Notes from Maryland-Duke
Injuries: While Coach Ralph Friedgen was obviously pleased to head into the bye week 4-1, he said he was even more grateful for the opportunity to get his players healthy.
Saturday’s 21-16 victory over Duke added to the ranks of the ailing, with Friedgen citing the following: linebacker Adrian Moten (ankle), free safety Eric Franklin (hamstring pull) and tight end Dave Stinebaugh (knee). It was unclear how serious those injuries were.
Meantime, receiver Torrey Smith remains limited, used sparingly against Duke (2 catches for 50 yards, including the 44-yarder that keyed the first-half touchdown). But quarterback Danny O’Brien said he’s fully recovered from the high ankle sprain and wore a brace only as a precaution.
“What we need to do is get well,” Friedgen said. “I think our kids need to get away from football for a little bit. They were here all summer, had a week off before we came back. And we’ve been pounding it pretty good.”
Maryland returns to action Oct. 16 for the first of two consecutive road games, against Clemson and Boston College.
Signs of progress, room for improvement: With twice as many victories as they managed last season, the 2010 Terrapins are clearly a better squad than the 2009 bunch. The key difference, in Friedgen’s view, showed itself late in the fourth quarter against Duke, with the Blue Devils driving for what could easily have been the game-winning score. The Terps’ defense stood tall and squelched the drive with tremendous effort by linebacker Alex Wujciak and safety Antwine Perez in breaking up quarterback Sean Renfree’s final throw to the end zone.
“We’re learning how to finish games,” Friedgen said. “Last year they would have gone downfield and scored the winning touchdown.”
Another point of pride: It was the second consecutive game without a Terp turnover.
Still, penalties continue to be a concern (against Duke, seven for 53 yards). And the rushing game isn’t as consistent as it should be. Entering Saturday’s game, Duke has been surrendering 229 yards rushing per game. Maryland managed just 124 yards on the ground, with Davin Meggett accounting for a team-high 57.
Too much fun: Few of Tony Logan’s teammates were surprised when he celebrating his second sizzling run-back of a punt for a touchdown in as many games by hurling the ball into the stadium wall. Logan had told them in advance he intended to do just that if he scored on a return.
But the antics drew an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty and a gentle rebuke from Friedgen, who later confessed he wouldn’t have minded terribly if Logan had brought down the stadium wall with his celebratory throw.
The 84-yard return, just minutes into the third quarter with the Terps trailing, 9-7, sparked the Maryland comeback.
As Friedgen recounted the conversation: “I told him, ‘Great job, but it was kind of a selfish thing you did. Now we’re kicking off from the 15. I understand your enthusiasm, but you can’t do that.’ ”
Later, he said, Logan came up to him and apologized.
| October 3, 2010; 12:01 PM ET
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