Not so fast.
Head coach Ralph Friedgen is taking the cautious approach to preparing for the matchup against his teams in-state opponents Saturday night. He preached to his team not to overlook the Bears in what could be considered a classic trap game.
Friedgen had nothing but praise for the Morgan State team, complementing the excess amount of talent on both offense and defense. Their quarterback, running and offensive line, according to Friedgen, were players that caught his attention.
[Morgan States] got some talented people, Friedgen said. Thats why theyre throwing [the ball] so much.
In their opening game against Bowie State, MSU quarterback Donovan Dickerson completed half of his 32 pass attempts. Jourdan Brooks, the teams running back who transferred from Rutgers, rushed for 62 yards.
Defensively, it was the depth of the defensive line that worried Friedgen, after he spotted eight linemen in their rotation. The secondary also received acclaim.
Theyll probably blitz the heck out of us because they got nothing to lose. Its a dangerous game, Friedgen said.
Games against Division 1-AA teams like Morgan State are especially threatening to Friedgen. The matchup presents a hungry team with the opportunity at taking down a big name Division 1-A school, which Friedgen believes changes the entire feel of the game.
[Division 1-AA schools are] waiting for you. Its just a different atmosphere, and those guys are pumped. Thats not an easy out, Friedgen explained. I know that [theyre not an easy out]. Try telling those kids that. Im worried about this [game against Morgan State]. Morgan [States] going to come in here and play like crazy. This is their Super Bowl, BCS Championship.
Friedgen also acknowledged whats at stakes this weekend – becoming a 2-0 team or falling to .500. By beating Morgan State, the Terps could be making major strides towards becoming a better overall team.
It would be very big for us [to go 2-0]. It would give us some momentum. The thing I was trying to explain to the players is that its not even about Morgan State; its more about us getting better each and every week, Friedgen said. To do that, you have to be consistent.
Consistency, in the words of Friedgen, would help take his team from good to great. To reach that level, Friedgen sees discipline and the right mindset as key. A lot will depend on the leadership he believes his team possesses, according to the head coach.
When youre complacent you go out there and thats when you get your butt beat.
What else would a win against Morgan State Saturday accomplish? How about proving the naysayers wrong?
Friedgen, who has a lot of faith in his squad, hopes that moving to 2-0 will help to increase the attention that his team received following their impressive victory against the Midshipmen. He is, however, aware that a loss could have an equally damaging.
We need to show people what were capable of. I really believe this team is capable of a lot of good things. But they got to go out and do it, Friedgen said. If we dont play well, everybody will say we were lucky. If we played well, maybe theyll say maybe we have a good team.
At 6 p.m., the Terps will have a chance to prove their head coach right, when they take on the Morgan State Bears at Byrd Stadium.