News and notes from Terrapins Coach Randy Edsall’s weekly news conference (besides the story that pretty much dominated his Tuesday media availability).
Return of Robinson, Goins to bolster secondary
With sophomore safety Matt Robinson (shoulder) and junior cornerback Isaac Goins (illness) slated to return from their respective ailments on Saturday against Connecticut, Edsall said he expects the secondary to receive a significant boost from their presence.
“It’ll be great to have those two guys back out there,” Edsall said. “Experience is a great teacher, as I’ve said. Having Matt back there, the experience that he has playing, is only going to benefit us.
“Isaac came here in the spring, has some years under his belt as a corner, to have a guy who has been in that environment before, I think is going to aid us in our development in terms of what we want to do defensively. Any time you have experience, it’s always a great teacher and a great benefit for us.”
Goins is currently listed as the second-string cornerback behind Jeremiah Johnson. Robinson, who injured his left shoulder during an August practice and ranked second in the ACC in tackles per game in 2011 before hurting his right shoulder, takes over for freshman Sean Davis at strong safety.
Robinson traveled to Temple for Maryland’s 36-27 win — Edsall said he needed help mentor Davis on the road — and was seen jumping up and down alongside Kenny Tate on the sideline when Eric Franklin was flagged for a personal foul, displaying the energy Edsall is happy to have back on the field.
“Matt’s a really smart football player,” Edsall said. “He’s a guy that grasps things very easily, and he’s also a leader out there for us. He’s somebody who has the physical capabilities to play the passing game, but also go up and play the running game for you.
“He’s a hard worker, he’s conscientious, he wants to do things right all the time, he wants to win. When you take that off the field, you have a little bit of a void.”
True freshman running back Wes Brown fumbled twice against Temple in his first college game. Edsall said the Terps may do more ball-security drills this week than they have in the past.
“But it hasn’t gotten to the point where we’ve made Wes carry a football around campus, go to bed with it, sleep with it,” Edsall said.
Brown had seven carries for 50 yards against the Owls, including a long run of 21 yards. One of his fumbles came after a 10-yard carry. Justus Pickett is listed as Maryland’s starter for Saturday’s game against U-Conn., but both Brown and Albert Reid are listed as co-backups on the two-depth depth chart.
“I expect Wes to bounce back,” Edsall said. “I think he got a chance to watch the things on film, he got a chance to see why it occurred, and knowing Wes the way I know him, he’s going to make sure those things don’t happen again.”
Hitting the books
Maryland announced an athletics department-wide increase in cumulative and semester grade-point averages among athletes to 2.875, up from 2.862 last fall. Forty-eight athletes earned a perfect 4.0 GPA, and 139 had GPAs of 3.50 or higher, according to the press release.
During the 2011-12 academic year, Maryland posted an all-time high Graduation Success Rate of 82 percent.
“Our student-athletes and the significant role our coaches and support staff play in assisting each of them as they work toward earning a university diploma has helped us to reach this level of success,” Athletic Director Kevin Anderson said in the release. “Maryland student-athletes truly epitomize the term student-athlete as they prove day-in and day-out that they can be successful in both the classroom and the athletic arena.”
Some noteworthy statistics, per Maryland media relations:
● Opponents are averaging 1.95 yards per rush, which ranks 10th nationally, and 229.5 yards per game, which ranks ninth in the nation. That yardage total is the Terps’ best defensive performance in a two-game span since 2007.
● Maryland’s seven sacks tie for 13th in the Football Bowl Subdivision.
● Freshman Stefon Diggs is averaging 12.82 yards per touch, sixth nationally among freshmen who are averaging at least 108 all-purpose yards per game.
● The 14 true freshmen listed on the two-deep are the third most in the FBS behind Colorado and Texas.