As speculated earlier today, the Maryland football team will operate with a two-kicker platoon against Georgia Tech, allowing walk-on freshman Brendan Magistro to take extra points and field goals from less than 40 yards.
True freshman Brad Craddock, who is just 8 of 14 on field goals through eight games and has battled technique inconsistencies since assuming the starting job this preseason, will be called upon if the Terps attempt a field goal of 40 or more yards.
“It’s just one of those things,” Edsall said during his weekly Sunday teleconference. “We tell the guys to be ready, and last week I decided to have those two guys kick with the same group, and as I evaluated with it, said in my mind we’ll go with Brad.”
Craddock, however, went wide left on a 35-yard field goal in the first quarter, quelling a solid Terps drive that began at their 20-yard line. This came one week after his potential game-winner against N.C. State struck the left upright with two seconds left.
“When Brad missed, I said it’s time to give Brendan a shot,” Edsall said “Just thought that it’s the right way to go. Went out there and kicked two extra points and a [28-yard] field goal and did his job. That’s all you want anybody to do.”
Before fielding his first question about Hurricane Sandy — the Terps practiced on Sunday and take their regularly scheduled day off Monday — Edsall began the teleconference by discussing Maryland’s field position woes against the Eagles.
Five times at Alumni Stadium on Saturday the Terps took over possession with at most 54 yards to reach the end zone, only mustering one field goal. Two of those drives ended in interceptions by quarterback Caleb Rowe and two ended in a punt. Save the scoring drive, which netted eight plays for 44 yards, Maryland combined for just 31 yards on 12 plays.
The Eagles, meanwhile, scored a touchdown, lost a fumble on the goal line and kicked a field goal when assuming possession with at most 51 yards to go. Two were set up by long punt returns, while the field goal was the result of Rowe’s first interception of the afternoon.
“The problem was two things,” Edsall said. “We gave them all three of their possessions inside that with two punt returns, where we gave them one to get on the plus-39 and another on the plus-19, then an interception. We were playing a pretty good job of field position after those first drives, they capitalized on three of their drives, and we had five drives with 54 yards or less to go, and we could only come up with a field goal.
“For the second straight week, we had chances to put the game away or increase our lead and we didn’t get it done. Same thing defensively, we had a chance to maintain the lead and we didn’t get it done.”