Ralph Friedgen Quotes

Maryland coach talks about this weekend's game.

On the game vs. NC State:
"We had a good practice last night. In viewing the tape, I thought offensively, the first series we played with a lot of intensity, and we played pretty well. To have a very good drive and not come out of it with points was a little disheartening. From then on, we kind of lost some of our intensity. I didn't see it as a lack of effort, I saw it as a lack of execution. My only remedy is that we have to get better, we've got to work on getting better, regardless of who's on the field, and that's what we plan on doing.

"Defensively, I thought we played a very good game. With the exception of third down, which they did a good job of attacking some of our coverages and the weak spots, and other ones where we had some breakdowns in coverage. But our first and second down defense I thought was excellent. Our defense played with tremendous passion and tremendous effort and enthusiasm and intensity. Shawne Merriman, D'Qwell Jackson and Chris Kelley, I thought all had exceptional games. Special team-wise, we played well. I thought Adam Podlesh punted very, very well. He's going to be one of the better punters in the country."

On the starting quarterback situation:
"I think we'll continue to let them compete. I will say this: I think the competition is getting closer, but I'm still not convinced who the starter will be. It'll probably be a gametime decision."

On his team's confidence:
"We're not playing with a lot of confidence right now. It's amazing what three weeks can do. Three weeks ago we almost had 700 yards of total offense. I haven't seen another team do that to Duke. We just have not played to the way we're capable of playing. Obviously, I have to look at myself when that's happening. I'm not doing something right. In some ways we've tried to simplify things, and we may have gotten too simple. So therefore, we've been working hard this week as coaches to try to be as simple as we can, but make it more difficult for people to defend us."

On QB Joel Statham:
"I've reiterated to him so many times what an interception does to me, and if he has any pity on his coach he'll try not to throw those. Last week I really backed off, tried to be encouraging with him, did the same last night. I think there's a fine line with being aggressive and not being aggressive and trying to be too perfect. I think there's a little bit of that in Joel. I will say this: I don't think we would have been in the games at all if we had turned the ball over. The fact that we did not turn the ball over, we were in both the Georgia Tech game and the NC State game right until the very end. Now if we would just start doing something on the offensive side of the ball, I think we're going to start winning some football games, because we're playing good enough with special teams and defense to do that, and not turning the ball over is part of it."

On punter Adam Podlesh:
"We've got a heck of a punter. He can punt the football. If we've got to play field position, then I'm willing to do that. I'll do what I have to do to win."

On the team's youth:
"We'll work out of this. Someone's got to raise up and start making some plays. We have some young kids, who, when I look at the tape, are playing very hard. They're missing an assignment here or a technique there, and it's magnified because nothing else is happening around them. The ball has to come out, someone has to get open, we can't sit back there and just hold the ball, we have to start doing something with it. I told our coaches we have to be pretty creative in where we get help for certain guys."

On starting freshman QB Jordan Steffy on the road:
"If I thought he could handle it and we could win the game, I'd do it in a heartbeat. He's getting close, he really is. I thought he had an excellent practice last night. I think it's getting closer. I'm not saying that won't happen this week."

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