Sunday with the Fridge
Coach Ralph Friedgen just finished his usual Sunday teleconference with reporters.
On the injury front, Friedgen said the team came out of the game okay. Scott Burley is fine. Cornerback Nolan Carroll began the game at around 90 percent and was 75-80 percent later in the game, after his ankle started bothering him some.
Friedgen is aware of all the scenarios for Maryland to win the Atlantic Division. He expects his players to be watching the Boston College-Wake Forest game Saturday afternoon before Maryland kicks off against Florida State. But the easiest scenario is this: Win the next two games and the Terrapins go to Tampa for the conference title game.
Friedgen said there was still a lot of missed assignments and miscommunication on plays. He said the offensive line played its best game of the season, but there were still 11 mental errors on the line. The number of mental errors at wide receiver and tight end turned out to be a little higher than usual as well.
Regarding the importance of Danny Oquendo on third down, Friedgen said Oquendo becomes a very important player in that situation because teams usually double-team Darrius Heyward-Bey on third down. Friedgen said North Carolina doubled Oquendo on third and 10 on that critical drive, and Chris Turner found Ronnie Tyler for the acrobatic catch.
At one point, Chris Turner threw six consecutive interceptions. Friedgen said UNC quarterback Cameron Sexton usually throws much better than he did Saturday. The conditions were a factor, he said.
Defensively, Friedgen was pleased with the play of lineman Dion Armstrong, who did not commit one mental error. End Jeremy Navarre played an “outstanding” game. Linebackers Adrian Moten and Moise Fokou played very well, Friedgen said. Jeff Allen played very well, too. Jamari McCollough, who made the game-sealing interception in the final minute, is one of the team’s unsung heroes, Friedgen said.
Friedgen said it is tougher to win the conference post-expansion because of the parity. “I’m hoping we can put together two wins to have a special season,” he said.
Regarding how to motivate his team week to week, Friedgen said: “I never know if I am doing the right thing. You don’t know where players are in terms of what is going on in their lives. You have to trust that the season is important to them and you really don’t know that. For this team, this season is important to them. Seeing what they can accomplish is starting to become a reality now.”
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