Bowen Will Not Return; Ferrara to Punt
Here are a few tidbits from Wednesday’s post-practice interview with Maryland Coach Ralph Friedgen:
With all-ACC punter Travis Baltz out with a high ankle sprain, true freshman Nick Ferrara is expected to be wearing many hats Saturday. Ferrara will punt, kick off and kick field goals. When asked if he was still apprehensive about giving so much responsibility to an 18-year-old, Friedgen said, “I am, but I am going to put the best kicker out there.”
Offensive lineman Tyler Bowen will not return to the field, Friedgen said. The sophomore has really had some tough luck the past couple years, battling foot and ankle injuries the past three seasons. “Tyler felt like he couldn’t do this, and I agreed with him,” Friedgen said. “I was more concerned with whether he could walk later in life.” Bowen will be a student-coach. He and Friedgen still want him to be connected to the program. Friedgen said, if he had been healthy, he probably would be Maryland’s starting right tackle.
The adjustments to the practice routine have produced interesting results. Friedgen wants to hold players more accountable for penalties and turnovers. So far, the results have been mixed. On Tuesday, Maryland had five turnovers. On Wednesday, the team had none. Problem is, on Wednesday, the team had 15 penalties. “I am trying to emphasize it,” Friedgen said. “Hopefully we will continue to get better. I will raise the ante if we don’t get better.”
Friedgen offered a quick take on his special teams play, which could prove critical Saturday against a Clemson team that excels on special teams. “Nick Ferrara has been a bright spot,” Friedgen said. “We would be in real trouble if we didn’t have him. Travis [Baltz] has not kicked the way he is capable of kicking, but I think he will once he gets well. Torrey [Smith] has obviously done well. Not totally happy with our punt protection.”
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