Aug. 30, 2004
COLLEGE PARK, Md. -
Terps/NIU Game Notes (PDF Format)
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The University of Maryland football team opens its 112th season of college football and year four of the Ralph Friedgen era as it takes on Mid-American Conference foe Northern Illinois on Saturday, September 4, at Byrd Stadium. Kickoff for the game is set for 6:00 p.m. EDT and the game will be broadcast by the Terrapin Radio Network (radio pregame starts at 4:30 p.m.).
The Terrapins open a season at home for the first time since 2001, the last time the team won its first game of the season. Maryland opens the season for the second straight year against the Huskies, a team which upset the 15th-ranked Terps a year ago in DeKalb, Ill.
Last season's loss to NIU was not indicative of the season the Terps would have as for the second consecutive season, Maryland closed its campaign winning 10 of its last 11 games. Since 2001, the Terps are 31-8 with an Atlantic Coast Conference championship, two lopsided bowl wins and three Top 20 finishes in the final rankings.
Maryland is 66-43-2 (.604) all-time in season openers. The Terps are 52-26-1 (.677) in openers at home, have won their last three season openers at home (1998, 2000 and 2001) and have won six straight home openers (i.e. first game of a season at home, regardless of whether it was the first game of the season).
The Terrapins enter the season ranked No. 22 in the preseason Associated Press poll and 20th in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches' poll for week one. Northern Illinois enters the season unranked but receiving votes in both polls. It is the first time the school has received votes in the preseason of one of Division I-A's major polls since 1990.
The top 25 ranking marks the third time in as many seasons that Maryland has entered a campaign listed among the nation's top teams. More importantly, Maryland has finished its three seasons under Friedgen no worse than 20th nationally.
The season opener is the first of three non-conference games to start the 2004 season, the first time since 2000 the Terps have opened a campaign without playing an ACC opponent in their first three contests.
Series Notes -- Terps vs. Huskies
This year's game marks the third meeting between the Terrapins and Huskies, with the series currently split at 1-1. The two teams first met in 1996, a 30-6 Maryland win at Byrd Stadium before squaring off in last year's 20-13 overtime win for Northern Illinois in DeKalb.
Including this year, all three meetings between the two schools have been season openers.
Last season's game was a heartbreaking start to the 2003 season for Maryland, but one the team ultimately overcame. In the defeat, the Terrapins opened the game with an impressive scoring march capped by a Josh Allen one-yard run, but struggled offensively for much of the rest of the game. The team got two second-half Nick Novak field goals to take a 13-10 fourth-quarter lead, but ultimately lost in overtime when Josh Haldi connected on a 20-yard pass to Dan Sheldon, and a controversial no-call on the ensuing Maryland possession turned into an NIU interception to seal the game's fate.
Though the result was not in their favor, the Terps played well defensively against the Huskies last season, holding Michael Turner to 90 yards on 30 carries while sacking the quarterback five times. Also notable in the Terrapin loss was the absence of TB Bruce Perry, OG Lamar Bryant and WR Steve Suter to injury, all of whom were listed as offensive starters before getting hurt.
The 1996 meeting between Maryland and NIU was also a tight battle, though the final score was not indicative. Northern Illinois actually carried a 6-3 lead into the half before the Terps came back with 12 unanswered points in the third quarter and 15 in the fourth en route to the eventual 24-point win.
In that contest, the Terrapins averaged 6.1 yards per carry, a feat which was their best in 12 years at the time. By comparison, Maryland has had at least one game in each of Ralph Friedgen's three seasons as a head coach where it averaged 6.1 yards or better in a game. The Terps did so twice in 2003, most recently posting a 7.5-yard team average against Wake Forest on Nov. 29, 2003.
Maryland has a 6-3 record against current Mid-American Conference schools and has won four of its last five against MAC opposition.
In Ralph Friedgen's two-plus seasons, Maryland is 27-0 when leading at halftime. With the win over the Wolfpack, he also moved to 3-7 all-time in games when his team has gone into the half trailing, with all three wins coming against NC State.
As of August 27, Maryland's season ticket total was up to a school record 30,881. Season ticket sales have increased 80% since 2000.
Friedgen's ACCeptional Start
Ralph Friedgen has opened his career as a head coach by setting one coaching record after another and as his fourth season in College Park gets under way, he has once again placed his name in several record books for coaching wins.
In his three years at Maryland, Friedgen has -- season-by-season -- established himself as one of the top coaches in ACC history. His first season featured an ACC championship and 10 wins, his second had him at the top of the record books for second-year mentors with a 21-5 record, and his third year now complete, he sits atop the record books of third-year ACC coaches with a 31-8 record. His 31 wins are five more than the list's number-two coaches, Lou Holtz (NC State, 1972-74) and Danny Ford (Clemson, 1979-81).
With 31 wins, Friedgen ranks seventh on the NCAA's all-time list for third-year head coaches. Along with Miami's Larry Coker (2nd), he is one of two active coaches on the list that features legendary names like Walter Camp (1st), Barry Switzer (4th) and John Robinson (6th).
Without a single game of his fourth year under his belt, Friedgen already ranks seventh on the ACC list of fourth-year head coaches. With a win against Northern Illinois, he will move into a tie for fifth with UNC's Dick Crum (32-12 from 1978-81) and Clemson's Ken Hatfield (32-13-1 from 1990-93).
Friedgen stands five wins from leading all fourth-year ACC coaches in wins. Clemson's Danny Ford currently sits atop the list with a 35-10-1 record from 1979-82.
A Wealth of Experience
The coaching experience on the Terrapin staff does not end with Coach Friedgen and his coordinators. The Maryland staff, overall, possesses a combined total of 197 years of full-time experience at either the collegiate or pro levels.
That total includes four coaches (excluding Friedgen, Taaffe and Blackney) who have been at it for 18 years or more, and the 197 years means an average of almost 20 years of experience per coach on the 2004 staff.
Ralph Friedgen is not the only member of the Terrapin coaching staff with previous ties to College Park, though this is his fourth stint at Maryland (player from 1965-68; graduate assistant from 1969-72; offensive coordinator/offensive line coach from 1982-86 and the present stint).
Defensive line coach Dave Sollazzo was a graduate assistant for the Terrapins in 1984 and defensive line coach in `86-87.
Sollazzo is also one of several coaches with a connection to another school -- The Citadel. Sollazzo played for (1974-76) and helped coach (1989-98) the Bulldogs, while Friedgen coached there from 1973-79. Charlie Taaffe was a head coach there from 1987-96 and outside linebackers coach Al Seamonson served there from 1987-99.
Friedgen was actually Sollazzo's position coach at The Citadel. In addition, the head coach at the college at the time was former Terp mentor and current Army coach Bobby Ross (Bulldog head coach from 1973-77; Terps from `82-86).
Raising the Bar
With its win over NC State, Maryland has 31 victories over its last three-plus seasons -- all since Ralph Friedgen took over in 2001. That three-year win total is the best in school history. Maryland will go for its 32nd win in this year's season opener against Northern Illinois.
Prior to 2003, Maryland's best three-year win total was 28 (accomplished three times). With seven wins this season, the team will surpass the best four-year total in school history, 37 wins (1975-78).
Friedgen's tenure has thus far produced no season with less than 10 wins. In the previous 110 years of football, Maryland had never put together three straight nine-win seasons.
Since 1892, Maryland has had seven 10-win seasons, three of which have come in the last three years.
Balance = Success
Because of his success at Georgia Tech with players like George Godsey and Joe Hamilton, it was assumed that Friedgen's offensive success came through the air. What three years at Maryland has shown is that the key to the offense run by he and coordinator Charlie Taaffe is based on one premise -- balance.
In three years on the job, Taaffe's offense has posted almost identical numbers in the rushing and passing departments. Since 2001, Maryland has averaged 202.6 yards rushing and 212.4 yards passing.
In 2001 and 2002, the Terps averaged more yards on the ground than through the sky, but with an experienced quarterback in 2003 (Scott McBrien), Maryland posted its largest discrepancy in three years (191.3 yards per game rushing vs. 230.4 passing).
Song Remains the Same
Maryland's offense has seen a number of different faces carry the load at tailback in the last three years, from Bruce Perry to Chris Downs to Josh Allen to Sammy Maldonado. The one thing that has remained a constant, however, has been production.
Last season, Maryland averaged 191.3 yards per game using a combination primarily consisting of Allen, Perry and Maldonado. The trio did so with an offensive line that was banged up for the first half of the season and still managed to produce the second-best rushing average in the ACC.
In three years, the Terrapins have finished no worse than 28th nationally in rushing offense and have finished in the nation's top 25 twice, most notably ranking 11th in 2001 with an average of 220.7 yards per game.
Churning It Out
Historically, Maryland has had a reputation for producing some top-notch quarterbacks. Names like Esiason, Scarbath, O'Donnell and Reich have done nothing to discourage that. In recent years, however, the schools reputation of producing QBs is rivaled only by its production at tailback.
From 2001-2003, Maryland averaged no worse than 191.3 yards per game on the ground and had a three-year average of 202.5 yards per outing and a per-carry average of 4.6 yards.
In the 16 years between 1985 and 2000, the Terrapins averaged better than 191 yards per game on the ground just once (1999, 231.4), a season that saw the team's rushing prowess offset by a 143.6 per game passing average that ranked 99th nationally.
Following the departure of LaMont Jordan in 2000, the big question was "who would carry the load?" The answer has come in waves -- Bruce Perry, Marc Riley, Chris Downs, and now Josh Allen and Sammy Maldonado.
Now in his third year, Allen has rushed for 1,364 yards and 16 TDs. An eight-game starter in 2003, his 257 yards against Virginia marked the 11th-best day in ACC history and seventh-best in Division I-A last season. He currently ranks 18th on the Terp career yardage list and needs just two touchdowns to move into the school's all-time top 10 in that category.
Maldonado was a bit of surprise in 2003 and his season ended with a disappointing injury. Prior to the injury, however, "the Bull" was averaging a team-best 6.0 yards per carry using a bruising style that earned him his nickname from teammates.
Defense Pulls Rank
When he was hired to come to Maryland, the talk about the mark Ralph Friedgen would make in College Park was all about offense. And though the offense put together by Friedgen and coordinator Charlie Taaffe has consistently been among the nation's best, what has been unquestionably the team's most consistent force in three years has been its defense.
Defensive coordinator Gary Blackney's defense has been a unit charactarized by stopping the run and making teams score by moving the ball through the air. With a three-year scoring average of 16.9 points allowed per game, that feat has obviously been a tall order for Terrapin foes.
Maryland's ranking in scoring defense the last three years has gotten progressively better with each season, as the Terps ranked 18th in 2001, seventh in 2002 and sixth a year ago.
In each of the last three seasons' final defensive rankings, Maryland has had just one team -- Georgia -- finish higher in scoring defense.
Since 2001, 27 of Maryland's 39 opponents (69%) have been held to 20 points or less.
Maryland has yet to see a year under his watch where opponents average more than 20 points per game.
The last two seasons, Maryland has held its opposition scoreless in 55 quarters. In 2002, the team kept its opponents from scoring in 30 quarters, second-most in Division I-A (behind K-State).
Maryland finished 2003 ranked 15th nationally in total defense, allowing an average of just 308.4 yards per game. It is one of four categories the team led the Atlantic Coast Conference in from a defensive standpoint (scoring defense, pass efficiency defense and pass defense).
Since 2001, Maryland has held its opposition below 100 yards rushing nine times. In addition, the team has held six opponents to 100 yards or less passing in that time, including four teams in 2003.
Living Up To Their Name
After stumbling out of the blocks in their first year, Maryland's special teams have been nothing short of, well, special the last two years under coordinator Ray Rychleski.
In placekicker Nick Novak, punter Adam Podlesh and return man Steve Suter, the Terrapins have the ACC's first team all-conference kicker the last two years, its second-team punter and the first Terp freshman in history to make All-ACC and a specialist who has been first team all-league the last two years.
The Terps have drawn national attention for their unit in 2004 as they have been ranked in the preseason as one of the best units in the nation by Collegefootballnews.com (1st), Lindy's (1st), ESPN (3rd) and Phil Steele (3rd).
In two of the last three years, Maryland has been faced with opening its season with a quarterback in his first year in the offensive system. While this year is different in the sense that Joel Statham and the team's other quarterbacks have all come up in the Friedgen offense, this year's starter will face a new set of challenges as the least experienced the Terps have put on the field in recent years.
Maryland's group of five quarterbacks have thrown 25 career passes between them at the collegiate level. All 25 attempts were by Statham last year, a season which saw him play sparingly in five games and significantly in one other (some of the second quarter and all the second half at Georgia Tech).
The Terrapins have no players at the position older than a sophomore. The group includes two sophomores (Statham, Hollenbach), two redshirt freshmen (Mitch, Moyseenko) and one true freshman (Steffy).
This year's starter will be the least experienced to take the field in terms of passes thrown at either the college or junior college level since Latrez Harrison started as a freshman against Florida State in 1999.
After two years as the ACC's first-team specialist and one of Maryland's top playmakers, Steve Suter is no longer flying under anybody's radar. He is more likely to be flying down the sideline.
Now in his final year of eligibility at Maryland, Suter does it all for the Terps. A starting wideout who returns punts and kicks, Suter has also been involved in the running game and is one of the team's few receivers who can play at any spot (X, Z or slot).
Entering his third season as a regular, Suter has averaged 15.4 yards per touch whether it be rushing, receiving or in the returns game.
In 2002, Suter tied the NCAA record for punt returns for a touchdown in a season (4). He returned two punts last season for scores, leaving him just two shy of tying the current NCAA career record of eight (Wes Walker, Texas Tech, 2000-03).
Suter's six returns for a TD are a Maryland record.
With 83 more punt return yards, Suter will become the ACC's all-time leader in yardage, surpassing the mark of NC State's Ledel George (1,191, 1990-93). He currently stands third and needs 28 yards to pass Georgia Tech's Kelley Rhino and move into second place.
In last year's regular-season game against West Virginia, Suter became Maryland's all-time leader in punt return yardage with 922. He enters the 2004 season with 1,108.
The question surrounding the 2004 Terrapins in the preseason has been virtually all about the quarterback position. It was only a year ago, however, that the same "buzz" was surrounding "who would replace E.J. Henderson" at middle linebacker. Thanks to the play of D'Qwell Jackson, those questions are as good as forgotten.
In his first year, Jackson led the team in tackles with 136, one shy of the record for tackles by a sophomore at Maryland. His 10.5 tackles per game average ranked him seventh in the ACC and tops among sophomores.
Maybe the fiercest competitor on the Terp roster, Jackson led the Terrapins in tackles in eight of 13 games last year. He also had eight games with double-digit tackles (nine career).
In his ESPN.com column this year, Kirk Herbstreit listed Jackson as the number one player in the ACC he would pay to watch. Said Herbstreit: "Jackson's emotion and passion are awesome to watch. He stepped in for the departed E.J. Henderson last year and the Maryland defense did not miss a beat thanks to Jackson's tenacity and the love for the game he displays on every snap. He makes it easier to appreciate all the great players on the defensive side of the ball in the ACC."
Youth is Served
With 22 seniors (12 of whom were starters), last year's Maryland squad was the most experienced in the last four years. One year later, the 2004 edition of the Terps has just three less seniors but it is easily the least experienced in that time.
This year's team has the largest group of true freshmen in recent memory (30). All told, there are 38 Terrapins on this year's roster with four years or more of eligibility remaining at the beginning of the season.
Leading up to the team's first game, a total of 19 players on the offensive and defensive two-deep are sophomore or younger.
6 The Hard Way
If a team wants to attack Maryland through the air, its best option is not on CB Domonique Foxworth's side of the field. The most experienced member of the Terrapin defense, Foxworth has started every game the last two years and earned All-ACC recogntion each year he has been a full-time starter.
Foxworth is the anchor of a defensive backfield that lost three players (Curome Cox, Dennard Wilson and Madieu Williams) who earned some form of postseason recognition from the league last season. A first-teamer in 2002, he was second team last year after tying for fourth in the league with three interceptions.
Coming into 2004, Foxworth has posted 23 pass breakups and eight interceptions in his career. His 1.64 passes defensed per game in 2002 were 15th-best in the NCAA.
Currently 20th on the Terp career charts, Foxworth can move into a tie for seventh with two more interceptions.
Team Speed Improving
It has been documented that this year's team is the youngest of the Friedgen Era. Notably, it may also be the most athletic.
The Terrapins had 17 players run in the 4.5-or-better range in the 40-yard dash in spring testing (note that all but four true freshmen did not participate).
Six of the nine wide receivers who tested in the spring ran 4.51 or better, two tailbacks ran under a 4.5 (Allen and Merrills) and three defensive backs ran a 4.4 or better (Custis, McPhearson, Wilson).
Two notable times -- CB Gerrick McPhearson ran a team-best 4.29; P Adam Podlesh ran the best time ever for a punter at Maryland with a 4.46.
It seems like ages since placekicker Nick Novak hit a pair of memorable kicks at Georgia Tech that got the ball rolling for him and the Terrapins in 2001. Now a senior, Novak has gone from the focal point of a position of concern on the Terp roster to one of the premier players at his position in the country.
Starting with his game-tying kick at Georgia Tech in `01, Novak has made 60 of his last 72 field goal attempts (83%), with five of the 11 misses coming from 50 yards or further (and one being a block).
A semifinalist the Lou Groza Award the last two years, Novak is 100 points from breaking the mark of current NCAA record holder for scoring, Houston's Roman Anderson (423, 1988-91).
With his game-winning 43-yard field goal in last year's NC State game, Novak became the all-time leading scorer in Maryland history, surpassing the 308 points of Jess Atkinson (1981-84).
Novak is currently second in ACC history with 324 points and needs just three to break the mark of FSU's Scott Bentley (326).
A first team All-ACC pick in 2002 and 2003, Novak was sixth in the NCAA and first in the ACC with an average of 1.85 field goals per game last year.
Novak has hit the only three game-winning attempts of career, beating Georgia Tech in 2001 and NC State in 2002 and `03.
The Charlottesville, Va., native has made 54 percent (7-of-13) of his attempts for his career from 50 yards or further.
Off On The Right Foot
Sophomore Adam Podlesh had a tall order a year ago in filling the shoes of Maryland's all-time leading punter, Brooks Barnard. His performance, however, was more like that of a senior on his way to school records than it was of a first-year performer.
Podlesh averaged 42.3 yards per punt a season ago, third-best in the ACC. It was his net punting and, more specifically, his ability to pin an opponent that had him finish the season as a Ray Guy Award semifinalist.
On 53 punts last year, Podlesh dropped 42 percent (22) inside the opponents' 20-yard line.
The team's 37.9 net average ranked 27th nationally last year.
His 42.3-yard average in 2003 was the fifth-best in school history and best ever by a freshman.
In being named a second team All-ACC selection at punter, Podlesh became the first freshman in school history to be recognized by the league.
Maryland's strength numbers over the course of the last four years have been off the charts. This season, 43 players earned "Iron Terp" status, an honor that is based on a player's strength index (determined by a strength/weight formula).
Due to the team's youth, the strength numbers have fallen slightly compared to last year, but the averages are still staggering nonetheless. The team's average bench press is 341.9; its average squat 514.2; and its average power clean is 296.3 as determined in preseason testing.
Not only were new individual records set, but the team as a whole improved dramatically, as 72 percent of the players on this year's team elevated their personal bests in strength index -- which encompasses all of the tests into one number -- from the year previous.
The player who set the most records at his position this year was tight end Vernon Davis. The young H-back posted records for strength index (736), bench (425 pounds), power clean (330 pounds) and vertical jump (38 inches) He also posted a 4.5 time in the 40-yard dash.
For the secon-straight season, FS Ray Custis led the team in overall strength index, posting a 809, the best ever by a Maryland defensive back.
There are no players or coaches from either current roster with ties to the other school, however, there is one notable tie between the two schools.
Current Huskie defensive interior line coach Levern Belin was a defensive tackles coach at Maryland in 1999 and 2000.
Former Maryland assistant coach and current ESPN analyst Lee Corso was a head coach at Northern Illinois in 1984.
Terps Among Nation's Elite
Over the course of the past two-plus years, the Maryland football program has been among the best in the nation. The Terrapins are 31-8 in that span with a 19-1 record at home.
Maryland was one of just five BCS programs to win at least 10 games from 2001-2003. The four others are Miami (Fla.), Oklahoma, Texas and Washington State.
The Terrapins are joined by just four other schools since 2001 to finish each of those three seasons ranked in the nation's top 20 in both major polls while also residing in the top 25 of both preseason polls for 2004 (Miami (Fla.), Oklahoma and Texas and Michigan are the others).
Scouting The Huskies
Northern Illinois is coming off of the third 10-win season in school history after opening the 2003 season with seven consecutive wins. The Huskies finished last year 10-2 with wins over the Terps, Alabama and Iowa State in the mix.
The Huskies -- who return 16 starters from last year's team -- were picked by their conference's sports writers in the preseason to finish second in the Mid-American Conference's West Division in 2004.
If there was an achilles heel for NIU down the stretch, it was its pass defense. In the team's two losses, it gave up an average of 369.5 yards through the air. On the season, it finished 75th nationally in pass defense, allowing an average of 230.5 yards per game.
Despite posting a record that tied for the fifth-best in Division I-A football last year, NIU failed to make a bowl game largely because of its play down the stretch. After starting 7-0, the Huskies dropped two of their final five games in the MAC, missing the conference title game and, therefore, one of the league's two bowl bids.
Offensively, Northern Illinois returns QB Josh Haldi, a 12-game starter in 2003. Haldi was 199-of-336 for 2,544 yards, 25 TDs and just nine interceptions a year ago. Notably, he will be without the team's top rusher from the last two years, Michael Turner, a player who ran for 1,915 yards in 2002 and 1,648 a year ago.
Brian Atkinson led the Huskies in tackles (108) a year ago and returns in 2003 for his senior season. The Chicago native was a first team All-MAC pick last year and a preseason honorable mention All-American by Street & Smith's after recording 13 TFLs, six sacks and three interceptions in `03.
NIU's Joe Novak
Joe Novak is in his ninth season as head coach at Northern Illinois, a school he has helped take from the depths to the upper echelon of the Mid-American Conference.
The NIU job is Novak's only stint as a head coach, the culmination of a career that has now seen 30 seasons. Novak is 38-52 in his eight previous years with the Huskies and has seen an improvement in his team's wins and losses every season since 1997.
Last year, Novak was named AFCA Region 3 Coach of the year after having been named MAC Coach of the Year the year previous.
The Huskies have gone from winless and last in the league in `97 to a 18-6 mark the last two seasons.
A 1967 Miami (Ohio) grad, Novak got his start in coaching at his alma mater before moving on to Illinois (Defensive Line;1977-79), NIU (Defensive Coordinator/LBs; 1980-83) and Indiana (Defensive Coordinator; 1984-95).
Novak, a native of Mentor, Ohio, coached at the prep level in his home state for the six years prior to being hired at Miami, where he served as the Redhawks defensive coordinator from 1974-76.
Protecting the House
The Terrapins are 19-1 at Byrd Stadium under Ralph Friedgen and have won their last 11 straight at home. This year's Oct. 30 opponent, Florida State, is the only team to have won in College Park in the last three years.
With Maryland's win over Virginia on Nov. 13, the Terps finished the 2003 season with a perfect 6-0 record at home, marking the second time in Ralph Friedgen's three-year tenure that the team has finished its home slate unblemished.
In 111 seasons of football, Maryland has finished undefeated at home 18 times. Just seven of those occasions, however, have come since 1950 (when Byrd Stadium opened) and just twice has it happened since 1975 (`76 and 2001).
The Terrapins' 6-0 mark was a tie for the second-best record at home in school history. The 1976 team was also 6-0, only to be trumped by the 2001 team which won all of its games on a seven-game home slate.
More on Byrd Stadium
Now in its 55th year of operation, Byrd Stadium continues to serve as the home of the Terps. Opened on Sept. 30, 1950, and constructed for a sum of $1 million, Byrd was named after Dr. H.C. "Curley" Byrd, a multi-sport star at Maryland who later became the school's head football coach and ultimately its president.
Heading into 2004, the Terrapins are 175-100-1 within the friendly confines of Byrd.
With temporary bleachers installed again this season, Byrd Stadium can hold up to 51,500.
In three seasons under Ralph Friedgen, the Terrapins are 19-1 in games played at Byrd Stadium including a 7-0 season in 2001 and a 6-0 campaign in 2003.
A Class Act
The success of the Maryland football team has not stopped on the playing field in recent years, as the team has improved its academic standing under Ralph Friedgen's watch.
All 19 members of this year's senior class are on schedule to earn their degrees on time.
Since Friedgen joined the Terps in 2001, 58 of 66 football players who have exhausted their eligibilty have graduated, including 30 in fewer than five years.
Two players on this year's team -- DE Kevin Eli and WR Steve Suter -- have already earned their degrees. One other, CB Domonique Foxworth, needs just one class to complete his requirements in three-and-a-half years.
Suter was one of the team's top scholar-athletes, earning a 4.0 grade point average in 2003-04.
From the membership has its benefits file: when on the road, Friedgen lets players line up to eat by grade point average. The Terps must be hungry -- 11 players earned a 3.5 GPA or better for the entire 2003-04 academic year.
It's Not How You Start...
The 2003 Terrapins started 0-2 but finished with one of the best records in the ACC and, as it turned out, a league milestone.
By finishing 10-2, Maryland became the first team in league history to start 0-2 and finish a season with 10 wins.
On only seven other occasions had a team that started 0-2 won eight or more games and three of those times, that team happened to be the Terps (1974, 1982 and 1984).
In an effort to restore some tradition on gameday in College Park, the football staff created Terp Alley in 2001, a tradition that has become a part of the gameday experience outside Byrd Stadium.
For every football home game, the entire football team makes its first appearance of the day at "Terp Alley." The team is dropped off at the circle at the top of Field House Drive (between the football press box and Ludwig Field) approximately two hours before kickoff and is led past fans gathered along the street to the football complex by the Maryland band and cheerleaders.
Individual game tickets for Terp home games may be purchased locally at any Ticketmaster outlet or by visiting the Maryland ticket office at Comcast Center. Tickets may also be purchased online at www.ticketmaster.com.
For additional info or to order by phone, call (800) 462-TERP.
Season Ticket Sales Climbing
In the last three years, season ticket sales for Maryland football games have have been moving higher and higher.
Nearly a week before the season opener, the athletics department has sold a school-record total of more than 30,000 season tickets.
As of August 27, the total sold was 30,881, an improvement of over 13,000 tickets from Ralph Friedgen's first season in College Park and almost 16,000 more sold than in 1999.