Beating Duke Will Be a Team Effort

Friedgen's message to his team can only go so far for the Terps on Saturday.

After announcing freshman Tyler Smith will start at quarterback, Maryland head coach Ralph Friedgen couldn’t help but be amused by his subtle prank.

But in the team’s last practice before their contest versus Duke, Friedgen acknowledged what his team will be facing Saturday when they take the field. Coming off a 34-21 loss to Army, led by the five turnovers by the offense, the Blue Devils are a motivated team. That could only mean trouble for the Terps.

“I have a lot of respect for [Duke head coach] David Cutcliffe. I know they had a disappointing loss last week. I know Duke’s going to come here really ready to play, and we’re going to have to be ready,” Friedgen said. “If we don’t, we’re going to be really regretting it later on.”

A win over their Atlantic Coast Conference rival will give Maryland a chance to reach four wins, double the amount in their 2009 campaign. It will also provide an extra week of rest for the infirmary that is the Terps’ locker room.

“Four and one going into the break, we’d have to some momentum. Hopefully we can get healed up little a bit, and go into the last half of the season,” Friedgen said. Currently, the team lists seven injured players on the depth chart, which doesn’t account for the bangs and bruises across the roster.

The key, however, to earning the victory – it’s not Xs and Os, weakside blitzes or the “wild turtle” formation; it comes from heart.

Friday night, before the game against Florida International, Friedgen sensed his team would come out ready to play and make a definitive statement. This week, he hopes to get that same gut feeling, and his team can draw upon what they learned last week.

“This was going to come down to a very, very tough game. You’re going to have to come out of your comfort zone to win it,” Friedgen told him team before the game. “That’s exactly what happened, and I think this one [versus Duke] is going to be the same way.”

This week, Friedgen continued his routine style of motivating his team. He spoke to them daily, beginning with a team meeting to set the tone for the day. His speeches are short and sweet, but always consistent.

“I believe that you try to give a different message to same goal every day and remind them,” Friedgen said, with the goal to bestow a sense or urgency in his team.

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