MONDAY, AUGUST 31, 2009 | THE DIAMONDBACK
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Brown’s bringing the pressure
Terps are now Turner’s team
Senior confident for 2009 as unquestioned starter BY GREG SCHIMMEL Senior staff writer
REPEAT WORTHY? Coach Missy Meharg hopes eight returning starters from last season’s National Title-winning field hockey team can help the Terps to their fourth crown in five seasons. | PAGE 5C
PROMISING START After a 7-10-1 record last season, women’s soccer has started 3-0 with Friday’s win against Seton Hall. Can the Terps escape the ACC basement in 2009? | PAGE 2C
For Chris Turner, this season is all about confidence. You can see it in the way the senior quarterback commands the respect of his Terrapin football teammates. You can see it in the way he carries himself on and off the field, sure of what he wants to accomplish this season, and what he needs to do to get there.
After quarterback controversies and bouts of inconsistent play lingered as constant subplots during his first season and a half as a starter, Turner is finally ready to take the reins this season as the Terps’ unquestioned leader. The team’s success this season will largely depend on how well Turner plays behind center.
see TURNER, page 8C
N After losing a quarterback competition last offseason, Chris Turner has the full support of his coaches in 2009. ADAM FRIED/THE DIAMONDBACK
ew Terrapin defensive coordinator Don Brown insists there’s a method to the madness of his scheme — the frantic blitzes that seemingly can come from anywhere by anybody at any time, the press man-to-man coverage and the constantly rotating personnel packages. It’s all calculated. The thinking is simple: Because the offense relies so heavily on the quarterback, the defense’s goal should be
see DETWEILER, page 8C
TOP-TO-BOTTOM Four years ago, the Terps’ volleyball team was starting what would be its third-straight ACC Championship campaign. Last season the team won just six matches. In the second year of coach Tim Horsmon’s tenure, the Terps are confident they can improve. | PAGE 4C
GAMES OF THE WEEK
MONDAY | FIELD HOCKEY No. 1 TERRAPINS at NORTHWESTERN Evanston, Ill., 1 p.m.
Friedgen, shown earlier this preseason, has taken a more CEO-like approach to managing the Terrapins.
Not the same old “Fridge”
FRIDAY | W. SOCCER No. 19 SANTA CLARA at TERRAPINS Ludwig Field, 5 p.m.
Weight loss, new coaching role gives Friedgen fresh outlook as he prepares for ninth season at the helm of his alma mater’s program BY ADI JOSEPH
THE FRIEDGEN FILE
Senior staff writer
FRIDAY | FIELD HOCKEY No. 1 TERRAPINS at No. 16 OLD DOMINION Norfolk, Va., 5 p.m.
FRIDAY | M. SOCCER
Friedgen has lost more than 100 pounds since last October thanks to a well-publicized diet. FILE PHOTO/THE DIAMONDBACK
No. 19 UCLA at No. 1 TERRAPINS Ludwig Field, 8 p.m.
TERRAPINS at No. 12 CAL Berkeley, Calif., 10 p.m.
Standing behind the same podium he stands behind every Tuesday during the season, Ralph Friedgen addressed many of the same members of the media asking many of the same questions they had asked the week before. The hulking Terrapin football coach fielded concerns over injuries, first-year starting quarterback Chris Turner and bouncing back from a 16-13 loss at North Carolina just three days prior. Then a reporter asked the right question — an inquiry into the state of the program. And the then-60-year-old coach cracked. The response that day, Nov. 6, 2007, was a spiraling, staggering two-minute speech packed with enough emotion that the coach was forced to visibly hold back tears. He had a chance to win that game — with 41 seconds left, the Terps were just two yards from the end zone. Friedgen, then serving as his own offensive coordinator, called a play where Turner rolled to his left, only to be hurried by the Tar Heel defense and forced to throw the ball away. The broad question about the state of the program became applicable at that moment. Because the Terps’ future turned dramatically that week.
With early departures, soccer must fill gaps BY JONAS SHAFFER
SATURDAY | FOOTBALL
ADAM FRIED/THE DIAMONDBACK
The celebratory goal frame and the No. 1 Terrapin men’s soccer team that christened its arrival to Ludwig Field during Thursday’s exhibition against Villanova serve as stark reminders of all that was won — and lost — last year. The words “NATIONAL CHAMPI-
ONS 2008” adorn the new frame, the entryway onto the Ludwig Field playing surface. Last season, names like Omar Gonzalez and Jeremy Hall jogged through a similar frame honoring the 2005 national champion Terrapins to raucous ovations and lofty expectations — expectations they met.
see SOCCER, page 6C
Friedgen is 64-36 in his eight years as Terps’ head coach, good for a .640 winning percentage. Since winning 10, 11 and 10 games in Friedgen’s first three seasons, the Terps have won an average of 6.6 contests in his last five years. In February, AD Debbie Yow officially named offensive coordinator James Franklin as Friedgen’s successor. “I should have made the call ... it cost us the game,” Friedgen said. “That’s when I knew. You gotta be prepared for every situation. ... I just didn’t think I could do all it well — the way I expect it to be done.” The Ralph Friedgen of the 2007 season battled frustration on a daily basis. He was overworked even as his team battled with mediocrity, finishing with a 6-7 record. In 2006, his first year serving as offensive coordinator in addition to his head coaching duties, the Terps
see FRIEDGEN, page 6C
Field Hockey beats BU for quick start to 2009 season Terps face Northwestern today BY KATE YANCHULIS Senior staff writer
Forward Jason Herrick is one of five returning starters for the Terrapins. JACLYN BOROWSKI/THE DIAMONDBACK
The Terrapin field hockey team’s attack lacked its usual firepower, but with a powerful showing by the backfield the Terps picked up right where they left off last season in their opening weekend. In their first non-exhibition action since winning
the national championship last November, the No. 1 Terps (2-0) blanked both opponents, beating Boston 2-0 on Saturday after overwhelming Ohio 3-0 on Friday in the first two games of the Wildcat Classic hosted by Northwestern in Evanston, Ill. The wins against the
see HOCKEY, page 5C
THE DIAMONDBACK | SPORTS | MONDAY, AUGUST 31, 2009
With 2-0 home win against Seton Hall Friday, Terps enter unfamiliar territory Women’s soccer starts season 3-0 for first time since 1996 BY CHRIS ECKARD Staff writer
With rain coming down, the Terrapin women’s soccer team’s play mirrored the less than ideal weather conditions in Friday’s first half, as the team was slow and unable to create an offensive presence. But neither could Seton Hall. The first shot of the game came with 20 minutes remaining in the first half. But after a few second-half adjustments, the Terps found some offense and went on to beat Seton Hall, 2-0. The Terps, with three consecutive wins to begin the season, are off to their best start in coach Brian Pensky’s tenure and since 1996, when they won 14 to kick off the year. “We are excited to be where we are right now,” Pensky said. “I felt we were very passive to begin the game and we were just chasing the ball around. Nearing the end of the first half, we began to connect and gain momentum.” But the win was not possible without the help of two key freshmen, midfielder Olivia Wagner and for ward Caitlin Mooney. Wagner, starting for the second time in her career, broke the game open when she connected on a 25-yard shot in the 51st minute. Receiving a pass from Molly Deska after a throw-in, Wagner fired a shot toward the lower left side of the goal. Seton Hall goalkeeper Jennifer Pettigrew could barely get a hand on it, and the ball deflected into the back of the net for the team’s first goal. “We were building up to the goal, and it proved we could put one in,” Wagner said. “It feels good to get my first goal out of the way — definitely gets rid of some nerves.” Fellow freshman Mooney gave the Terps an insurance goal in the 81st minute when she finished a cross from the left corner by midfielder
Sophomore Lydia Hastings led the Terps with 14 points last season and should help a team that won’t have to rely on freshmen as much as in past years. ALLISON AKERS/THE DIAMONDBACK
Looking for a turnaround Pensky touts team’s experience, improvement BY CHRIS ECKARD Staff writer
Terps’ midfielder Olivia Wagner scored the team’s first goal Friday against Seton Hall when her shot deflected off the Pirates’ goalkeeper. ALLISON AKERS/THE DIAMONDBACK
Becky Kaplan. “It’s a good icebreaker to succeed in these first games,” Mooney said. “[It] helps you relax a little and realize you can actually play with these older college players.” The Terps tripled their shot count in the second half, finishing with 12 overall, but the defense played a vital role as well. The Pirates rarely got the ball anywhere near the goal: Their only shot on goal came with fewer than three minutes remaining in the game. “The midfielders and our defenders playing great
defense was key,” Pensky said. “Seton Hall barely had any room to make plays happen.” Seton Hall played a very physical game throughout, but the Terps matched the Pirates’ intensity. Combined, the teams finished with 25 fouls. “They are a Big East opponent, who are very aggressive and combative in a good way,” Pensky said. “We have won three games, but we have done nothing yet. We have to keep working and getting better together.” firstname.lastname@example.org
Despite a talented recruiting class, which boasts nine players from seven different states, including four Gatorade State Players of the Year, the Terrapin women’s soccer team will not be relying on freshmen heading into this season like years past. Three freshmen started almost every game last season, while four others received significant playing time. Two years ago, two freshmen started almost every game for the Terps. But this year is different. “The past few seasons out of the gate we would be relying upon freshmen to come in and play immediately,” coach Brian Pensky said. “It isn’t a dependence this year. If they’re good enough, they will play.” Since the Terps have started freshmen in the past few years, they return great experience, Pensky said. The improved play has shown in the first few games of the season, as the Terps are 3-0 for the first time since 1996, when they won 14 consecutive games to start the season. “Most of these players have a year or more under their belt,” Pensky said. “Our general depth, experience and focus is why we are off the a great start this season.” Because of this, Pensky feels this may be the year the Terps can get over the hump and return to the ACC and NCAA tournaments. Since taking over in 2005, Pensky has yet to have a winning season. One of the most important players for the Terps will be Lydia Hastings. Hastings started all but one game last year and finished with a team-high 14 points. She will move to wide midfielder, a more natural position that will allow her to have more face-up scoring opportunities. Forwards Jasmyne Spencer and Ashley Grove join Hastings on offense. Spencer will be
back from a hamstring injury that nagged her last season, while Grove will take over Nataly Arias’ starting spot. The Terps have struggled in the past to score. Disregarding a 10-0 win against Mount St. Mary’s last year, the Terps scored only 18 goals in 17 matches, which led to eight onegoal games. “Unlike years past, when we would have one or two players who could score, right now we have five or six players I’m confident can be a scoring threat,” Pensky said. “With the close games, we need to stay focused from the start all the way to the finish.” Defense was the strength of last year’s team, and it should be the same this season. The Terps only lost one starter in Aimee Bresani, who will be replaced by midfielder Mallory Baker. Baker will be a great addition to the team, Pensky said, after missing all last season with a meniscus tear. The New Jersey native played every single minute of her freshman season two years ago and is excited to be back with the team. The starting goalkeeper is Mary Casey. The All-ACC performer from last season has only allowed one goal in the first three games this fall. “She gives our team a sense of security back there,” Pensky said. “She has an outstanding work ethic and expects a ton from herself as well as her teammates. The ACC will be as difficult as ever, with five teams in the NSCAA/Adidas preseason top-25, including defending national champion North Carolina perched at No. 1. The Terps, meanwhile, are ranked No. 8 in the ACC preseason rankings, voted on by coaches. But asked if he sees a return to the ACC and NCAA tournament this year, Pensky responded with confidence: “There’s no question.” email@example.com
MONDAY, AUGUST 31, 2009 | SPORTS | THE DIAMONDBACK
SOCCER from page 1 This season, the old frame, like so many of the players from last year’s national championship squad, has a replacement. A mass exodus of Terps to graduation and the professional ranks will make this year a renovation project for coach Sasho Cirovski, now entering his 17th season as the man in charge of one of the highest-profile programs in college soccer. Cirovski will have his share of able parts and pieces, though. This team returns five starters from a roster that won 16 consecutive games to close out the 2008 season, including AllACC honorees Casey Townsend and Zac MacMath. Townsend’s scoring role as forward won’t change from last year. After all, he’ll somehow need to compensate for a team that lost more than half of its scoring. For MacMath, the Terps’ goalkeeper, it’s a different story. MacMath (0.44 goals against average, first overall in the NCAA) was the obvious beneficiary of a talented and experienced defense. But with the graduation of three-year starter Rich Costanzo and the losses of A.J. DeLaGarza, Gonzalez and Rodney Wallace to Major League Soccer, he now finds himself without combined 258 games in career starting experience on the back line. Instead of three now-MLS starters anchoring the defense, MacMath will lead a unit featuring a redshirt senior
Kevin Tangney, who has one start in the last three years; converted forward Alex Lee, who is still learning the nuances of the position; and two talented freshmen, Ethan White and Taylor Kemp, who probably weren’t expecting starting roles to come before the start of fall classes. “I think we have some talented kids back there that got better from the last game already,” Cirovski said following Thursday’s exhibition, a 1-0 win. “I think Ethan and Taylor have done extremely well, and you can see they’re going to be terrific players.” Still, Cirovski made clear the importance of piecing together his patchwork defense. The team devoted all of its practice time before their match against Villanova to shoring up its defensive arrangements and game plan. Offense was the least of his concerns. “We’re going to have to tinker, move, adjust, learn, grow, develop and try to survive,” Cirovski said. The team’s route to a repeat title will likely hinge on the play and development of freshmen like Kemp and White. The duo highlights a No. 2-ranked recruiting class of 10 newcomers with no shortage of individual accolades. The Terps will also rely on freshmen such as London Woodberry and Jordan Cyrus, both high school NSCAA All-Americans, to link up with returning starters Matt Kassel (9 points last year) and Doug Rodkey (11 points) in the midfield. Add in a fully healthy Kaoru Forbess and a resurgent Drew Yates (6 points), and the team has a corps of midfielders that may near the effectiveness of last season’s Hall and
Graham Zusi-led unit. “We have a lot of depth in the midfield and it’s going to be highly competitive for playing time,” Cirovski said. Sorting out the depth chart at the forward position won’t be too difficult: After an 11-goal freshman campaign, Townsend returns as a marked man and perhaps the face of this young team. He’ll team up with Jason Herrick (12 points), a College Cup All-Tournament team member, to form one of the conference’s most potent front lines. The Terps won’t have to wait long to see what works and what doesn’t. The team’s schedule opens with home dates against No. 19 UCLA and No. 8 California, both of which return an abundance of firepower from squads that ranked first and second in scoring in the Pac-10 last year, respectively. With an unforgiving slate in conference play — the top-ranked Terps were actually picked to finish third by the league’s coaches — Cirovski said he expects to be doing a lot of teaching. “I think if you look at the top half of the schedule we have in the first month, we’ll probably be forced to tinker because we’re playing a lot of very good teams that can challenge and expose some areas of weakness,” Cirovski said. “We’re going to get everybody’s best game,” he added. “We’ve earned that privilege and now we have to deal with the challenge.” For proof of that, look no further than the goal frame and the team that this fall will pass through it. firstname.lastname@example.org
Midfielder Drew Yates, pictured against Villanova on Thursday, must help replace Jeremy Hall and Graham Zusi, two offensive stalwarts for the Terps last season, who have moved on to MLS. ALLISON AKERS/THE DIAMONDBACK
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THE DIAMONDBACK | SPORTS | MONDAY, AUGUST 31, 2009
WOMEN’S VOLLEYBALL PREVIEW
Horsmon hopes team can adjust in his second season BY JAKOB ENGELKE Staff writer
It was only four seasons ago when the Terrapin volleyball team was on the top of the ACC world. They had just won backto-back ACC Championships and continued on to win their third straight by season’s end. But the fall from the top has been swift. Fast-forward to the present, and the Terps are coming off a season in which they went 6-26 (2-18 ACC), the lowest win total in program history. The team is predicted to finish 10th in the ACC, and no Terp is on the 2009 Preseason All-ACC Team. “It sucks being ranked really low,” middle blocker Lisa Scott said. “But it’s deserved considering our season last year. It also gives us a lot of fuel and fire to go out and prove people wrong.” Proving people wrong appears to be a recurring sentiment among players heading into the season. The team has a great deal of confidence, which might seem odd after such a poor season. But it comes from the players’ improved understanding of coach Tim Horsmon’s coaching. Horsmon came to the Terps last season after five successful years at the University of Dayton. The transition did not go
smoothly, and the team struggled to adjust to Horsmon’s defensive-oriented style. Now, Horsmon can see the team maturing before his eyes. “Overall this year’s preseason is much better than last year,” Horsmon said. “I think our kids know the expectation level and they’re figuring out our system. Last year, from personnel to the system being new, I think that was a tough transition for them.” The team’s confidence is also a result of a stellar freshman class: Horsmon noted Kara Bates, Taylor Jones, Sam Rosario and Sara Shannon all have legitimate chances of breaking into the starting lineup as freshmen. “We have some special kids in that group,” Horsmon said. “And I think as they mature, as they get bigger, stronger and faster in the weight room, I think that you’re going to see some All-ACC type of kids out of that group.” Even though the Terps were at the bottom of the ACC a year ago, the team has confidence heading into this season and hopes to avoid a 2008 repeat. And Horsmon is looking to move up the standings — closer to the place the Terps were not so long ago.
DIAMONDBACK 100 YEARS 1910 | 2010
Reich’s comeback: 25 years later BY CHRIS HOWLAND [Ed. Note: To celebrate The Diamondback kicking off its 100th year of publication, here’s a look back at one of the Terrapin football team’s greatest moments, its 42-40 win against No. 6 Miami in 1984 after trailing the Hurricanes 31-0 at halftime. This article originally ran Nov. 12, 1984.] MIAMI — In the little corner of Providence that was the Terrapin locker room, quarterback Frank Reich had good reason to smile. He had just added another chapter to his team’s wild and unpredictable quarterback story this season, passing for 260 yards and three touchdowns in the second half Saturday, to rally the Terps to the most incredible victory in school history, 42-40, over Miami. It had been six agonizing weeks since Reich had last felt the reassuring glare of the TV lights or the press of hungry reporters — the telltale signs that you were either the game’s goat or hero. Never had the glare felt that great.
The smile did not leave Reich’s face as he stood outside the locker room door, clinging to the gameball he had not relinquished since he took the game’s final snap, downed the ball and then rushed to the jubilant Terp sidelines. Now he was, of course, searching for answers like everyone else. It hadn’t just been his doing, he tried to say again and again. There had been the effort of his defense, which had stood tall to stop Reich’s more famous counterpart, Bernie Kosar, in the second half to give the offense its chance to make history. And there had been the play of the running backs and wide receivers, especially senior Greg Hill, who caught eight passes for 182 yards and two touchdowns. “Coach [Bobby] Ross came to me before the second half and told me I was starting,” Reich said. “I just wanted to go out there and do what I could to spark something. Anything. Just to get some respect.” Someone quickly asked Reich if he really thought the Terps could make up the 31-
point halftime deficit, and Reich smiled his biggest smile. “You’ve always got to believe,” he said. “You’ve always got to believe.” Inside the Terp locker room, starting quarterback Stan Gelbaugh sat quietly in front of his locker, the first time since the team’s last loss — 25-24 to Penn State on Oct. 6 — that he has dressed in relative obscurity. Gelbaugh had completed six of 14 passes (one interception) for 35 yards in the disastrous first half, but if ever there was an occasion he was happy to have been taken out of a game, Gelbaugh said, this was it. “I was ineffective,” he said, shrugging. “I’m happy for Frank. He went in there and did what had to be done. He deserves the credit.” “I didn’t discuss it with the staff,” Ross said of his decision to start Reich in the second half. “I felt like we had to do something and had to go with Frank. He played very well. I felt a change of rhythm had to help.” email@example.com
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MONDAY, AUGUST 31, 2009 | SPORTS | THE DIAMONDBACK
FIELD HOCKEY PREVIEW
With great results come title expectations for Meharg’s team BY KATE YANCHULIS Senior staff writer
For the Terrapin field hockey team, success is not only desired, it’s expected. After winning their third National Championship in four years, the Terps start the season ranked No. 1 in the National Field Hockey Coaches Association preseason poll and face mounting pressure to take the title again. But coach Missy Meharg said the high stakes don’t faze the Terps too much. “I’ll be honest. We always intend to be in position to win the Atlantic Coast Conference and the National Championship,” the seven-time Coach of the Year said. “But I like to think we’ve moved beyond predicated expectations. We just want to work hard, have fun and create an environment of success, and in that way we can achieve our goals.” The last year the team began as No. 1 ended in disappointment in 2007, after a quarterfinal exit snapped a streak of four-straight Final Four appearances. But in 2008, the Terps used their frustration as fuel, storming to a 22-2 record and beating Wake Forest 4-2 in the championship game. To guard against a letdown, the Terps plan to use last season’s accomplishments not as an excuse for complacency, but as a building block. “We want to get better with ever y day, ever y ball in practice,” goalie Alicia Grater said. “Even though it’s my fifth year, I
still believe I can get better. I haven’t yet reached my full potential. That’s what we’re all trying to do this season” But the Terps must move forward without four graduating seniors, three of them former starters, the only class to take part in all three National Championships. The team loses not only 40 percent of the its scoring from last year, but also National Player of the Year Susie Rowe, who set program single-season records in goals and points. The Terps also lost midfielder/forward Meghan Dean for the season after she suffered an ACL injury in June while training with the U.S. under-21 national team. A robust attack should cushion the blow. Forward and two-time All-American Katie O’Donnell will anchor the offense after earning 68 points in 2008, the secondhighest total in team history behind only Rowe. And this year’s senior class, with all seven players in the starting lineup, could prove as talented as the last. “We have tremendous senior leaders,” Meharg said. “We’re focused on how far we can take this class. Collectively, they are exceedingly mature and they know what it takes to win. I think they’ll play the best hockey of their careers individually this season.” Forward Nicole Muracco, who notched the second-highest goal total last season, and midfielder Kristina Foster will join O’Donnell on the attack.
Grater and back Emma Thomas will lead a defense that that lost two key pieces in Rowe and Ellen Ott. Thomas has already begun following in Rowe’s footsteps as an offensive-minded back, taking eight shots and scoring two goals in Friday’s seasonopening 3-0 victory against Ohio at the Wildcat Classic hosted by Northwestern. To add defensive depth, Meharg said she will utilize under-21 U.S. national team members Alexis Pappas, Brianna Davies, Ameliet Rischen, and Alicia Morawski both upfield and in the backfield. And though the starting roster is packed with experience, nine freshmen have joined the team. Only two starting spots are unclaimed, but according to Meharg many of the freshmen are using competitive spirit and aggression to make strong cases for playing time. “It’s been a great experience getting to know one another and building up our team,” Grater said. “A number of people have stood out. But there are people you can count on every day, and for that I can basically name everyone on the team. And that’s definitely a good thing.” After two wins to start the season, Meharg said she believes the Terps have the potential to realize their back-to-back title aspirations. “We have the players to do that. Now we just need to work for it, one game at a time.” firstname.lastname@example.org
Midfielder Alexis Pappas scored for the No. 1 Terrapin field hockey team in Saturday’s win against Boston University. FILE PHOTO/THE DIAMONDBACK
HOCKEY from page 1 unranked teams were predictable. However, the scores were not. The Terp offense averaged 4.79 goals per game last season, the second-highest average in the country. Over the weekend it was obvious the attacking corps might need time to adjust to the loss of Susie Rowe, who set a program record with 28 goals last season. Coach Missy Meharg said she believes the team’s No. 1 ranking also played into the low scoring this weekend, as the Terps’ national status fueled their opponents. “I always believe teams come out with an extra level of emotion against a nationally ranked team,” Meharg said. “But we just need to stay focused on us. Overall, the coaching staff is very pleased by our start.” Against Boston, the offense had a strong first half, with forwards Janessa Pope and Alexis Pappas getting a goal each. But the team scored no goals in the second half. Whatever the reason for the lack of goals,
the team must remedy it. Ohio and Boston are unranked, but that is a luxury the Terps have in few games this season. With 13 ranked foes on the schedule, Meharg will need to find more attacking power against tougher ACC opponents. But the defense provided a bright spot for the weekend. Despite the graduation of starting backs Rowe and Ellen Ott, the backfield performed ably. Back Emma Thomas took eight shots and scored twice off penalty corners against Ohio. Forward Katie O’Donnell provided assists for both Thomas’s scores and got a goal of her own as well, scoring off a rebound from a blocked shot. In the cage, goalie Alicia Grater notched three saves against Ohio and seven against Boston in the shutout victories. “I was very pleased with our deep defense against Ohio,” Meharg said. “They have really talented players, Ohio does. They are a strong team to get a shutout against. It took us a little while to settle in, but once we did, we were able to execute quite well.” email@example.com
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THE DIAMONDBACK | SPORTS | MONDAY, AUGUST 31, 2009
FRIEDGEN from page 1 went 9-4 after back-to-back 5-6 seasons. But 2007 proved enough to the alumnus-turned-coach. Change was necessary. In the last year and a half, Friedgen has stripped himself of offensive coordinator duties. He’s named his hire, James Franklin, as the future head coach of the program. He’s hired new defensive and special-teams coordinators. And he’s lost more than 100 pounds at the behest of family members and to the benefit of his health. The Terps wrapped up training camp Saturday with a morning session. Their last practice was supposed to be that evening, but Friedgen canceled it. For the first time in his tenure with the Terps, he only used 28-of-29 allotted practices in camp. Then again, Friedgen canceled a night session Friday, Aug. 21, as well, opting to take the team to the movies. (They saw District 9. When asked for a review, the generally conservative Friedgen responded, “They liked it,” with a shrug.) And he’s spent the latter part of camp trying to ease the burden on his players, worried they would overexert themselves heading into a tough opener at No. 12 California on Saturday. “He’s definitely different,” linebacker Alex Wujciak said. “I tell him all the time, he’s going soft on us. He’s lost all that weight. He’s more energetic. He’s happier. He’s a changed man — just in practice and talking and in meet-
ings, he just seems more upbeat.” Friedgen emphasizes his team’s passion and his new coaching staff as the reasons for his jovial mood — one that often has him grinning and telling stories in post-practice sessions with the media. But there’s little doubt his weight loss — Friedgen peaked at 401 pounds last season, but has dropped 105 pounds as of early August and hopes to lose 150 total — has helped give him the energy to laugh. “It’s not rocket science — the guy’s lost 105 pounds,” Franklin said. “Just imagine carrying 105 pounds around with you every single day. That’s going to affect your mood.” Friedgen uses the Medifast diet — eating five meals a day supplied through the Owings Mills, Md., company, and avoiding bread since last October. He plans to continue the diet through the season — “It really works with his schedule,” his wife, Gloria Friedgen, said — as he navigates an inexperienced team through a difficult lineup of opponents. These Terps return with just seven players who started more than half of the team’s 13 games last year. But thus far, they’ve been defined by an attitude best described as youthful exuberance, one that has translated onto the practice field. It’s that machismo that has Friedgen worried his players are going too hard. It’s moments like when Wujciak, who recorded a team-leading 133 tackles last year, complains about being rested in a scrimmage after having knee problems earlier in the day. And the twinkle in the ninth-year coach’s eye signifies some-
thing more than coach-speak. “He may have said some of those things in the past, but I just think there’s a genuine affection now,” Gloria Friedgen said. “He’s always cared about all of his players ... but this team — their youthful confidence ... you definitely get an energy from this team.” Friedgen has also relied heavily on his new coaches. New defensive coordinator Don Brown has come in with an all-over-the-place system and with a bit of a helping hand for Friedgen. Brown’s experience as head coach at Massachusetts has allowed Friedgen the luxury of another knowledgeable point of view. And his comfort with Franklin, who he hired before last year as offensive coordinator, was made evident by his decision to christen Franklin as his successor in February. “I haven’t called a play yet [since hiring Franklin],” Friedgen said. “When you’ve got good people, you let them do their jobs.” Friedgen’s level of comfort seems to increase by the day. Gloria said she and their three daughters have seen it at home and while they were on vacation, where Ralph fished and waterskied with the family. And nearly every player asked agreed with wide smiles. It’s been a fun camp for the Terps, with Wujciak and fellow linebacker Adrian Moten doing a little trash-talking with Franklin during drills and Brown chirping orders in a high-pitched scream. And Friedgen is far from immune. The players broke a huddle last
Friedgen has been in a lighter mood this year than during previous preseason camps, according to players and other observers. ADAM FRIED/THE DIAMONDBACK
week to the words “SEXY FRIDGE,” a reference to the weight loss. Others have told him they have trouble finding him on the field now that he’s slimmed down so much. Redshirt freshman A.J. Francis, one of the boldest of the underclassmen and a slotted starter at nose tackle, took it even further. One day during drills, he came up behind his coach and gave him a firm pat on the butt, taking the 62-year-old coach by surprise. But in the end, Francis, Friedgen and the rest of the team and staff believe this team is tied together tight.
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In the last five years — or as long as any current player has been on the team — the Terps have amassed an unimpressive 33-28 record. The team doesn’t care. They like each other. They like their coaches. And they like their chances. “The biggest thing to having a winning season is to having a team that’s together,” Francis said. “If you have a talented team that’s separated, they’ll do a lot worse than a team that may have less talent but plays together.” And it all starts at the top. firstname.lastname@example.org
MONDAY, AUGUST 31, 2009 | THE DIAMONDBACK
THE DIAMONDBACK | SPORTS | MONDAY, AUGUST 31, 2009
TERRAPIN FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK
Kicking, offensive line competitions will continue
from page 1 He has noticeably improved his arm strength, his fundamentals and his physique since last year, but the biggest difference between the end of last season and the beginning of this one is how he feels mentally. Turner said he feels like the game is beginning to slow down for him, and everything is really coming together. “It’s a pretty big difference. I feel very confident going to the line,” Turner said. “I’m kind of at that point where I just feel very comfortable that I know what’s going to happen.” At this time last year, Turner was dealing with the disappointment of being passed over in favor of Jordan Steffy as the Terps’ starting quarterback for the season opener against Delaware. By all accounts, Turner handled the situation well, and he said there was never much weight behind the speculation at the time that he might transfer. Then, Steffy broke his thumb against the Blue Hens, and Turner became the Terps’ starter for the rest of the season. Turner played well at times and led the Terps to several high-profile wins, but he never felt 100 percent comfortable in his first year running new offensive coordinator James Franklin’s complex offense. “It was hard for him to be the type of leader I wanted him to be last year because he didn’t really completely know everything he was doing,” Franklin said. “It wasn’t natural to him yet.” So Turner and Franklin went back during the offseason and watched the film from every game last season and graded Turner on each throw he made. What Franklin called Turner’s formerly
DETWEILER from page 1 to make him as uncomfortable as possible. And Brown tries to take advantage of personnel matchups to put players in the best position to accomplish this goal. The result is an exciting new scheme that cornerback Nolan Carroll describes as “attack mode.” With less than a week to go before it is unveiled in the season-opener Saturday at No. 12 California, it’s clear the radically new defense’s success will determine the season’s direction. “We’re blitzing, constantly trying to get after the quarterback,” Carroll said. “There’s always some type of disguise. We’re just trying to confuse the quarterback and basically mess with his mind.” Gone is the zone-based scheme of former coordinator Chris Cosh, who
Turner (No. 10) spent the offseason reviewing last season’s game film with offensive coordinator James Franklin (left). ADAM FRIED/THE DIAMONDBACK
“kind of mushy” physique has become more muscular and shaped. But Franklin said Turner is throwing the ball with more velocity and accuracy this preseason mostly because he has the confidence to get in a rhythm and go through his progressions with the proper timing. And because Turner now knows what everyone else around him is supposed to be doing, he has become less hesitant to correct his teammates’ mistakes in practice and has become a more noticeable leader. “Chris has always been a laid-back kind of guy, but this year he’s been more vocal,” wide receiver Torrey Smith said. “He’s been out in the front and everything. I really feel like he understands that this is his last chance and he’s giving it his all right now.” And that’s what this season boils down to for Turner: This year is his last chance to make an impact. He is one of a small group of seniors who must shape the identity of
earned fans’ ire for his conservative approach. Even though Cosh instituted a tweaked 3-3-5 “Terp” defensive formation last season, he was forced at times to use a more conventional base defense to stop the run. The numbers weren’t good, either. The Terps ranked in the bottom half of the ACC in just about every major defensive category. If Cosh brought a vanilla scheme, then Brown provides a Rocky Road-like hodgepodge, if not an altogether different rainbow sherbet. Brown isn’t afraid to be different, and the 54-year-old doesn’t hide the fact that the system can be prone to giving up big plays. But for a defense that forced just 17 turnovers last season and hasn’t scored a touchdown since 2006, it should generate some much-needed fireworks. “Without risk there is no reward,” Brown said. “I’m just not one of those
this young and largely inexperienced team. If Turner plays the way he, Franklin and coach Ralph Friedgen expect him to, things could fall into place for the Terps. If Turner struggles, wins are going to be hard to come by. “I think it’s very important that he plays well,” Friedgen said. “I think if he plays well we’re going to have a chance.” Turner knows what he wants to accomplish, and for the first time in his Terp career there are no other quarterbacks and no more mental hurdles standing in his way. “I just want to have a really successful season, the kind of season that I’ve always wanted to have for myself and for this program.” Turner said. “That’s kind of what I want — to have one of those years you don’t forget.” email@example.com
guys that sits back and takes it in the teeth.” Another person taking a calculated risk is coach Ralph Friedgen. In early January, Friedgen, about a month away from naming his eventual successor, had the opportunity to pick a new defensive coordinator. After considering a variety of candidates, both in and outside the program, he eschewed a safer choice and went with “different.” Now it’s time to see where that leads. So far the system has gotten rave reviews from players and coaches. Carroll said it was easier to pick up the system because everyone was so excited about it. Friedgen added that he’s surprised that mental errors in practice have been minimal given the complexity of the scheme. And perhaps the best compliments come from the offense, which has dealt with headaches the defense has caused since the spring.
It’s less than a week before the season opener, and Terrapin football coach Ralph Friedgen still doesn’t know who his starting field goal kicker is going to be. Friedgen said it’s a “nice problem to have,” as true freshman Nick Ferrara and redshirt freshman Mike Barbour have both looked good during preseason camp. But neither has separated himself enough from the other to win the job yet. Ferrara has the stronger leg and better technique, but Barbour has more experience in the program, though he has yet to appear in a game. Friedgen said both will likely travel to California, and he has not ruled out using Ferrara for longer field goals and Barbour for shorter ones. “I’ll probably just go with a gut feeling,” Friedgen said. “[I’ll probably decide] Saturday at about 7 o’clock Pacific time.”
0-LINE NOT SETTLED The Terps’ biggest area of concern entering the spring remains its most obvious question mark as the season approaches: replacing five of the team’s seven regular offensive linemen from last year. Training camp began with competitions at both guard spots and right tackle, while left
“You’ve got people coming from everywhere,” said wide receiver Torrey Smith. “It’s like a war zone. Everybody has to pay attention.” That’s reason enough to be excited. In a mediocre, yet highly competitive ACC, that element of surprise provides a much-needed boost. And with intriguing athletic pieces at his disposal, Brown has an opportunity to do some great things. “Obviously, what you’re trying to do is not mismatch your players,” Brown said. “If you can do those things, it’s like a basketball game. You give yourself a chance, and then you’ve got to make the most of it.” Scheme alone won’t transform the Terps into one of the conference’s top defenses. But it should make things awfully exciting. firstname.lastname@example.org
tackle and center were to be manned by returnee Bruce Campbell and ex-guard Phil Costa, respectively. And while Friedgen has emerged with an idea of who might start Saturday, the battle for playing time is far from over. Former walk-on Paul Pinegar has emerged as the likely starting right tackle, beating out R.J. Dill and a hobbled Tyler Bowen, whose foot hasn’t healed from offseason surgery. At guard, another former walkon, Andrew Gonnella, will start at one of the two positions with Justin Lewis, Lamar Young and true freshman Bennett Fulper vying for the final spot. Still, Friedgen has admitted it’s doubtful the same group of five will start all year.
CAMP NOTES Sophomore Davin Meggett has emerged as a viable lead running back, according to coaches, and will likely split time with returning starter Da’Rel Scott this season. ... A bevy of true freshmen will likely see action this year for the Terps, including Ferrara, Fulper, linebackers Darin Drakeford and Avery Murray and defensive tackle Zach Kerr. Adi Joseph and Greg Schimmel contributed to this report.
Don Brown’s defensive scheme has drawn rave reviews in preseason camp. ADAM FRIED/THE DIAMONDBACK