way they think about Maryland football.

It’s up to Maryland to pull them in.  Market to them.  Advertise your product.  Promote your kids and the coaching staff.

Act like you care about the Baltimore market and folks might respond by buying a ticket.

One thing for certain:  Ignoring Baltimore isn’t doing anything of value.

I can only speak for my radio show and not the others that have been on in this market for the last decade or so while I’ve been on the air.  Since I do twenty hours of live radio every week, I assume it’s fair to use what I do for a living as a fair barometer for gauging the interest level of Maryland football.  Other shows in town could do the same thing, but since I haven’t listened to them all, I can’t.  This much I do know.  Despite promoting nearly every game of Maryland football so far this season with guests from either the broadcast team, the visiting media or the Washington D.C. or Baltimore media that regularly covers the Terps, do you know how many Maryland football calls I’ve received since Labor Day this year?  What’s your guess?  How about this:  Two. And since I’ve been doing the show on my own in 2006, I would say, honestly, I’ve received a total of ten phone calls – in about eight years – on Maryland football.

In contrast to that data above, Terps basketball calls come in regularly during their season.  It’s not anything close to Ravens or Orioles calls, but within the walls of their season I’ll field Maryland hoops calls every single week.  I go months and months without hearing from one Maryland football fan about last week’s game or this week’s big ACC showdown with (insert team here).

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Some of what’s happened to Maryland football in Baltimore is NOT the University’s fault.

It’s been the ACC’s fault.

The conference’s desperate reach for television dollars has disabled schools who otherwise might be able to have their games aired in their home market.  Think about this:  Maryland football doesn’t have a local TV “home” in either Baltimore or Washington.  Their games are almost non-existent in Baltimore unless you have a laptop with you.  The possibility certainly exists that none of the local stations would “invest” in a Maryland football package, but I have to think someone in town would gamble on a partnership with Terps football if the ACC didn’t have such a stranglehold on the program’s live broadcast rights.

And, because of the TV schedule, kick-off times for Maryland football are rarely known more than two weeks in advance of the game.  I’m not sure how you’re supposed to sell tickets to games when you can’t tell folks what time to be there, but somehow Maryland (and other schools) seems to do it anyway.

In Baltimore, though, the absence of a TV broadcast partner where the games are always on and the station itself is dedicated to promoting the football program is most certainly one of the reasons why the sports community here isn’t engaged with Maryland.

Things aren’t likely to improve next season when the Terps join the Big Ten.  With their own lucrative TV network, the Big Ten isn’t going to allow any of their schools to “cut their own deals” within their marketplace.  Maryland won’t suffer financially, of course, because the Big Ten Network generates money for each of the conference schools.  But, it will suffer in the same area it suffers now in Baltimore, namely in exposure and marketing.  These problems aren’t an issue in Columbus, Ohio, where everyone in town knows the Buckeyes football schedule backwards and forwards.  Lack of exposure and marketing isn’t a problem in Ann Arbor or Lansing or Happy Valley.

Baltimore, only 40 miles from College Park, should be a proverbial “hotbed” for college football interest in our state, particularly as far as the Terps go, but there’s nothing in town connecting potential Terps fans with the actual product itself.

Television is the ultimate connector, of course.

And there’s just no connection in Baltimore when it comes to Maryland football on your TV screen.

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One of the most obvious “issues” facing Maryland and its “Baltimore problem” is the mere fact that College Park is situated comfortably alongside the Washington D.C. beltway.

Yes, it’s the state school.

But geography doesn’t lie.

College Park is a suburb of Washington D.C.

If, for instance, the University of Maryland was situated on the land that is currently occupied by UMBC, Maryland would be a “Baltimore school” and all of this argument would be moot.

And, to juxtapose the current situation, I can’t imagine the Washington Post and the four D.C. TV stations would cover Maryland sports the way they do now if UM was off Wilkens Avenue in Catonsville.

This is also where I should note – quickly – that Navy Football does far more marketing in Baltimore than Maryland football.  There are Navy billboards up in town, Navy radio ads on the air and Navy even purchases in-stadium signage at Oriole Park that you see both in person and during MASN TV broadcasts.  Navy Football tries to market to the Baltimore sports fan.  They really do.

Now, back to Maryland:  Part of Baltimore’s lack of interest in Maryland football isn’t necessarily Randy Edsall’s fault — after all, he’s not the one who decided the state school would be on the outskirts of Washington D.C. and not in the heart of Baltimore.

That said — Edsall and his football program do play a role in the marketing of the product in Charm City.  Perhaps this issue goes above the coach’s paygrade, but if Maryland really valued Baltimore and wanted to go overboard in their marketing efforts here, they would schedule one home game per-season at M&T Bank Stadium.

For all we know, the dirty little secret in College Park might be that Baltimore is more of a nuisance than a help.  They might completely object to playing one home-game per-season “up there”.  Edsall might say, “So, you actually want me to play five home games, a neutral site game, and six road games…”  As a coach, he’s only concerned about winning, and rightfully so, I might add.

That’s where someone above him has to say, “Yes, we know playing in Baltimore once a year presents a unique problem in that we’re potentially affecting your chance to win and lose games, but for the benefit of the football program and athletic department as a whole, it’s mandatory we schedule a game there every Fall.”  It doesn’t have to be Ohio State or Michigan every year, either.  Throw in Purdue or Minnesota or Illinois and give Baltimore an “A opponent” once every four or five years.  Having a Maryland football game in Baltimore should be an annual “ritual” that the sports community learns to embrace and celebrate.

It’s a problem that requires a head coach and his staff to truly “get it” and understand without hesitation that catering to Baltimore isn’t just something you do in recruiting…but it’s also mandatory you do it with the way you market your program and help increase its visibility every single season.

Randy Edsall has done a nice job himself of connecting with Baltimore.  He brought the team to Dunbar for an open practice and he’s occasionally been seen at various high schools in the area watching games.  They’ve recruited Baltimore kids at Maryland…and that, too, is an important connective step for Edsall and his staff.

But on a scale of 1-to-10, that’s about a “3″ in terms of making Baltimore as a whole feel warm and fuzzy about Maryland football.

Again, not speaking for anyone but my own show, I look at the fact that Randy Edsall hasn’t appeared on my show once this season and say, “No wonder we don’t get any calls about Maryland football…”.  How many other sports talk shows in town has Edsall appeared on this Fall to spread the word about his program and our state school?  My guess:  Very few.

By the way, that’s not necessarily Randy Edsall’s fault.  He’s a football coach.  He shouldn’t be concerned about appearing on radio shows in Baltimore.  Someone, though, in the Maryland athletic department should be looking at Baltimore as a market and making it his or her job to get Edsall on the air here and at the other sports-dominated radio programs in town.  And that person then says to Randy, “In a couple of weeks, we’re going to need you for an hour one Tuesday morning to do five or six phone interviews from your office to talk about the upcoming home game.”

Maryland’s athletic department does nothing at all to connect with the Baltimore sports fan when it comes to Terps football.

That, in and of itself, is one of the biggest obstacles and roadblocks that Maryland has created over the years with regard to Baltimore.  They’ve simply stopped caring.

Actually, they never STARTED caring about Baltimore.  Not enough to make a major impact, anyway.

And that’s why people like Steve sent me that e-mail on Saturday.

 

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Reports: Jonathan Graham to transfer from Penn State to Maryland

Posted on 01 September 2013 by WNST Staff

Multiple reports Saturday indicated the University of Maryland basketball team will add a “legacy” player of sorts, as Jonathan Graham (the son of Terrapins legend Ernie Graham) will transfer to College Park.

Graham has played two seasons at Penn State, averaging just 1.9 points and 2.7 rebounds in 13.6 minutes per game for the Nittany Lions. Graham had been a very solid player at Baltimore’s Calvert Hall College before that, averaging 18 points and 10 rebounds per game. There had been disappointment among Terps fans that the school had been more heavily involved in recruiting the 6’8″, 225 pound forward-who had attended many games at Comcast Center with his father. Ernie Graham was one of the great scorers in Maryland history (and also at Baltimore’s Dunbar High School), his jersey now hangs in the Comcast Center rafters.

The Washington Post reports Graham will seek a waiver from the NCAA to allow him to play immediately for Mark Turgeon’s team. The Post also reports Graham will be on scholarship this season, but it is not guaranteed he will remain on scholarship past this season. With four commitments starting in fall 2014, the Terps have their full allotment of scholarships used. That could change should G/F Dez Wells or F Jake Layman continue their development to the point where they become NBA Draft material.

Should Graham be allowed to play, he would join a frontcourt that includes sophomores Shaquille Cleare and Charles Mitchell, incoming junior transfer (Michigan) Evan Smotrycz and incoming freshman Damonte Dodd.

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Maryland’s 2016-17 Big Ten football schedules announced

Posted on 11 July 2013 by WNST Staff

CHICAGO, Ill. – The Big Ten announced on Thursday its football schedule for the 2016 and 2017 seasons. The 2016 season marks the beginning of a nine-game conference slate for the league’s 14 members and features Maryland’s first-ever matchup with Nebraska.

As part of the Big Ten’s schedule rotation, Maryland will host five conference games in 2016 and will host four in 2017.

Maryland’s third season in the Big Ten will open on Oct. 1, 2016 when Purdue visits College Park marking the Terps first meeting with the Boilermakers as a conference foe. After traveling to Penn State on Oct. 8, Maryland plays host to Minnesota on Oct. 15.

The Terps face their second division opponent the following weekend as Michigan State (Oct. 22) pays a visit to Capitol One Field at Byrd Stadium before consecutive road games at Indiana (Oct. 29) and at Michigan (Nov. 5).

After its trip to Ann Arbor, Maryland ends the regular season with two of its final three games at home. The stretch begins on Nov. 12 with a home contest against Ohio State followed by a trip to Nebraska on Nov. 19. The home finale is set for Nov. 26 against Rutgers.

The 2017 season begins with three of four games on the road. Maryland opens with back-to-back road contests at Minnesota on Sept. 30 and at Ohio State on Oct. 7.

Maryland’s conference home opener is set for Oct. 14 against Northwestern before traveling to Madison to face Wisconsin on Oct. 21.

The Terps final five regular-season games are all against divisional opponents beginning at home against Indiana onOct. 28. After a trip to Rutgers on Nov. 4, Maryland plays host to Michigan on Nov. 11 followed by a road game onNov. 18 at Michigan State.

The regular-season finale is scheduled for Nov. 25 at home against Penn State.

Now is the time to order your season tickets for this historic new era of Maryland Football.  Become a season ticket holder today to secure the best seats available and lock-in your price for two years including the inaugural season in the Big Ten Conference.

All season tickets for 2013 include the game with West Virginia at M&T Bank Stadium.  A variety of season ticket options are available and prices start as low as $159.  Family 4-Packs are also available for $600.  The five-month payment plan is a great option for fans to spread out the cost of tickets.

Fans can purchase season tickets online at UMTerps.com or by calling the ticket office at 800-462-TERP or 301-314-7070

The complete schedule and game times will be announced at a later date.

 

2016 Big Ten Schedule

Date     Opponent

10/1      Purdue

10/8      at Penn State

10/15    Minnesota

10/22    Michigan State

10/29    at Indiana

11/5      at Michigan

11/12    Ohio State

11/19    at Nebraska

11/26    Rutgers

 

2017 Big Ten Schedule

Date     Opponent

9/30      at Minnesota

10/7      at Ohio State

10/14    Northwestern

10/21    at Wisconsin

10/28    Indiana

11/4      at Rutgers

11/11    Michigan

11/18    at Michigan State

11/25    Penn State

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Your Monday Reality Check: Don’t attempt to rationalize NIT disappointment

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Your Monday Reality Check: Don’t attempt to rationalize NIT disappointment

Posted on 18 March 2013 by Glenn Clark

After a furious second half comeback fell just short in a 72-69 loss to then #3 Kentucky in Brooklyn in early November, I asked University of Maryland basketball coach Mark Turgeon about whether the experience was the next stop in a process of learning how to win for a young basketball team.

Turgeon didn’t mix words in his response, and in the process created a standard that he has since been judged by in just his second season at the helm in College Park.

“We’re gonna win, and we’re gonna win this year. We just didn’t win tonight. I can promise you that.”

He had the chance to slow down or perhaps say something more along the lines of coachspeak terms before wrapping up the answer and postgame press conference, but instead Turgeon looked right back at me and repeated the sentiment.

“We’re gonna win. We’re gonna win.”

Turegon has been known for his honesty, which at times has drawn the ire of Terrapins who believe he should do more to protect his players in the media even if he’s frustrated with them on or off the court behind closed doors. Others have found the coach’s willingness to avoid hyperbole and instead answer questions directly praiseworthy.

On this particular night at the Barclays Center, Turgeon probably didn’t need to be quite so honest. Unfortunately for him, the tone had been set and the success of his second season would be judged against the statement.

Perhaps Turgeon should have qualified his statement by saying something along the lines of “we’re gonna win…at least a couple of times against Duke.”

Maryland is headed back to the NIT for the fourth time in the last nine seasons, only three of which have ended in the NCAA Tournament. They’ll play Niagara Tuesday night in Turgeon’s first postseason appearance since his arrival from Texas A&M, in front of what will likely be a small and hardly inspired crowd at Comcast Center.

Some will attempt to rationalize Maryland’s postseason fate by saying things like “this is a team that came on late and could make a charge through the Tournament” or “perhaps the Terps will use their NCAA Tournament snub to play inspired basketball” or “this will be a good chance for a young team to prove how much progress they’ve made going into next season.”

The truth is that Maryland went just 3-3 after February 28, no progress at all from their 4-4 record from January 30 to February 28. They only appeared to have made some significant progress because they managed to score a second victory over Duke in the ACC Tournament, clearly benefitting from a favorable matchup (partially based on Mike Krzyzewski’s unwillingness to abandon man on man defense) and a hot night from sophomore G Dez Wells.

The Terps did manage to defeat a woeful Wake Forest team and hang with North Carolina until late in Greensboro as well, but neither was drastically different than what we saw from this Maryland team the rest of the season. The Terps beat bad teams more often than not (losses at Georgia Tech and Boston College withstanding) and lost a number of other games against better opponents by close margins thanks to missed opportunities.

There are a number of concerns related to Maryland basketball that remain unaddressed. Many of the questions are related to Turgeon’s in-game decision making, punctuated by the team’s performance coming out of timeouts. (If you’ll remember, Maryland had called a time out at the end of the loss to UNC just before Logan Aronhalt tossed up one of the wilder last second three point attempts you’ve seen. It was particularly troubling because the Terps weren’t quite in their last seconds at that point.)

Many of the questions are related to the uneven performance of Maryland players. Center Alex Len has lacked toughness regularly, a concern that a trip to the NIT won’t help for a player most likely NBA bound in a matter of weeks. Guards Dez Wells and Nick Faust have had flashes of brilliance (Wells more often than Faust), but neither has maintained consistency. The group of players that have attempted to man the point guard position have played up to a level south of adequate.

The best thing to come from a NIT appearance will be extra practice time for Turgeon, a phenomenon akin to a college football team reaching a low level bowl game somewhere in Idaho.

Turgeon did himself no favors with his early season proclamation. The Terps did technically “win”, but did so against one of the worst non-conference schedules in all of college basketball and minimally against a conference that featured fewer NCAA Tournament teams than the Mountain West Conference. The wins over Duke provided moments of joy, but meant little as far as gauging the overall state of the program in comparison to a combined 0-5 record against fellow NIT teams Virginia, Florida State and Kentucky.

It’s easy to say that a run through the NIT would be preferred to a first round exit at the hands of their MAAC opponent Tuesday night, but it’s important to not be fooled by any success. This team appears to be closer to a turnaround than they were a year ago, but they’re still quite a bit away with the fear of future Selection Sunday disappointment quite real.

Happy March Madness.

-G

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Maryland football agrees to home and home with FIU

Posted on 07 November 2012 by WNST Staff

Terps and Golden Panthers to meet in 2013 and 2016

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The University of Maryland and Florida International University have agreed to a two-year home-and-home football series.

 

FIU will travel to Maryland on Aug. 31, 2013 for the season opener inside Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium. Maryland will travel to Miami, Fla. on Sept. 10, 2016 for the second matchup with the Golden Panthers.

 

The two schools have played three times, with Maryland winning all three contests. The last matchup came in 2010, when the Terrapins defeated the Golden Panthers 42-28 in College Park.

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Maryland to hold basketball scrimmage Saturday

Posted on 16 October 2012 by WNST Staff

Men’s basketball team will hold open scrimmage Saturday, Oct. 20 at 1:30 p.m.

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The University of Maryland men’s basketball team will hold a scrimmage which is open to the public this Saturday, Oct. 20, at 1:30 p.m.

 

The scrimmage will last approximately 30 minutes. Preceding the football team’s game against NC State at 3:30, men’s basketball players will be at Terp Town at 2:45 to sign autographs.

 

Due to the football game, parking in the lots surrounding Comcast Center is limited to permit holders. The closest cash parking is Regents Drive Garage, which costs $15.

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Terps face West Virginia Saturday in Morgantown

Posted on 21 September 2012 by WNST Staff

COLLEGE PARK, MD. - Maryland will play its first game of the season against a ranked opponent on Saturday when it travels to face interstate rival West Virginia, which is ranked No. 8 in this week’s Associated Press poll. The Terps (2-1) and Mountaineers (2-0) have played 48 times in the all-time series which dates back to 1919, the most games Maryland has played against any non-conference opponent. West Virginia has had the upper hand as of late, winning six straight in the series including a 37-31 victory in College Park last season. Prior to that, Maryland had won four in a row.

First-and-10

• Despite surrendering just 223 yards of total offense to Connecticut last Saturday, the Terps suffered a hard-fought, 24-21 loss to the Huskies. After trailing 14-0 in the second quarter, Maryland battled back to get within three points when freshman wide receiver Stefon Diggs caught a 29-yard touchdown pass from freshman quarterback Perry Hills with 14:07 left in the fourth quarter, making it 17-14 Connecticut. The Huskies, however, answered with a 10-play, 76-yard touchdown drive to go up 24-14. Hills helped get the Terps back within striking distance on a 10-yard touchdown run with 4:39 remaining, but after the Maryland defense forced a three-and-out to get the ball back with 3:29 left, the offense was unable to tie or score the go-ahead points.

• Still, the Terps have shown improvement from week-to-week with a team that has already played 12 true freshmen, the ninth most in the Football Bowl Subdivision, and lists 14 total in its two-deep depth chart (excluding return men). Maryland played 12 true freshmen in the season opener against William & Mary, the most for a Maryland team in at least 15 years (see note page 3), and seven players made their first career starts in the season opener. In week two, Hills received ACC Rookie of the Week honors after going 11 for 21 for 190 yards, two touchdown passes and a touchdown run in a 36-27 win over Temple. Against Connecticut, freshman running back Wes Brown shined against what came in as the top-ranked rushing defense nationally. The Huskies had allowed just 77 rushing yards total through their first two games – and Brown nearly matched that on his own. He had 74 yards on 14 carries, a 5.3 average, including a 19-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. On the season, Brown has a team-high 124 rushing yards and is averaging 5.9 yards per carry.

• The defense has led the way for a young but talented Maryland team on its way to a 2-1 record through the first three games of the season. The Terps have been very tough against the run with an experienced front seven highlighted by senior defensive linemen Joe Vellano and A.J. Francis, and senior linebacker Demetrius Hartsfield. Those three have played a big role in holding opponents to an average of just 2.58 yards per rush, which ranks 14th nationally. It’s also been a disruptive defense – Maryland’s 2.67 sacks per game are tied for 27th in the FBS and its seven tackles for loss per game are tied for 32nd. The Terrapin defense ranks sixth nationally against the pass (124.3 yards per game) and 28th against the run (103 yards per game). Overall, the Terps are allowing just 227.3 yards per game, which ranks eighth nationally.

• Maryland has also had a knack for forcing timely turnovers in the first three games. In the closing moments of the 7-6 win over William & Mary in week one, cornerback Jeremiah Johnson forced a fumble on a sack that Hartsfield recovered to seal the game. In week two vs. Temple, the defense forced fumbles on the Owls’ first two possessions of the game and Hartsfield again helped seal the win by intercepting a tipped pass with 2:05 remaining to preserve the 36-27 victory. In week three against Connecticut, Darin Drakeford forced a fumble on the Huskies opening drive that Maryland recovered. The Terps have forced six total turnovers so far, which is tied for the second most in the ACC.


Quick Hitters

• Maryland’s defense has allowed just 682 total yards to opponents through three games (William & Mary – 229, Temple – 230, Connecticut – 223). That marks its best defensive performance in a three-game span since 2004, when it held The Citadel (137), West Virginia (156) and Eastern Michigan (275) to a total of 568.

• Maryland won its first two games despite committing more turnovers than its opponent in each contest. In the loss to Connecticut, though, the Terps turned it over twice and the Huskies only had one giveaway. All 10 of the Terrapins turnovers (four interceptions, six fumbles) have come from freshmen.

• The Terps have done a good job controlling the clock. In three games, Maryland has had the ball for an average of 30:30 to 29:30 for the opponent. That’s a major upgrade compared to 2011, when Maryland averaged just 25:16 a game to 34:44 for the opponent.

• Seven players made their first career starts in the season opener against William & Mary: quarterback Perry Hills, running back Albert Reid, safety Sean Davis, defensive back Jeremiah Johnson, linebacker Cole Farrand, nose tackle Darius Kilgoand offensive lineman Nick Klemm.

• In addition to the seven first-time starters, 14 players saw their first action against William & Mary. And of the 44 players that saw time against the Tribe, 25 of them were underclassmen.

• Maryland has 14 true freshmen listed on its two-deep (excluding return men), which is the fourth most in the FBS (Colorado – 16, Texas – 15, TCU – 15).

• The Terps are holding opponents to 2.58 yards per carry, which ranks 14th nationally. Of the opponents’ 120 rushing attempts this season, 81 have been for three yards or less (28 of 41 vs. William & Mary; 28 of 39 vs. Temple; 25 of 40 vs. Connecticut).

• Demetrius Hartsfield leads the team with 26 tackles and has had a hand in three turnovers, also a team high (one interception, two fumble recoveries).

• Head coach Randy Edsall handed out game balls for the win over Temple. Sal Conaboy got the game ball for offense,Demetrius Hartsfield for defense and A.J. Francis for special teams.

• Maryland was hit hard by injuries in the preseason. Thirteen players missed the season opener due to various injuries and ailments, and 14 were out against Temple. Seven of those were potential starters on offense and defense: defensive linemanAndre Monroe; defensive backs A.J. Hendy and Matt Robinson; linebacker Kenneth Tate; quarterback C.J. Brown; running back Brandon Ross; offensive lineman Josh Cary. Place-kicker Nick Ferrara also missed the first two three. Both Monroe and Brown are out for the season. Robinson and Cary both made their returns against Connecticut.

• Perry Hills became the first true freshman starter at quarterback for Maryland since Latrez Harrison in 1999. He also became the first freshman to start a season opener since redshirt freshman Calvin McCall on Sept. 2, 1999, in a 6-0 win over Temple.

• Maryland had 15 seniors on the 2011 roster, but just 12 of those players were listed on the two-deep at some point during the year. There are 17 seniors listed on the 2012 roster, and 12 are on the two-deep.

• Three Terps ended 2011 ranked among the top 12 in the ACC in tackles. Hartsfield was second at 12.0 per game and Franklin was sixth at 8.8. Vellano was 12th with 7.8 per contest.

• There are just two returning starters (Bennett Fulper and Justin Gilbert) on Maryland’s offensive line, but six players entered the season with starting experience. De’Onte Arnett, Josh Cary, Sal Conaboy and Peter White have also started on the O-line.

• Nine bowl teams from last year appear on Maryland’s 2012 schedule: Temple (Gildan New Mexico Bowl), West Virginia (Discover Orange Bowl), Wake Forest (Franklin American Mortgage Music City), Virginia (Chick-fil-A Bowl), NC State (Belk Bowl), Georgia Tech (Hyundai Sun Bowl), Clemson (Discover Orange Bowl), Florida State (Champs Sports Bowl) and UNC (AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl).

Maryland-West Virginia Series History

• Maryland and West Virginia have met a total of 48 times since the first meeting between the schools in 1919. The Mountaineers own a 25-21-2 lead in the all-time series. West Virginia has taken six straight from Maryland after the Terps had won the four meetings prior to that. The Terps defeated the Mountaineers 41-7 in the 2003 Toyota Gator Bowl in the only postseason meeting between the two schools.

• Last season, a comeback bid by Maryland fell short as West Virginia won 37-31 in College Park. Kevin Dorsey had nine catches for 79 yards and a touchdown, and Matt Furstenburg had seven catches for 70 yards. Mountaineer QB Geno Smith went 36 of 48 for 388 yards and a touchdown.

• Maryland has played West Virginia more than any other non-conference opponent, and the Terps have only faced six schools more than the Mountaineers.

• The Terps and Mountaineers met every season from 1980 to 2007. The teams took two years off (2008-09) in the series, but are scheduled to meet every year until at least 2017.
• 2013 – @ Maryland
• 2014 – @ Maryland
• 2015 – @ West Virginia
• 2016 – @ West Virginia
• 2017 – @ Maryland

• Maryland is 3-10 all-time against ranked West Virginia teams. The Terrapins last win over a ranked Mountaineer squad came in the 2003 Toyota Gator Bowl, when the 23rd-ranked Terps toppoled the 20th-ranked Mountaineers, 41-7.

• Maryland is 11-12-1 at home and 9-13-1 on the road in the series. The lone neutral site game was the 2003 Toyota Gator Bowl.

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Report: Freshman guard Cassell ineligible to play at Maryland

Posted on 12 September 2012 by WNST Staff

It’s looking more and more unlikely that freshman guard Sam Cassell Jr. will play for Mark Turgeon’s Terps this season.

According to a report from InsideMDsports.com, Cassell will not gain NCAA eligibility and may never suit up for the University of Maryland. The 6-foot-3 guard signed with the Terps in the spring, and many thought Cassell would be a factor for immediate playing time in the fall. He  attended Notre Dame Prep in Fitchburg, Mass. as a post-graduate student last year.

If Cassell chose to remain committed to Maryland, he could attend a junior college for two years to earn an associate degree before returning to Maryland. However, it appears the freshman guard is exploring the possibility of attending a school that accepts players under NCAA Proposition 48, which allows partial-qualifiers to still enroll at the school and begin playing in their second season.

The Baltimore native attended Towson Catholic and St. Frances Academy, but it remains unclear whether his eligibility issues stem from his time at either school.

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Maryland makes Wells transfer official

Posted on 07 September 2012 by WNST Staff

Former Xavier forward was the 2012 Sporting News A-10 Freshman of the Year

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Former Xavier forward Dezmine Wells has signed a financial-aid agreement and been admitted to the University of Maryland, men’s basketball coach Mark Turgeon announced Friday.

 

A native of Raleigh, N.C., Wells was named the Sporting News Atlantic 10 Freshman of the Year after averaging 9.8 points per game and 4.9 rebounds per game during the 2011-12 season. He will enroll in classes this fall and have three years of eligibility remaining.

 

“I have followed Dez for the past three years and I know he will be a good student-athlete and teammate,” said Turgeon. “[Assistant coach] Bino Ranson was very active in his recruitment at Xavier and has also built a strong relationship with Dez over the past several years. This is a new beginning and a fresh start for Dez at Maryland and were looking forward to him joining us on campus.

 

“As a player, he is an athletic and powerful wing who can score in a variety of ways. He is also an excellent individual and team defender. Dez has experience playing in the postseason, which will help show our young players what it takes to reach that level of success.”

 

Wells started 32 games for the Musketeers last season and shot 50.4 percent from the field, including a 37.7 percent from beyond the 3-point line. In the NCAA Tournament Wells helped Xavier advance to the Sweet Sixteen, with his best game coming in the second round against Notre Dame when he had 14 points and 11 rebounds.

 

- Terps -

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