Right tackle DeSouza ready for first start of career
Maryland’s team this season attracts as much national attention as the ACC – yeah, not much. Whatever. I’m finding this team more fascinating by the day. You have coaches coaching for their livelihood this season as injuries mount and tougher games loom. And it will be interesting to see how everyone deals with the pressure as it grows once we enter the tough stretch of ACC road games.
Pete DeSouza is the redshirt freshman who has been thrust into a starting role at right tackle because of the line shuffling due to the Justin Gilbert season-ending ACL tear. DeSouza will make his first career start Saturday against Florida International. He met the media for the first time Tuesday night and talked about losing 35 pounds in the offseason, any nerves he may have Saturday and the multitude of blitzes he expects to see from FIU. The thought that kept flashing in my mind was about the craziness of college football. Careers and jobs held by veteran coaches can be decided by a bad break here, a bad break there and the often inconsistent play of teenagers thrust into the limelight at a moment’s notice. Maryland could win four or five games this season [maybe it will win more], and then Coach Ralph Friedgen likely will be terminated and nobody will care or remember that he lost his left tackle in the third game and once again played with an inexperienced line. That’s not fair or unfair, just reality.
DeSouza, a DeMatha grad, definitely was not wide-eyed speaking to the media. There was a touch of seriousness and innocence to him at the same time. He knows the line needs to play better because “Jamarr [Robinson] was getting hit on like every play and that’s not good,” he said. He is usually nervous before games but doesn’t know what to expect for this one. “I don’t know how I will feel before the game, or that morning, or the night before,” he said. DeSouza said he has been preparing all along as if he were a starter. So he should be as ready as he is going to be for his first start.
What’s your confidence level in the offensive line heading into this game?
| September 22, 2010; 10:00 AM ET
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