Big Play Potential Against Maryland?

Charlie Whitehurst says the Maryland defense potentially creates the opportunity for more big plays. <BR>

Charlie, Maryland is a team defensively that has given you guys some problems over the past few years. What are they doing on defense that causes that?
Whitehurst: Well, I think they are talented and they play hard. They have some pretty good schemes. They have created some problems for us. I think more so than the past couple of weeks they are going to give us some opportunities for the big plays. They like to out-number you in the box and stop the run that way so we are going to have to hit those big ones when they give us the chance.

They have struggled the last two weeks especially in offense averaging less than 100 yards of total offense against Tech and also N.C. State. Do you think that helps this team confidence wise? Do you think you have a better shot this year against these guys?
Whitehurst: A little bit. You know I think they are going to come out of it. Ralph Friedgen isn't an idiot over there he has proven that he is one of the best in the business. I think they will be ready for us. For me you are looking at them defensively. I don't care what their offense is going to do. We are going to try to score as many points as we can. They are playing pretty good on defense so that is kind of our focus right now.

The running game really came to life last week. How important is that the rest of the season? You had to be pleased to see that.
Whitehurst: Oh yeah, that is going to be important for us. I think we have done some things in the running game that can help us. I think we showed that last week. If we can continue that it can help us be successful.

I got the sense during the second half against Utah State that the offense started getting in to a rhythm and started to remind you a little bit of what we saw at the end of last year. Would you agree with that?
Whitehurst: Yeah, I would. It was happening for us, it seemed like everything was working and that's kind of what was going on last year. Whatever that was we have got to find it this week.

Play calling; you mentioned Maryland gives you the opportunity for more big plays. Is that the deep ball perhaps a little but more this week?
Whitehurst: I'm not real sure. I think there is a little bit more man coverage than we have been seeing. If that is a deep ball fine, if it's a slant and break a tackle fine. Both can be pretty big for us.

Michael Collins really played well last week. Is he a guy you're starting to look to a little bit more the rest of the season?
Whitehurst: Yeah, I think so. I think he will be in there a good bit more. He has proven he can get the job done and help us win and make some big plays. I think he will be in there more.

What about Chansi Stuckey? He's a guy that has a big first week against Wake Forest but we haven't heard much about him, obviously he was injured last week. Is there anything that is holding him back? Inexperience at wide receiver or anything like that?
Whitehurst: I think he is getting better and better. He hasn't had a lot of opportunities since that first game. We are still going to feed him the ball as much as we can. He hasn't lost his step; he is still a young guy. We will give him the ball as much as we can and watch him work.

We've seen you take a couple of opportunities to run the ball a little bit especially against FSU. You did a few times last week. Is that something you are getting more comfortable with at all?
Whitehurst: No. Not really. I'm not too good at it and haven't been really my whole life. You've just got to see if you can break a tackle or something and get down but that's kind of the way I look at it.

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