Terps Special Teams Scrapping to Recover

The Terps suffered a blow to their special teams this weekend when All-ACC punter Travis Baltz got injured.

The Maryland Terrapins lost more than just on the scoreboard Saturday against Rutgers, they also lost junior All-ACC punter Travis Baltz.

Baltz went down in the first quarter of the game on a roughing the kicker penalty with a sprained ankle. He is expected to miss some time.

“The competition is to get Travis healthy,” said specials team coach Charles Bankins.

Freshman kicker Nick Ferrara handled the punting duty for Coach Ralph Friedgen against Rutgers after Baltz. Ferrara punted the rust off with his first punt, but eventually settled in and then it was not any different for him from when he punted in high school.

“He's a hard working kid, and whatever we ask him to do, we know he's going to do a great job of it,” said Bankins.

If Nick Ferrara were to punt until Baltz returns, he would be responsible for kickoffs, place kicks, and punts, which is a lot to put on any freshmen.

“Yea, I think I may be able to,” said Ferrara of taking on the task. “I'm definitely not Travis Baltz material, but I can get the job done.”

Bankins reiterated that these guys are “specialists.” So, Ferrara may concentrate his focus on kicking still if junior Ted Townsley fills in for Baltz.

Townsley had a punt in the game against Rutgers which he barely got off after a mishandled snap.

Baltz handled all 61 punts for the Terps last year.

A product of the Terps kicking game, NFL kicker Nick Novak, was at practice this week.

“Me and Nick have been working out a lot during the summer,” said Ferrara. “He's definitely helped me out a lot.”

“We always welcome those guys around,” said Bankins. “They're part of the Terp family, and we want to continue the tradition of great special teams around here.”

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