With many reporters down in Charlotte for ACC basketball media day, the Maryland football team tossed offensive coordinator Mike Locksley and defense coordinator Brian Stewart onto a conference call on Wednesday afternoon. Here’s what emerged:
>> When quarterback C.J. Brown returns to live action on Saturday against Wake Forest after missing last weekend’s win over Virginia with a concussion, Locksley expects him to bring “a sense of calmness and normalcy back” into the offensive huddle.
Backup Caleb Rowe threw for 332 yards in the 27-26 win over the Cavaliers, but Brown’s week away made Maryland more one-dimensional at quarterback. Rowe possesses a cannon arm but little pocket mobility. Brown, on the other hand, averages six yards per carry and leads the team with six rushing touchdowns this season.
“Well, he’s definitely eager,” Locksley said. “Obviously anytime you can get a starter back into the system, it’s good. We’re very grateful Caleb was able to come in and manage and find a way to get us the win.”
>> Locksley offered little when asked about the health of wide receiver Stefon Diggs, who Coach Randy Edsall said Tuesday has been banged up since the West Virginia game on Sept. 21.
“I’m going to let you make sure you ask Coach that the next time,” Locksley said. “We’re not allowed to discuss injuries. If he’s out there, based on what the trainer report is, I call plays that try to keep him involved. As far as him being limited, those things go through Coach. I don’t want to step outside of my lane.”
>> Stewart’s defense hasn’t forced a turnover in two games, something the second-year coordinator said has been dictated more by opposing schemes than anything the Terps have changed.
As for corrections, Stewart said he can simply work out stripping the football and tip drills during practice, then hope for the best once the game begins.
“Try to tell the DBs and linebackers to attack the ball in the air, try to tell linemen to strip the ball from ballcarriers,” he said. “The score of the game’s also a big indicator of that. If you get a team who’s one-dimensional because they’re behind, now you’ve got chances to chance the quarterback for fumbles or interceptions. We’re still doing the same things we have been doing.”
>> This week, a depleted defensive backfield and linebacking corps missing cornerbacks Dexter McDougle and Jeremiah Johnson and outside linebacker Matt Robinson receives arguably its biggest individual test against Wake Forest’s Michael Campanaro. Campanaro, who missed last season’s 19-14 Maryland win in College Park with a broken right hand, leads the ACC with 8.8 receptions per game and 116.4 receiving yards per game.
“That’s the go-to guy,” Stewart said. “We know they’re going to go to him. We practiced, we have somebody who’s him, we have to make sure we know where he is, then just play football.”
In practice, speedster freshman wide receiver Taivon Jacobs has served as Campanaro on the scout team.