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While the rest of the college football world readies for their season opener today, the Terrapins are still fine-tuning things in preparation for their showdown Monday against Miami.
Randy Edsall, who is about 48 hours away from his debut as debut as Maryland's head coach, said Saturday's practice is critical to the players' physical preparation. It could also be the final chance for cornerbacks Dexter McDougle and Jeremiah Johnson to prove they deserve to start.
"All the decisions that we'll make will take place today after practice because we do have one more practice to go," Edsall told reporters Saturday during his weekly pre-game teleconference. "I've been pleased with what has taken place the last couple of days, and I know that were building up in the right way."
The starting cornerback job opposite senior Cameron Chism is the final position battle on the two-deep depth chart. McDougle, a sophomore, was thought to be starter. He played in 11 games last season, totaling 22 tackles and three pass-breakups.
Johnson, a true freshman, had been pushing McDougle throughout the preseason. While McDougle missed practices due to injury, Johnson proved he could defend Maryland's first-team offense and beyond his age.
"[Johnson] took advantage of reps when Dexter McDougle was out. It allowed him to go against the best that we have and really hone his skills a little bit more," Edsall said during Thursday's press conference. "He goes out there and he just works… He's made good strides from when the spring started to today. If he's the starter…I'll be confident."
- True freshman receiver Tyrek Cheeseboro, defensive lineman Alvin Thomas and walk-on linebacker Ray Lynn were named the scout team players of the week.
- On recruits attending Monday's game, Edsall said: "We have a good group coming and we want to put on a good show. Hopefully everybody will be impressed. Hopefully we can hold up our end of the deal and play very, very well and get a win."