Greetings from Byrd Stadium on a blue-skied Saturday afternoon, where the Maryland football team kicks off at 4:05 p.m. against visiting Old Dominion.
Cornerback Jeremiah Johnson is out with an undisclosed injury for the Terrapins, hampering the secondary’s depth against one of the Football Championship Subdivision’s most prolific offenses. Johnson limped to the sideline during last weekend’s win over Florida International and was spotted on crutches standing on the sidelines as his teammates warmed up. Coach Randy Edsall should provide further updates during his Sunday teleconference with reporters.
Johnson’s absence leaves the Terrapins with five cornerbacks to oppose ODU quarterback Taylor Heinicke, the reigning Walter Payton Trophy winner. Isaac Goins will start opposite Dexter McDougle. The senior was recently named to Maryland’s leadership council, and received extensive playing time after Johnson left last weekend.
“He’s consistent,” defensive coordinator Brian Stewart said of Goins this week. “That’s one thing the way we practice, the way Coach Edsall has us practice, it’s hard for a guy to hide. If he knows what he’s doing, he’s going to get an opportunity to play. If he doesn’t know what he’s doing, we’ll know and he won’t get opportunities. He went out there, knew what he was doing, understands his role and did a great job out there.”
True freshman Will Likely slides into the No. 3 cornerback role, and Alvin Hill returns from injury to shore up the secondary. Freshman Jarrett Ross might have his redshirt burned if Maryland needs a fifth cornerback.
>> Defensive lineman Zeke Riser (ankle) is off crutches but in shorts. Linebacker Bradley Johnson is in uniform and warming up, as are safety Zach Dancel (hamstring), running back Joe Riddle (concussion) and Hill. Fullback Andrew Stefanelli is also available with Tyler Cierski (calf) still sidelined, though Kenneth Goins should see the majority of repetitions.
Discuss the game in the comment section. Pregame links were dumped into this post. Thanks for reading and enjoy your Saturday afternoon. As always, check back tonight for postgame blogs.