Terps on Tap in Rare East Coast Trip

The No. 23 California Golden Bears are off to a 2-0 start to the 2008 season. This week Cal takes a rare East Coast road trip to battle the Maryland Terrapins of the Atlantic Coast Conference. It will be the first meeting between the schools. The Terps are reeling after suffering an upset road loss a Middle Tennessee, while the Bears are rolling after beating Washington State 66-3.

California (2-0, 1-0 Pac-10) vs. Maryland (1-1, 0-0 ACC)
Saturday, 9 a.m. PT Chevy Chase Bank Field at Byrd Stadium College Park, Md.
TV: ESPN
Radio: KGO Radio (810 AM) in San Francisco (Joe Starkey, Troy Taylor, Todd McKim) - and affiliate stations KGIL Radio (1260 AM Los Angeles), XSURF Radio (540 AM San Diego), KNTK Radio (102.3 Weed), KCBL Radio (1340 AM Fresno), KESP Radio (970 AM Modesto), KVBL Radio (1400 AM Visalia) and KTKZ Radio (1380 AM Sacramento).


California

Cal had a very successful opening weekend in the Pac-10 conference. The Bears piled up an impressive 66 points in its victory over Washington State last Saturday. The win puts the Golden Bears in position to look for their fifth 3-0 start in seven years under Head Coach Jeff Tedford. Standing between the Bears and another impressive start is a 3,000-mile trip to Maryland. The Bears last played on the East Coast in 2001 in a 20-10 victory at Rutgers. Tedford is 1-0 versus current ACC teams.

This will be Cal's first meeting with Maryland in school history. The Bears are 1-1-1 all-time against the ACC. Cal is 1-0 versus Clemson (37-13 win in the 1992 Citrus Bowl) and 1-0-1 against Duke (21-7 loss in 1962 and a 22-22 tie in 1963). Cal has played current ACC members Georgia Tech, Miami (Fla.) and Virginia Tech when those respective teams were not in the ACC. The Bears have a 7-6-1 record against current ACC teams.

Cal has played 28 games on the East Coast in its 113-year history. Here are the 10 most recent trips:

  • 11/23/01 at Rutgers W, 20-10
  • 9/18/93 at Temple W, 58-0
  • 1/1/92 vs. Clemson W, 37-13 (Citrus Bowl)
  • 9/16/89 at Miami L, 3-31
  • 9/13/86 at Boston College L, 15-21
  • 9/12/81 at Georgia L, 13-27
  • 9/13/80 vs. Florida L, 13-41 (Tampa, Fla.)
  • 9/20/80 at Army L, 19-26
  • 12/15/79 vs. Temple L, 17-28 (Garden State Bowl)
  • 9/16/78 at Georgia Tech W, 34-22


    Maryland

    The Terrapins are coming off a tough 24-14 loss on the road at Middle Tennessee. The Maryland offense, which has nine starters back from 2007 and a new coordinator in James Franklin, has been able to move the ball in its two games against Delaware and MT. (377 yards of total offense per game) Despite making a number of big plays and averaging 377 yards per game, the offense has been inconsistent.

    The Terps rushing attack entering the season faced a level of uncertainty, however, sophomore Da'Rel Scott has rushed for 320 yards in his first two career starts. He is tied fourth nationally in rushing yards per game (160.0) and the Terps are ranked 26th nationally in rushing (208.5 ypg). Junior Chris Turner started at MT in place of injured senior quarterback Jordan Steffy. He completed 13 of 28 passes for 207 yards. Turner started the final eight games in 2008.

    Darrius Heyward-Bey leads a talented receiving corps. The junior is averaging 80 yards per game receiving, which ranks third in the ACC. He has scored two touchdowns. Opening holes for the running game is a veteran offensive line which returns six of its top seven performers from 2007, including senior center Edwin Williams. He is on the watch list for the Rimington Trophy and Lombardi Award.

    Junior fullback Cory Jackson is opening holes for the tailbacks for the third-straight season, while senior tight end Dan Gronkowski is on the preseason watch list for the Mackey Award.

    Defensively, the Terps have five starters back from a unit, which ranked 24th nationally in points allowed (21.5 ppg) and 40th in total defense (358.0 ypg) last season. Maryland held Delaware scoreless for nearly 55 minutes and yielded just 249 yards of total offense in the season opener, but surrendered 400 total yards in Saturday's loss to MTSU.

    Three-year starting defensive tackle Jeremy Navarre is the leader up front. He has notched 10 tackles this season, while linebackers Alex Wujciak and Dave Philistin have a team-high 15 stops apiece. Philistin is on a number of awards lists, including the one for the Butkus Award.

    The other returning starters include senior cornerback Kevin Barnes, linebacker Trey Covington, and linebacker Moise Fokou. Barnes is the lone returning starter in the secondary. He tallied an interception and forced a fumble vs. Delaware. Junior Terrell Skinner and senior Jeff Allen are the new starters at free safety and strong safety, respectively. Skinner had a pick in the opener and eight tackles vs. MT, while Allen and Philistin shared team-high honors with nine stops versus the Blue Raiders.

    The Terps return all components of its special teams unit from last season. Sophomore punter Travis Baltz and senior place-kicker Obi Egekeze are both in their second seasons as starters. Baltz, a freshman All-ACC choice, averaged 40.9 yards per punt last season, including 43.1 in league games, which ranked second. He is averaging 42.9 ypp through two games. Egekeze hit 17 of 23 field-goal attempts last year, including a near-perfect mark in league games (13 of 14/93 percent). He has missed his first four attempts this season, but three were from over 40 yards and three hit the goal post. Sure-handed senior Danny Oquendo is the punt returner for the third straight season, while redshirt freshman Torrey Smith has opened the season as the kickoff returner.


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