Turnovers and penalties have plagued the Maryland Terrapins all year, often taking themselves out of games.
I've been trying to keep my poise, said coach Friedgen. My staffs tired of hearing it. I know the players are tired of hear it, tired of seeing it too.
Avoiding turnovers has been a key for the Terps all week at practice as they prepare for the first ACC game this weekend against Clemson.
Coach Friedgen has taken an interesting approach with helping junior running back Da'Rel Scott focus on holding onto the football. This week Scott has been carrying around a football all over campus, a strategy coach Friedgen uses from his movie experience.
So far it has been looking effective. Scott and the rest of the Terps offense haven't had a turnover in practice either of the last two days.
Senior quarterback Chris Turner has really impressed coach Friedgen at practice this week as well. Friedgen is trying to get Turner to get back to reading coverage, something he's proven he can do, but has failed to do the last couple games.
Chris is a tough kid, said Friedgen. He doesn't look tough, but I've seen him take some shots and hang in there. I have a lot of faith in the kid.
Defensive pressure makes it hard for a quarterback to pick up opposing defenses, and Clemson has the ability to put pressure on the quarterback. Against Boston College they accumulated four sacks on defense in the overwhelming win.
For the Terps offensive line, Lemar Young will get the start at left guard. Coach Friedgen was impressed with how well he practiced and improved this week. He was pleased with the effort, but wants Young to be more consistent.
The game of field position may be crucial against Clemson, with multiple big play offensive threats. The Terps special teams will have to work around the absence of injured All-ACC punter Travis Baltz.
Freshman placekicker Nick Ferrara is up to the task and may have what it takes to take the job from backup punter Ted Townsley.
He's been a good addition to this football team, said coach Friedgen of Ferrara. He's got a leg.
Coach Friedgen wants to get back on track this weekend against Clemson, and that means avoiding the mistakes they've been making.
I'd just like to give our guys a chance, said Friedgen. Let's see what we can do. Let's see what happens.