Maryland Coach Randy Edsall hoped to give senior linebacker Kenneth Tate between 25 and 30 plays Saturday against West Virginia, Tate’s first game since the fourth game of last season, after which he was shut down for offseason knee surgery. Complications forced him to miss Maryland’s first three games this fall.
As it turned out, Tate played about twice as many. After Edsall watched film of Maryland’s 31-21 loss to the Mountaineers, he said during his Sunday teleconference that Tate was on the field for 54 plays. Too much, Edsall said, but Tate looked strong and emerged just fine, telling reporters afterward he felt at full strength. The heightened workload shouldn’t have an effect on Tate moving forward.
“I didn’t want him to play that many plays, but he came out of it good,” Edsall said. “He played well and did good things.”
Indeed, Tate will continue to boost Maryland’s defense, ranked eighth nationally. On his first series Saturday, the former all-ACC safety became one of the few Terps all afternoon to stop West Virginia receiver Tavon Austin, blowing up a screen pass, and recorded a pass breakup on the next play.
“The first couple plays he was in, he made a big impact,” linebacker Demetrius Hartsfield said. “It’s a completely different game. We can do a lot more, and he just brings a different element to the game.”
The Terps emerged healthy across the board after the game, and Edsall expects them to be at full strength after the upcoming bye week, apart from C.J. Brown and Andre Monroe, who are lost for the season. That would mean the returns of cornerback A.J. Hendy (ankle), who worked with the scout team throughout the week, defensive lineman Keith Bowers (calf) and wide receiver Kerry Boykins (hamstring).
Maryland is not required to release an injury report until the Thursday before Wake Forest comes to College Park, so don’t expect anything definitive until then.
Here’s what the Terps have on tap for their bye week:
Sunday: Film and practice
Monday: Off. Players and coaches plan to visit sick children at Baltimore’s Sinai Hospital in partnership with the Casey Cares Foundation. Some coaches out recruiting.
Tuesday: Off. Some coaches out recruiting, including Edsall.
Friday: Off. Some coaches out recruiting, including Edsall.
Saturday: Off. Some coaches out recruiting, including Edsall.
Sunday, Sept. 30: Start of game-week preparations for Wake Forest