For the 2nd straight year the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders will play host to an ACC foe. After hosting, and nearly upsetting, the Virginia Cavaliers last year, the Blue Raiders will welcome the Maryland Terrapins.
The Terrapins are led by Ralph Friedgen who is in his 8th year as head coach of Maryland. He has compiled a 57-31 record. He has guided the Terrapins to two straight wins over Middle Tennessee.
Maryland opened their season at home in College Park, MD by defeating the Delaware Blue Hens 14-7. Coming into the season the big question mark was the Maryland running game. The critics were answered as the Terrapins racked up 271 yards on the ground. They were led by Da'Rel Scott's 197 yards, which is the 4th best average in the NCAA.
Although Maryland is adjusting to a new offensive coordinator, James Franklin, they are aided by the return of 9 offensive starters. One of Maryland's biggest question marks in the offseason was at the quarterback position. Jordan Steffy and Chris Turner were the two frontrunners with Steffy securing the start against Delaware. In Saturday's game Steffy was 10-18 for 115 yards. He was responsible for 2 interceptions. During the game Steffy injured the thumb on his throwing hand. As of Monday it is not certain if Steffy will be available for the start or if Friedgen will elect to go with Turner.
Defensively the Terrapins are led by linebackers Alex Wujciak and Butkas Award canadiate Dave Philistin. They combined for 14 tackles in Saturday's win. Defensive lineman Jeremy Navarre was also a force with 6 tackles. Overall the Terrapins return 5 defensive starters from a team that was ranked 24th in points allowed.
Originally the kicking team was thought to be one of the tops in the ACC. Senior kicker Obi Egekeze did not live up to that billing as he missed on all three attempts (48, 44, 41).
Fun Facts: The Mascot- Testudo is the official mascot of the University of Maryland. Testudo got his start back in 1932, when then football coach Dr. H. Curley Byrd recommended that the Diamondback terrapin be made the school mascot. It is also the Maryland State Reptile. The suggestion was in response to The Diamondback's (the school paper, even back then) search for a new "official" mascot. Before this search, Maryland teams were called the Old Liners. The terrapin, a turtle native to the Chesapeake Bay, seemed a great choice and a logical one coming from Byrd. His native Crisfield, Maryland, was famous for its terrapins.
Famous Faces- Maryland has many famous alumni including Connie Chung (Journalist), Jim Hensen (creator, The Muppets), Boomer Esiason (sportscaster, former NFL quarterback), and Renaldo Nehemiah ( U.S. Track & Field Hall of Fame inductee) to name a few.
The Terrapins have not had a punt blocked since Nov. 13, 1999. This is the longest streak in the nation.