Terps notebook: Virginia running into Byrd

Terps notebook: Virginia running into Byrd
November 4, 2011, 8:39 pm
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By Benjamin Standig
CSNwashington.comMaryland's inability to stop opposing ground games- ranking 118 out of 120 FBS programs - headlines the defensive woes for a unit allowing an ACC-high 31 points per game. Adding to their woes, the Terps will be without suspended defensive end David Mackall on Saturday when they face the run-oriented Virginia Cavaliers.Ranked third in the conference with 186.4 rushing yards per game, the Cavaliers lean on 5-8runners Perry Jones and Kevin Parks plus freshman Clifton Richardson to carry the backfield load. All three average over five yards per carry for the third-place team in the ACC's Coastal division."The three running backs that they have are all hard runners and we'll definitely have to get our run-defense prepared," said cornerback Trenton Hughes, one of 15 Maryland seniors set to play their final home game at Byrd Stadium.Parks, a redshirt freshman,has topped 80 rushing yards infour of his seven games played this season and is tied for fifth in theACC with seven touchdowns. And he is not the Cavaliers lead option.That would bethe sophomore Jones, who ranks fifth in the ACC in rushing at 80.4 yards per game and is Virginia's second-leading receiver with 28 receptions."He isn't only running the ball he is catching it too," Maryland coach Randy Edsall said of Jones. "They are going to run the zone, power and the outside stretch,. They get him the ball every way as well as in the passing game. He was matched up with a linebacker against Miami and he beat him for a long touchdown. Jones may be a dual-threat most weeks, but he added an element to arsenal last week in Virginia's 28-21 win at Miami. In addition to hauling in a 78-yard reception from quarterback Michael Rocco and rushing for 67 yards, Jones threw the first pass of his collegiate career, resulting in a 37-yard touchdown."He is a guy who they feel is a playmaker for them so they are trying to get him the ball in a variety of ways," said Edsall, who gets his first taste of the "border war" rivalry. Last season the Terps snapped a three-game losing streak in the series with a 42-23 winin Charlottesville."The kids have talked about it and we are anxious to play them. We know we have to play very well," Edsall said. They are coming up here having lost to us last year so we know we have to be ready to go." While the passing game has erratic at best in recent weeks - Edsall once again said the choice between quarterbacks Danny O'Brien and C.J. Brown will be a game time decision - the Terps can counter with a solid rushing attack. Led by senior Davin Meggett, Maryland generates 171.9 yards per game and has ripped off 197 rushing yards in four of its last five games. Last season D.J. Adams scored three touchdown in the win over the Cavaliers, but the sophomore has been relegated to a bench role much of this season, receiving only one carry over the last four games.Senior DayOf the 15 seniors on Maryland's roster, four are projected to start on Saturday; Meggett, wide receiver Quintin McCree, cornerback Cameron Chism and defensive tackle Maurice Hampton."You don't know what it's like until after you leave, but I know when I hit the field that day, I'd better do everything in my power to stop everything," Hampton said. "Because when I look back on this 10 years from now, I'm going to think about this game. I'm going to think about my last home game here at the University of Maryland."Senior linebacker Kenny Tate, whohopes to return as a medical redshirt next season, underwent season-ending surgery last week. Fourth-year junior linebacker Shaquan Virgil will take part on the pregame ceremony.What you need to know...The Combatants: Maryland (2-6, 1-4 ACC) vs.Virginia (5-3, 2-2)When: Saturday, 12:30 p.m. at Byrd StadiumHistory: Maryland leads the series 42-31-2. The Terps hold a 20-12-2 advantage in College Park, though the Cavaliers have won straightat Byrd Stadium.Coaches: Randy Edsall, 1st year at Maryland; Mike London,2nd year at VirginiaPlayers to watch, Maryland: Danny OBrien, QB, So.; C.J. Brown, QB, So.; Davin Meggett, RB, Sr.; Joe Vellano, DT, So.Players to watch, Boston College: Michael Rocco, QB, So.; Perry Jones, RB, Jr.; Steve Greer, ILB, Jr.;Cam Johnson, DE, Sr. Notes...Vellano's 7.75 tackles per games ranks first among all FBS defensive lineman this season...Receievingproduction from defensive end and District native Cam Johnson, the Cavaliers rank third in the ACC in total defense (329 ypg)...Tied for 10th on Maryland's career rushing list, Meggett needs 19 yards to vault into 9th place, passing Alvin Blount (2,158; 1983-86)