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Friedgen: 'Some guys panicked' against West Virginia

The more I look at Florida International, the more I think this will be a competitive matchup Saturday at Byrd Stadium. But before we breakdown FIU and the upcoming game, I wanted to detail all of Coach Ralph Friedgen’s comments from his Sunday teleconference.

As for quarterbacks, starter Jamarr Robinson got banged up – sore throwing shoulder – against West Virginia, but Friedgen said Robinson will play against FIU. Backup Danny O’Brien, who re-aggravated his right ankle sprain on one play against the Mountaineers, is questionable because of the sprain. And I don't expect to know how the coaches will handle O'Brien's injury until the game starts Saturday -- I may be wrong.

The thing about the West Virginia game was this: Friedgen thought the team regressed to some bad habits exhibited by the 2009 squad. Penalties, missed tackles, blown coverages, missed opportunities. There was a lack of poise, not effort. At halftime, Friedgen summoned the entire team and said, “We’re not playing well. There isn’t the same level of enthusiasm or focus.” Despite falling behind 28-0, Friedgen felt there were opportunities to win the game.

The offensive line struggled. Friedgen said the line “lost our technique” and at times players were going to the wrong man, a concern. Defensively, Friedgen saw players who were not focused on their keys or seemed to be ignoring them. “We didn’t play fast,” he said. “I don’t know what the reason for that is.” Sure, it is tough to keep up with speedsters Noel Devine, Tavon Austin and Jock Sanders step for step. The onus was on players to swarm the ball as a group. It didn’t happen as much as coaches had hoped. “They are going to make some guys miss,” Friedgen said. “You have to offset that by getting guys to the football.”

Maryland has not won a road game in nearly two years. Friedgen emphasized the need to correct the issues that were apparent Saturday because “we’re going to play some tough games in some tough places.” Indeed. The Terrapins will play at Clemson, at Boston College, at Virginia and at Miami within a five-week period.

“We reverted back to some things that were problems last year,” Friedgen said. “Some guys panicked.”

In closing, Friedgen said he is hesitant to be overly negative because he does not want to damage the confidence of a team that remains young. But he acknowledged that the FIU game is a critical game in the season and said, “We have enough guys who have been there [with experience], where we should be playing better.”

That about sums it up.

By Eric Prisbell  | September 20, 2010; 10:06 AM ET
Categories:  Football  
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Next: Maryland-Duke on Oct. 2 set for 6 p.m. kickoff

Comments

At halftime, Friedgen summoned the entire team and said, “We’re not playing well. There isn’t the same level of enthusiasm or focus.”

They think about hype and not fundamentals for winning which is all that should be focused on, play by play.

Fridge, please start treating every game the same instead of creating psychological pressure on your team by telling the players "how big" this or that game is. Every year here this has happened and the team usually stumbles. The ball and field are the same size wherever the Terps play. If the Terps do x, y, and z they'll win the next game on the schedule. Try that. Keep improving.

Thanks

Posted by: Realness1 | September 20, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

As i figured, MD just didnt have the horses to run w us on their D. And they didnt have the fire power to keep up w us on their O. Tavon as expected had a break out game. Just a simple case of two different programs headed in two different directions.

Posted by: Stu27 | September 20, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

I think the Fridge was too busy thinking about the extra toppings from last game.

Posted by: SirPelleas | September 20, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Who's going to be our backup QB against Florida International.

I have a feeling that Jamarr is going to choke again ...

Posted by: mi6-007 | September 20, 2010 9:45 PM | Report abuse

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