Terps notebook: 2012 building blocks

Terps notebook: 2012 building blocks
November 25, 2011, 11:54 pm
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By Benjamin Standig
CSNwashington.comConsidering the Maryland football programs dismal record,its current seven-game losing streak, the suspensions and numerous injuries, saying there was less to be thankful for this season is hardly a stretch. Therefore, as the Terps enter Saturdays season finale at NC State, looking at the building blocks heading into next season becomes the glass half-full option.On the defensive side alone, 46 man games were lost to potential starters, which meant playing time suddenly became available with every snap, crackle and pop. Frequently that next man up was a kid, a true or redshirt freshman. Each level of defense has received an injection of youth with the likes of defensive linemen Andre Monroe (team-high five sacks) and Keith Bowers, linebacker Alex Twine and safety A. J. Hendy getting a significant head start before spring practice and the 2012 campaign. Of the 22 spots on the Terps latest two-deep defensive depth chart, freshmen occupy 10."Yeah, I mean obviously the injuries didn't help us at all, and a lot of different depth changes on the defensive side, said defensive tackle Joe Vellano. But we have a lot of guys coming back and some good stuff for the future. All the freshmen gaining experience has been a huge positive." During Randy Edsall's candid Tuesday press conference, the Terps coach listed several players as pieces the team can build around, including freshmen Hendy, Twine and defensive end Marcus Whitfield.Not surprisingly the first name Edsall mentioned was Vellano, one Terp likely to be receiving some conference accolades in the coming weeks. The junior and one of Marylands team captains is averaging 7.82 tackles, tops among all FBS defensive lineman.I think Joe has been and warrior and leader. He gets after it each and every day, Edsall said.Twine, who sat out last week with an injury, is questionable to face the Wolfpack. The 17-year-old has emerged from the pack of youthful linebackers, highlighted by his 12 tackles three for losses against Notre Dame on Nov 12.Offensively, Edsallhighlighted the likes of freshman running backreturner Justus Pickett (757 total yards), tight end Matt Furstenberg (29 receptions), wide receiver Kevin Dorseyand left tackle Max Garcia. I think Max has done a great job, Edsall said. He has been dealing with some injuries but he doesn't complain and goes out there and plays. He wants to be on the practice field.There are no seniors among the 10 offensive linemen listed on the two-deep depth chart, though next seasons squad could have three senior starters in right tackle R.J. Dill (29 consecutive starts), guard Justin Gilbert and center Bennett Fulper. Freshman center Sal Canaboy will make his second start of the season against the Wolfpack, replacing the injured Fulper.Dorsey exploded out of the gate with 17 receptions for 203 yards and a touchdown during the first two games. The junior's numbers dipped as the Terps offense - Dorsey also sat out the Florida State game with an injury -but still leads the teamin receptions (42) and yardage (485). Questionable (undisclosed injury) for the season finale, but Dorsey likely enters next season as the Terps top wide out, assuming he "stops being his own worst enemy. Sometimes Kevin tries to do too much instead of just letting it happen," Edsall said.What you need to know...The Combatants: Maryland (2-9, 1-6 ACC) vs. NC State (6-5, 3-4)When: Saturday, 12:30 p.m. at Carter-Finley Stadium, Raleigh, N.C.History: Maryland holds slim 32-31-4 series lead; the Terps have won eight of the last 11, including 38-31 last season in College Park.Coaches: Randy Edsall, 1st year at Maryland; Tom OBrien, 5th year at NC StatePlayers to watch, Maryland: C.J. Brown, QB, So.; Davin Meggett, RB, Sr.; Quintin McCree, WR, Sr.; Joe Vellano, DT, So.Players to watch, NC State: Mike Glennon, QB, Jr.; George Bryan, TE, Sr.; Audie Cole, ILB, Sr.; David Amerson, CB, So. Maryland notes...Picking up a win would prevent the Terps second 10-loss season in the last three years...The Terps enter the finale as the least penalized team in terms of yardage in the ACC, followed by the WolfpackWith 82 rushing yards, running back Davin Meggett (2,320 career rushing yards) will move into seventh place on the Terps all-time list, passing DaRei Scott..Leading tackler Eric Franklin is two stops shy of 100. The junior safety would become only the third Terp in history to record 100 tackles in a season, joining teammate Kenny Tate.NC State notesThe Wolfpack must win to secure a bowl berth for the third time in four seasons after keeping their postseason hopes alive last week by stunning No. 7 Clemson...Glennon (Centreville, Va.) tossed three of his 23 touchdown passes in the win over the Tigers. Only Philip Rivers and Russell Wilson have thrown more touchdown passes in a single season then the 6-6 GlennonAmerson leads the nation with 11 interceptions and the Wolfpacks 22 picks also ranks first in the countryNot just formidable against the pass, the Wolfpacks stingy run defense has allowed 36.3 rush yards over the last three games and NC States overall defense now ranks No. 2 in the ACC