Thursday, December 20, 2007

Emerald Bowl Update

Final exams are finished and the Maryland Terrapins football team practiced Thursday for the Emerald Bowl. The Terps (6-6) will have one more practice here tomorrow before heading out Saturday. They will get three practices in California before taking on the Oregon State Beavers (8-4) on Friday December 28.

Regarding Thursday's practice, Head Coach Ralph Friedgen noted that the team had an up-and-down practice.

"We started off good," he said. "We still have the same problem. We have trouble sustaining it and we get a little tired. We practice well for a period and then we don't practice well. We don't have consistency. We're not going to get good until we get through that."

It has been almost a month since the last game, a 37-0 win over N.C. State on November 24th.

Friedgen has been giving a lot of work with the young kids like WR's Torrey Smith and Kevin Gresham as well as offensive linemen Paul Pinegar and Bruce Campbell.

"I don't know if that's going to help us with this game, but I think it will help us in the future. A lot of them have also been working with the second team because we've had injuries," he said.

Speaking of injuries, starting left guard Jaimie Thomas, out injured the last five weeks of the regular season with a fractured leg, continues to work to return for the bowl game. He was deemed a long shot to play, but he's been progressing well. A decision will be made following Friday's practice.

Cornerback Nolan Carroll has pulled his hamstring and is questionable for the game. Freshman WR Laquan Williams is still recovering from a knee injury and is also questionable. Williams can run straight ahead but is having trouble making cuts.

It's going to be a tough game for the Terps as the Oregon State defense is second in the country against the run. I'm confident in Lance Ball and Keon Lattimore though.

Hard to call this game as its been a month since both schools have played. The #3 team in the PAC-10 shouldn't lose to the ACC's #6 but funny things happen in these bowls or exhibition games as a friend of mine calls these.

Some quotes:

Defensive tackle Dre Moore: "I’ve never had a chance to go to the West Coast before. This is the one I wanted." (The Terps could have played in the Humanitarian Bowl at Boise State University or the Meineke Car Care Bowl in Charlotte, N.C.)

Linebacker Erin Henderson: "We’ve been to Carolina three times this year alone... I’ve never been to the West Coast beyond Phoenix. To have the opportunity to go out there and play a football game against a team you really don’t know much about, it’s something different. You get so used to playing the Virginia's and N.C. State's. This is exciting."

Quarterback Chris Turner (who is from the West Coast): "Now my family can come. It’s a five or six-hour drive, but it’s definitely more manageable than flying across the country."

Friedgen: "It's a little more exotic to go to San Francisco, a place they’ve never been before... Obviously it’s a tougher trip for our fans in this area, but we also have a very big fan base out in San Francisco and Los Angeles. I’m hoping those people will come out and support us, and I think we’ll have a lot of fans that want to go to San Francisco."

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