Edsall breaks down Maryland’s blowout loss to Clemson

November 11, 2012

(Associated Press)

Some quick notes from Coach Randy Edsall’s weekly Sunday teleconference, this time on the heels of his Maryland football team’s fourth straight loss, a 45-10 blowout at Clemson in which the Terps lost three fumbles early, self-imploding before they could really even get their heads above water on the road.

>> Wrote about this in the postgame blog, but Edsall was still a little sour about the turnover issue. Quarterback Shawn Petty lost three fumbles, including whiffing on a pass attempt that turned into a defensive touchdown for Clemson. When asked if he addressed the Terps about ball security, he had a simple answer.

“I just told them, if you want to win, you can’t keep turning the ball over,” Edsall said. “Just something we keep stressing, keep coaching them up on ball security and doing the right thing with the ball. Drills you do, but again, it’s one of those things, it’s been pointed out. You have to carry the ball high and tight, you can’t have one hand on it.”

That was basically Petty’s self-diagnosis. The true freshman said he was holding the ball too loose. Edsall agreed.

“That’s something we’ve told him about since he started playing quarterback,” Edsall said. “We’re on him every day in practice. We have to keep showing him, working on it, reminding him and he has to do better himself.”

>> Brandon Ross continues to make a case for himself as Maryland’s feature back, even when Wes Brown returns from an injured ankle (Edsall, per usual, had no updates on the injury front). Saddled by injuries after being named the starter in preseason, Ross hit the century mark on 16 carries against Clemson.

“I thought Brandon ran the ball very, very well yesterday,” Edsall said. “He had big plays for us, big runs for us, I thought he ran some things up in the middle good and to the sideline good. He does have the speed to be able to be successful against a team that has that kind of speed on defense. That was encouraging.”

On the sidelines, Ross talked with his coaches about “B.Y.O.B.” No, not that. “Be your own blocker,” apparently. The Terps felt like he, on a few occasions, should have stayed inside and plowed ahead for yardage rather than trying to make something happen with his legs. But that was a minor issue unreflective of his larger performance.

“The last two weeks he’s played well,” Edsall said. “He’s a guy we feel comfortable with, and we feel like he’ll have a really good career here, as long as he can stay healthy. What I saw out of him was what we could expect out of him before those injuries.”

>> Edsall wasn’t exactly as enthralled with Dexter McDougle’s missed field goal return as the other Terrapins, at least not with the end. He thought the Tigers would pooch-punt from near midfield, instead attempting a 55-yarder that wound up well short. McDougle’s burst brought Maryland into Clemson territory, but ended with a lateral back to Anthony Nixon, who was promptly stuffed at the 26-yard line.

“Those are things you practice, and we did,” Edsall said. “We always tell them, in that situation, all those guys who are out there aren’t used to tackling anybody, so do everything that you can to stay in bounds and take the thing back. He did that, then the only thing I wished he would have done, there was no place to go, just get out of bounds. He lateraled the ball, and if we fumbled that and they recovered, it’s first and 10 for them. The end, he could have hindered us in some respect. He did everything we asked to do except the lateral.”

>> L.A. Goree, who started in place of injured leading tackler Demetrius Hartsfield (ACL), was “inconsistent” Edsall said, and had to be pulled for Alex Twine after finishing with 10 tackles, two for a loss.

“He did some good things in there, but I think he got tired,” Edsall said. “He wasn’t used to playing a full game … That’s something L.A.’s going to have to work on this week, the conditioning factor. I thought he had productive plays, but I thought there were plays where he could have played better than he did.”

Alex Prewitt covers the Washington Capitals. Follow him on Twitter @alex_prewitt or email him at alex.prewitt@washpost.com.
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Alex Prewitt · November 11, 2012

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