Sept. 20, 2004
COLLEGE PARK, Md. -
Md.-Duke Game Notes (PDF Format)
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The University of Maryland football team hits the road for the second time in as many weeks, this time looking to get back in the win column as it opens its Atlantic Coast Conference slate with a matchup at Duke University. Kickoff from Wallace Wade Stadium in Durham, N.C., is set for 12:08 p.m. EDT with the game being televised by JP Sports and broadcast by the Terrapin Radio Network (radio pregame starts at 11:30 p.m.). This week's game can also be heard on XM Satellite radio channel 181.
The Terrapins fell for the first time this season last weekend, dropping a gut-wrenching 19-16 overtime game at No. 7/8 West Virginia. The Terps overcame five turnovers and a 7-3 halftime deficit, but could not close out the Mountaineers in front of a sold-out crowd at Mountaineer Field.
Duke has gotten off to a rough start in its first full season under head coach Ted Roof, falling short in all three of its games this season. The Blue Devils' best shot at posting a win was two weeks ago when it led Connecticut late before giving up 16 fourth quarter points in a 22-20 road loss. Last weekend, Duke lost 41-17 in its first ACC action of the season and Virginia Tech's first-ever game in the league.
This weekend's game in Durham is the home opener for Duke after starting its season with three straight road games.
Last weekend's overtime road loss to No. 7 West Virginia did not hurt the Terrapins too much from a rankings standpoint as the Terps held to the No. 23 spot in both the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today polls.
This weekend's contest preceeds the first of two bye weeks in 2004 for the Terps. Maryland's next game will be an October 9th home game against Georgia Tech while its other bye of this season comes between the Virginia and Virginia Tech games in November.
Series Notes -- Terps & Blue Devils
Saturday's game marks the 48th meeting between the Terrapins and Blue Devils. The series began in 1932 and Maryland owns a 29-18 advantage in the all-time series.
When looking at the all-time ledger between the two schools, a line can almost be drawn between the 1972 and 1973 seasons. From the start of the series until 1972, Duke held a 14-3 advantage and at one point rattled off wins in 11 of 12 meetings. From 1973 on, Maryland has been in control of the series for the most part, winning 26 of 30. The Terps' best run went from `73 to `88 when they won 16 in a row.
Maryland is 10-3 in the last 13 versus Duke with two of the three losses to the Blue Devils coming at home.
Last year's game saw the Terps start fast and finish with a victory not as convincing as it seemed it would have been early. Maryland jumped out to a 27-0 lead, holding the Blue Devils scoreless for the game's first three quarters. But Duke turned the tables on the Terrapins in the final frame, outscoring the home team 20-6 for a 33-20 final.
In Maryland's last trip to Wallace-Wade Stadium, the Terrapins scored 45 unanswered points, mixing long drives with quick strikes en route to a 45-12 win. Three of the scoring drives were over eight plays and 77 yards while Steve Suter returned a punt 63 yards for a touchdown and Latrez Harrison caught his second career touchdown pass on a 69-yard strike from Scott McBrien in the third quarter.
The last Duke victory in the series was one of the toughest in the last few years for Maryland. In 1999, the Terrapins were 5-2 and feeling good about their bowl chances when the 1-6 Blue Devils came to town. The end result was a 404-yard passing day from Spencer Romine and a 25-22 win that was the first of four consecutive losses to end the season and the end of any postseason dreams for Maryland.
The large average margin of victory over Duke the last three seasons (29) is somewhat of an aberration in the recent series between the two teams. Since 1986, the Terrapins had not beaten the Blue Devils by more than 17 points prior to 2001, despite owning a 12-4 record over that span.
Quick Hits, Week Three
In Ralph Friedgen's three-plus seasons, Maryland is 28-0 when leading at halftime.
With its win over Temple, Maryland pushed its home win streak to 13 and its record under Friedgen at Byrd Stadium to 21-1.
Junior linebacker William Kershaw had a strong game against the Mountaineers, posting his best tackle total (7) since 2002 against Akron and finishing with two tackles for loss and the key blocked field goal late in the fourth quarter. The block was the first of his career.
In three-plus seasons, Maryland had never turned the ball over five times before last weekend's loss. This season, the Terrapins have turned the ball over four times or more twice, a feat which occurred just once last season (at Georgia Tech). The win over NIU was the team's first under Friedgen that it had turned the ball over more than three times and survived to win and the loss to WVU was a three-point overtime loss on the road to the nation's No. 7 team, a feat considering the number of giveaways.
A second look at the stat sheet for the West Virginia game shows that the Terp defense held up relatively well against the Mountaineer rushing attack. Standout Kay-Jay Harris did finish with 142 yards, but he did so on 32 carries and ran for just 44 yards on 19 carries in the second half (3.4 yards per carry). Maryland held West Virginia to 220 yards rushing as a team -- 137 below its season average -- and an average of 3.6 yards per carry.
The Terps succeeded running against WVU in their own right, averaging 4.6 yards per carry as a team.
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-plus 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 had him atop the record books of third-year ACC coaches with a 31-8 record. His 31 wins were five more than the list's number-two coaches, Lou Holtz (NC State, 1972-74) and Danny Ford (Clemson, 1979-81).
With 31 wins in those first three years, 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).
Now with 33 wins, Friedgen already ranks tied for fourth -- tying Holtz (33-12-3 from 1972-75) -- on the ACC list of fourth-year head coaches. With a win against Duke, he will move into a tie for third with NC State's Chuck Amato (34-17 from 2000-03).
Friedgen is three wins shy of leading all fourth-year ACC coaches in wins. 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 Temple two weeks ago, Maryland has 33 victories over its last four seasons -- all since Ralph Friedgen took over in 2001.
The Terps total of 31 wins from 2001-03 is the hightest three-year win total in school history.
Prior to 2003, Maryland's best three-year win total was 28 (accomplished three times). With five more 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.
Big Games Remembered
The 2004 season is one that stands decades from a pair of the more memorable games in the historyof the Maryland program.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of one of the great games of all time, not just in Maryland lore, as November 10, 1984, was the date of the Terps' 42-40 come-from-behind win at Miami.
In that contest, the Terrapins trailed 31-0 at halftime, but the "King of Comebacks," Frank Reich, led his team to 42 second half points in a game that has been dubbed the greatest comeback in college football history.
Notably, Ralph Friedgen was the offensive coordinator on that 1984 team and DL coach Dave Sollazzo was a graduate assistant.
This season is also the 40th anniversary of one of the most memorable games in the history of Maryland/Navy, a rivalry from 1905-1965 that will be resumed next season.
On November 7, 1964, Maryland defeated the Midshipmen and their Heisman Trophy QB of the previous year, Roger Staubach. It did so behind a 101-yard kickoff return by Kenny Ambrusko with 2:58 remaining, leading to a 27-22 victory that was the Terrapins' first in 12 years (and four meetings) over Navy.
Balance = Success
Because of his success at Georgia Tech with players like Shawn Jones, Joe Hamilton and George Godsey, it was assumed that Friedgen's offensive success came through the air. What three years and three games at Maryland have shown is that the key to the offense run by he and coordinator Charlie Taaffe is based on one premise -- balance.
Now in his fourth year on the job, Taaffe's offense has posted almost identical numbers in the rushing and passing departments. Since 2001, Maryland has averaged 202.1 yards rushing and 210.2 yards passing.
Through three games of 2004, the ground game is actually ahead of the passing attack, averaging 196 yards per game compared to 181.7.
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).
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.
Through three games in `04, the Terps are averaging 196 yards per game on the ground.
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 1,534 yards and 18 TDs. An eight-game starter in 2003, his 257 yards against Virginia marked the 11th-best day in ACC history and the seventh-best in Division I-A last season. He currently ranks 16th on the Terp career yardage list.
In addition, Allen's five-yard touchdown run against Temple tied him for eighth all-time on the Maryland career list.
Allen has posted four career 100-yard games and one in 2004.
Maldonado rushed for 84 yards in the opener and then followed it up with his first career 100-yard game, a 106-yard, two-touchdown effort against Temple. After averaging 6.0 yards per carry a year ago before injuring his knee, "The Bull" is averaging 5.8 through three games of 2004.
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 four seasons 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 scoring average of 17.7 points allowed per game since 2001, 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 previous three seasons' final defensive rankings, Maryland has had just one team -- Georgia -- finish higher in scoring defense.
Since 2001, 29 of Maryland's 42 opponents (69%) have been held to 20 points or less.
Maryland has yet to see a year under Blackney's watch where opponents average more than 20 points per game. This season, the Terps are allowing just over 20 points per contest (20.3).
Since 2002, Maryland has held its opposition scoreless in 59 quarters (four thus far in 2004).
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 from 2002 and 2003, its second-team punter from 2003 (and the first Terp freshman in history to make All-ACC) and a specialist who has been first team all-league since 2002.
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 playing 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 entered this season having thrown 25 career passes between them at the collegiate level (all 25 attempts were by Statham in 2003).
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).
With his start in the opener, Statham was 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.
Suter on Verge of Record
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).
In the last three years, Suter has averaged 15.4 yards per touch whether it be rushing, receiving or in the returns game.
With 36 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). In the opener against NIU, he surpassed Georgia Tech's Kelley Rhino and moved 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 game three of the 2004 season with 1,155.
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.
The question surrounding the 2004 Terrapins heading into the season was 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 ranked him seventh in the ACC and tops among sophomores.
Maybe the fiercest competitor on the Terp roster, Jackson has led the Terrapins in tackles in nine of 16 games the last two years. He has also had 10 career games with double-digit tackles.
After suffering a hyperextended elbow against Temple, concern was that Jackson might have trouble playing against West Virginia. On the contrary, he finished with a career-high tying 16 tackles, a sack, one TFL and one pass breakup.
Jackson didn't take long to get warmed up in 2004, recording nine tackles and intercepting two passes against Northern Illinois, both of which led to Terrapin scores.
After playing through injury most of last season, DE Shawne Merriman -- a.k.a. "Lights Out" -- seems as if the light has gone on through three games this year.
A true junior, Merriman is in his first season as the full-time starter but is already making waves in the Terrapin record books. In 30 career games, Merriman has posted 20.5 tackles for loss and 16.5 sacks, a total that ranks 11th on the Maryland career charts.
With one more sack, Merriman will crack the career top 10, tying the recently-departed Randy Starks for ninth.
Through three games, Merriman leads the Terrapins and is second in the ACC in sacks (three total/1.0 avg.) and fourth in TFLs (five total/1.7 avg.).
With seven more sacks, Merriman will own the Terp career record (Mike Corvino, `79-82, currently holds the mark with 24).
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 of Ralph Friedgen's tenure.
This year's team has the largest group of true freshmen in recent memory (30). All told, there were 49 Terrapins on this year's roster with four years or more of eligibility remaining at the beginning of the season.
In the Terrapins' first three games of 2004, a total of 27 sophomores and freshmen have seen action including six true freshmen, one more than all of last year.
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 since the end of 2001 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.
For his career, Foxworth has posted 25 pass breakups and eight interceptions. He has two pass breakups thus far in his senior season.
Currently 20th on the Terp career charts, Foxworth can move into a tie for seventh with two more interceptions.
Foxworth will be honored during the telecast of this weekend's Duke game with BB&T's Community Service Award.
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.
Novak The ACC's Career Leader
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 67 of his last 80 field goal attempts (84%), with five of the 13 misses coming from 50 yards or further (and one being a block).
A semifinalist for the Lou Groza Award the last two years, Novak is 70 points from breaking the mark of current NCAA record holder for scoring, Houston's Roman Anderson (423, 1988-91). Novak enters this weekend's game with 354 career points.
Novak's first field goal of this season, a 43-yarder against Northern Illinois, set a new ACC scoring record, breaking the mark of FSU's Scott Bentley (326).
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).
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. He is currently fourth in the NCAA with 2.33 fgpg.
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 61 career punts, Podlesh has dropped 43 percent (26) inside the opponents' 20-yard line.
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.
Through three games this season, Podlesh again maintains a 43.4-yard average, sixth-best in the league, but his net average (43.9) is best in the ACC and fourth nationally.
Podlesh has placed half of his eight punts this year inside the 20.
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 second-straight season, FS Ray Custis led the team in overall strength index, posting a 809, the best ever by a Maryland defensive back.
The Terrapins have six players who call the Tar Heel State home: OG Russell Bonham (Winston-Salem/Carver HS), LB Chase Bullock (Durham/Northern HS), FB Matt Deese (Greensboro/NE Guilford HS), LB William Kershaw (Raeford/Hoke Co. HS), DT Dennis Marsh (Browns Summit/NE Guilford HS) and DT Dre Moore (Charlotte/Independence HS).
Duke has six players from the state of Maryland. C Paul Campitelli Chesapeake Beach/DeMatha HS), FB Mike Dowling (Baltimore/Gilman School), OL Cameron Goldberg (Lutherville/McDonough HS), S Alex Green (Hyattsville/Northwest HS), LB Malcolm Ruff (Baltimore/Gilman School) and LB Corey Sobel (Potomac/DeMatha HS) all call the Free State home.
Terps Among Nation's Elite
Over the course of the past three-plus years, the Maryland football program has been among the best in the nation. The Terrapins are 33-9 in that span with a 21-1 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 earning a spot in the top 25 of both preseason polls for 2004 (Miami (Fla.), Oklahoma and Texas and Michigan are the others).
Scouting the Blue Devils
After closing out the 2003 season with wins in two of its last three games, Duke has opened 2004 with three consecutive losses. The Blue Devils are 0-3 and 0-1 in the ACC after last weekend's 41-17 loss at Virginia Tech.
Duke won two of its first three and two of its last three a year ago, posting a 4-7 mark, its best since 1998. The team has struggled offensively and defensively thus far in `04, however, in losses to Navy, UConn and Virginia Tech.
The Blue Devils are averaging 234 yards of offense per game (114th nationally) and allowing 418 yards per game to its opposition (87th). The one area the team has not struggled is the one area the Terrapins have thus far this season as Duke is 25th nationally in turnover margin with a +1 per game average.
No Duke player is ranked nationally on the offensive side of the ball. The Blue Devils have utilized three quarterbacks in each game this season with Chris Dapolito (19-of-36, 176 yds., 2 int., 1 TD), Mike Schneider (12-of-22, 114, 0, 0) and Curt Dukes (3-of-11, 73, 1, 1) each seeing playing time.
On defense, CB John Talley has posted a pair of interceptions, a total that ranks tied for 17th in the NCAA. Talley took one of his picks back 62 yards for a touchdown (vs. UConn).
S Alex Green leads the team through three games with 24 tackles to go along with two pass breakups and a forced fumble.
Duke's Ted Roof
Named the 20th head football coach in Duke's history with five games remaining in the 2003 campaign, Ted Roof is in his first full season at the helm of the Blue Devils program. In his first post as a head coach, Roof has a 2-6 mark at Duke.
Roof was in the midst of his second season as the team's defensive coordinator a year ago when Carl Franks was relieved of his duties as head coach. Roof was named interim coach and led the Blue Devils to wins over Geprgia Tech and North Carolina before season's end.
Now in the second stint of his career in Durham (he was a linebackers coach from 1990-93), Roof came to Duke from Georgia Tech where he was the Yellow Jackets' linebackers coach (1998) and defensive coordinator (1998-2001).
Priot to Tech, Roof worked as a graduate assistant at Alabama (1987-88), a linebackers coach at West Georgia (`89), a defensive line coach and defensive coordinator at UMass (`94-96) and a defensive coordinator at Western Carolina (`97).
A native of Lawrenceville, Ga., Roof was a four-year letterman at Georgia Tech from 1982-85 and a first team All-ACC defensive back as a senior in `85.
Protecting the House
The Terrapins are 21-1 at Byrd Stadium under Ralph Friedgen and have won their last 13 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 in 2003 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 177-100-1 within the friendly confines of Byrd.
With temporary bleachers installed again this season, Byrd Stadium can hold up to 51,500.
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).
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 announced that it had sold a school-record total of more than 30,000 season tickets.
As of September 13, the total sold was 31,011, an improvement of over 13,000 tickets from Ralph Friedgen's first season in College Park and over 16,000 more sold than in 1999.