Maryland expects no pushover in opener vs Delaware Print
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Friday, 29 August 2008 10:04
NCAAF Headline News

 COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) -If Maryland football coach Ralph Friedgen suspected his team might not take Delaware seriously, all he needed to do was run the video of the Blue Hens' game last year against Navy.
Playing on the road, Delaware amassed 581 yards in offense and scored 52 points over the final three quarters to pull out a 59-52 victory over the Midshipmen, who beat Notre Dame and earned an invitation to the Poinsettia Bowl.
Delaware won 11 games last season and advanced to the Football Championship Subdivision title game. Fourteen starters return from that team, giving Friedgen reason to believe the Blue Hens won't back down in the season opener Saturday.
``They're not going be in awe coming in here,'' Friedgen said. ``They're going to be very confident, as they should be.''
Delaware has been a haven for players transferring from larger schools, so the disparity in talent and size between the Blue Hens and Terrapins is not as profound as one might expect.
``They have like 16 guys that transferred from (Football Bowl Subdivision) teams,'' Terrapins offensive tackle Dane Randolph said. ``It's not the kind of team you think, 'OK, this is I-AA. It's a team we should beat.' This is a team that has the potential to beat a lot of people.''
Friedgen and Delaware coach K.C. Keeler held open competitions at quarterback this summer. The Terrapins settled on fifth-year starter Jordan Steffy - the same player who started last year's opener.
The Blue Hens didn't have that option. Last year's starter, Joe Flacco, was selected in the first round of the NFL draft by the Baltimore Ravens. So Keeler had to look for someone else to run Delaware's potent offense.
As the team headed for College Park on Friday, no winner had been declared in the duel between Ohio State transfer Robby Schoenhoft and redshirt freshman Lou Ritacco. Keeler said his choice won't become apparent until the Blue Hens line up for their first offensive play.
The Terrapins, seeking their fifth straight season opening victory, will be ready for anything.
``They can look at the tape and see that they're a good football team,'' Friedgen said. ``Their quarterback was a No. 1 pick last year, and obviously there are people around him that helped him do that.''
But really now, how can an ACC team lose at home to a FCS school picked to finish third in the South Division of the Colonial Athletic Association?
``I'm more about substance than perception,'' Friedgen said. ``There's a lot of guys on their team I'd like to have on my team.''
Delaware leads the series 5-3-1. The teams first played in 1899 but have not met since 1948.
 

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