The Defensive Adjustments
In conference games, Maryland ranks 10th in total defense and dead last in the ACC in rushing defense, and last by a significant margin. So changes are expected to be seen this Saturday. Mack Frost, who has not been 100 percent all season because of last season’s knee surgery, will now back up at defensive end. Senior Jeremy Navarre moves from defensive tackle to end, where he played his first three seasons. And Travis Ivey moves into Navarre’s position as the starting defensive tackle.
And then throw in the suspension of Rick Costa at LEO, the hybrid end-linebacker position. Redshirt freshman Derek Drummond will now back up Trey Covington.
Here comes North Carolina, whose Shaun Draughn has averaged 98.4 rushing yards the last five games. He had 90 yards on 17 carries Saturday against Georgia Tech. In his first four games of the season, Draughn had 97 yards on 25 carries. In his last five games, he has had 492 yards on 101 carries. Maryland will also have to contend with sophomore Ryan Houston, who had a career-high 74 yards rushing on two touchdowns against Georgia Tech.
Regardless of who carries the ball for Carolina, Maryland’s run defense will need to dramatically improve.
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