Wes Brown knows that running backs always need a break, and with four Terps sharing the top of the depth chart, no one should feel he needs to carry the load on his own.
“That’s the best break you could possibly have,” Brown said. “I see no dropoff in talent anywhere.”
Coach Randy Edsall listed Brown, Brandon Ross, Albert Reid and Justus Pickett as co-starters entering Saturday’s matchup at West Virginia. So, was this done to promote internal confidence among the quartet, or to confuse the Mountaineers throughout their mid-week game plan?
“All of the above,” Edsall said with a smile.
All four, according to Edsall, could see time in Morgantown, but the breakdown is anyone’s guess at this point. Reid was the starter for the opener, but Pickett got the bulk of the carries. Brown fumbled twice against Temple but rebounded versus Connecticut. One thing’s certain: The Terrapins have no shortage of options.
“I wish we had that kind of depth at every position,” Edsall said. “We have some thoughts in our mind, how we want to go in practice during the week, either go with what we’re going to do or see if anything changes. We have a process in mind that going into the game, how we’re going to use those guys, we’ll see how it plays out during the week.”
Maryland may wind up in a situation where all four could play, something that hasn’t happened since Ross injured a hamstring during the preseason.
“We’ll see how it continues to play out, but I have a lot of confidence in each and every one of those guys,” Edsall said. “And again, talking with them today, it’s not what maybe somebody didn’t do; it’s just a situation in terms of what we feel as a staff, the ability we have with those four guys.”
West Virginia’s high-powered aerial assault — the Air Raid, as it’s colloquially known — will get most of the attention this weekend, but the Terps will need to control the clock against the Mountaineers’ defense, grinding yards out on the ground to keep quarterback Geno Smith off the field.
Brown starred against Connecticut’s disguise-heavy blitz schemes, and Maryland faced plenty of unorthodox looks against William & Mary and Temple. If anything, West Virginia’s new scheme might be a little more familiar and standard.
“Yes, we need to possess the ball, we need to score points and keep the defense off the field,” Edsall said.
“But what we have to do is, when the defense is on the field, not have those big plays against you.”