Friedgen's Sunday Chat
Just finished with Ralph Friedgen’s weekly teleconference. He said he has been in the office since 8 a.m., got finished watching his tape at 2 and then evaluated special teams until 3:30 or so.
Last night was a particularly tough defeat and next week will be a stiff challenge, even though Boston College will be without quarterback Chris Crane, who has a broken collarbone. Maryland has won only one road game this season (against a Clemson team not as strong as its preseason hype suggested) and Boston College is one win away from winning the division title.
“They have one of the better defenses in the country,” Friedgen said. “It will take every bit of our character to come back.”
During these Sunday briefings, Friedgen usually characterizes injuries in general terms, such as “We’re okay” or “We’re hurting.” While they are general terms, they can be telling. And he said today, “We’re beat up. I will know more Tuesday.” Defensive lineman Dion Armstrong will be reexamined tomorrow and has an undisclosed or unknown injury at this time. I doubt we'll know much more about any other potential injuries until 3:30 on Saturday, especially with this being a short week with Thanksgiving.
Friedgen insisted “there is still a lot to play for. Win Saturday we tie for division champion. I think that has an impact on what bowl you go to.” That may be true, but after watching this team all season, I just wonder this: If Friedgen felt there was a lack of effort in a game with so much on the line, how do you think Maryland will fare in a game with a lot less on the line?
Regarding the offensive struggles, Friedgen said it was a “team effort, not one position exempt.” He said running back Da’Rel Scott got stripped on his first fumble and was hit very hard on his second fumble. “But you still got to hold onto the football,” he said. “He held onto the ball last week pretty good. I didn’t think he played as well as he is capable of playing, let’s put it like that.”
Regarding the defense, Friedgen said he thought the unit played a little harder than the offense, but there "wasn't the concentration or focus there needed to be." He talked about a lot of mental mistakes and unforced errors and poor communication.
"It's communication," Friedgen said. "Sometimes we have at least half the coverage doing one thing and the other half doing the other. We've been trying to fix that. It's still not where it needs to be."
This is always an interesting issue with this team. It was an issue in the Virginia Tech game at the end of the first half, when Friedgen was seen on TV emphatically talking to defensive coordinator Chris Cosh. It was an issue in the Middle Tennessee State game, as well.
Friedgen acknowledged quarterback Chris Turner was pressured constantly by FSU pass rushers, but Friedgen said Turner did not throw the ball as well as he is capable and he “didn’t think he was on his game.”
Friedgen pointed to the fact that his team has bounced back strong after every loss this season. In less than a week, we’ll find out if it can do it again in order to play in Nashville or Orlando or better. If not, it could mean a late-December trip to Charlotte or even Boise.
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