Adams Named Goal-Line, Short-Yardage Back

Terps add a third back to their running back committee.

After a career-best performance against the Demon Deacons Saturday, the Maryland coaching staff has opted to appoint D.J. Adams as the team’s running back in goal-line and short-yardage situations.

“We’re going to continue to allow [Adams] to be our short-yardage and goal-line back,” Terps offensive coordinator James Franklin said of the 5-10, 220 pound bruiser.

Adams ran for 84 yards on 16 carries, including a one-yard touchdown. It was the redshirt freshman’s first action in four weeks, when he rushed for one yard on one carry against Duke.

Head coach Ralph Friedgen said it took some time for Adams to get acclimated to the team’s game plan, and that his poor pass protection and problems holding on to the football were a cause for concern. Adams had fumbled against Wake Forest, but the Terps maintained possession.

“He’s going to be a good back. He’s getting better. Like a lot of young backs, he struggles with pass pick-ups, protection,” Friedgen said. “It’s just a matter of confidence in him being able to handle the whole game plan. The last thing we need is to turn somebody free and get Danny [O’Brien] hurt.”

On the season, Adams has racked up 160 yards on 29 carries – good for a 5.4 yard per carry average in the four games has seen action in. He has also reached the end zone three times, including two in goal-line situations.

“Every game he has gotten in he has run the ball extremely well. All of the offensive coaches really believe he can do something,” Friedgen said.

Against Miami Saturday, expect to see Adams for a more extensive action, as the coaching staff is implementing a package of plays to cater to his strengths.

“We’re going to try and put a package together for [Adams],” Friedgen said. “We want to get him in the game. In this type of game I think it could be good; it’s going to be a very physical game.”

Ferrara Coming Along

After what Friedgen called his best week of practice all season, placekicker Nick Ferrara may finally be ready to assume kicking duties in Sunday’s matchup in Miami. While making the switch is a difficult move to make, it may be even harder to resist temptation.

“I think if I had a real long one I’d probably put Nick in,” Friedgen said after Wednesday’s practice, where Ferrara kicked a 47-yarder. “If we get to a situation where I can play him in the game and give him some confidence and see what happens I might make the change.”

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