COLLEGE PARK, MD. - The University of Maryland football team kicks off the 2013 season against Florida International Saturday at 12:30 p.m. inside Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium. The Terrapins, under the direction of third-year head coach Randy Edsall, are opening football season No. 121. Saturday’s game will be broadcasted live on Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic locally, as well as being broadcasted on the Terrapin Sports Radio Network.
LIVE Coverage on the Comcast SportsNet
• Saturday’s game will be broadcast on Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic locally at 12:30 p.m. Wes Dunham (pbp), Brian Stann (color) and Jenn Hildreth (sidelines) 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.
• Entering preseason camp, Maryland welcomed back 37 letterwinners from the 2012 season including 18 on offense and six starters. Sophomore wide receiver Stefon Diggs, a second-team All-ACC selection as a specialist last season, leads a talented receiving corp that includes returning starter Nigel King and junior-college transfer Deon Long. Diggs’ 848 receiving yards were the third-most by an ACC rookie all-time and his 1,896 all-purpose yards are the sixth-highest total among active players in the conference. Long posted impressive numbers at Iowa Western leading the NJCAA in receptions (100), recieving yards (1,625), and touchdowns (25) en route to first team All-American honors. Running backs Albert Reid and Brandon Ross return in the backfield. Ross led the Terps in rushing with 390 yards (4.6 avg.) last season and topped 100 yards in two of the last three games including a career-best 141-yard performance at North Carolina to close the season.
• On the other side of the ball, the Terps will be tasked with replacing six starters on defense from a unit that ranked in the top-25 nationally under defensive coordinator Brian Stewart’s tutelage, but returns several playmakers particularly in the secondary. Senior defensive back Dexter McDougle will pair with Jeremiah Johnson to form an experienced duo. McDougle and Johnson have 36 starts combined. They will be joined by safety Anthony Nixon, who played in all 12 games last season and started five. McDougle led the team in solo tackles (58), tied for third in pass breakups (5) and tallied three tackles for a loss. Meanwhile, Johnson led the squad with eight pass breakups, while Nixon finsihed with 41 tackles, three pass breakips and an interception. The Terps will also welcome back linebackers Cole Farrand and L.A. Goree along with defensive lineman Darius Kilgo. Farrand tied for the team lead with 78 tackles and recorded 6.0 TFL. After appearing in five of the first nine games, Goree, a honorable mention freshman All-American in 2011, started the final three contests and tied or led the team in tackles each game, including a career-high 14 against North Carolina in the season finale. Kilgo started 11 of 12 games and finished with 40 tackles, 5.0 TFL and 1.5 sacks.
• After tearing his ACL in fall camp prior to the start of the 2012 season, quarterback C.J. Brown is back under center for the Terps. Brown had a breakout season in 2011, setting a Maryland single-season rushing yards record (574) for a quarterback and throwing for 842 yards in 10 games (five starts). Brown holds three of the top 10 rushing performances by a quarterback in Maryland history and set the record with 162 yards against Clemson (10/15/11). Brown spent last season learning offensive coordinator Mike Locksley’s offensive system and his ability to run and make plays with his arm should suit Locksley’s pro-style/spread offense well.
• After turning to several unproven players last season, the Terps return all of their special teams performers for 2013. Sophomore Brad Craddock will handle the place-kicking amd kickoff duties, and Nathan Renfro will handle the punting duties. Stefon Diggs was a constant threat in the return game last season, returning two kickoffs for touchdowns and averaging 10 yards per punt return.
• Brandon Ross peaked in the final third of the season last year eclipsing 100 yards rushing in two of the Terps’ final three games. Against Clemson on Nov. 10, Ross hit 100 yards on 16 carries marking just the 14th time in school history that a freshman rushed for 100 yards in a game. Two weeks later, Ross ran for 141 yards at North Carolina, including a season-long 71-yard run. The 141-yard performance was the most rushing yards by a Maryland running back since Da’Rel Scott rushed for 200 yards against East Carolina in the 2010 Military Bowl (12/29/10).
• The Maryland defense will have to replace six starters from a unit that finished the season ranked 21st nationally and third in the ACC. It returns five starters along with several other players with starting experience. Though they aren’t listed as returning starters, LB Matt Robinson, LB Alex Twine, LB L.A. Goree, LB Bradley Johnson, DB Sean Davis, DB Isaac Goins, DB A.J. Hendy, DL Andre Monroe, DL Keith Bowers and LB Marcus Whitfield have all started in their career.
• The Terps should benefit from consistentcy in the coaching staff this fall. With offensive coordinator Mike Locksley, defensive coordinator Brian Stewart and special teams coordinator Andre Powell, Maryland is one of just 18 FBS programs to retain its entire coaching staff from last season.
• Maryland’s two-deep includes 32 underclassmen (freshmen, redshirt freshmen and sophomores, and sophomores) and features 11 sophomore starters.
•Seven of the top 13 tacklers from 2012 are back this season, including linebacker Cole Farrand, who had 78 stops tying for the team lead, and defensive back Dexter McDougle, who had a team-high 58 solo tackles.
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 defensive back Tony Perry (offense), defensive lineman Chandler Burkett (defense), and defensive back Rashid Contee (special teams).
Flag Bearers: Offensive lineman De’Onte Arnett will carry the American Flag, and defensive back Dexter McDougle 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 FIU game are running back Albert Reid (offense), linebacker L.A. Goree (defense), and defensive back Jeremiah Johnson (special teams).
Maryland-Florida International Series History
• The Terrapins and Panthers have met three times previously in school history, with the Terps emerging victorious in all three matchups. Maryland won the first-ever game between the two teams in 2006, 14-10 in College Park. In 2007, Maryland won the return meeting in Miami, 26-10. The last meeting came in College Park on Sept. 25, 2010, a 42-28 Maryland win.
Closed captioning of the game announcements will be available through an internet website that will be available on game day. The website can be accessed via any smart phone device or tablet device. A tablet device may be made available on a first come first serve basis for those wishing to utilize one during the game.
To receive the captioning website information contact 301-314-7126 in advance or upon arrival request the information at any Fan Assistance location. To check out a tablet device to be used for captioning proceed to the Stroller Check-Out located on the South side of Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium, adjacent to Gate H.