Apparently there's like a football thing we're doing, or something along those lines, this weekend, so I caught up with Alex Kirshner of Testudo Times to talk about the ... thing. I answered a few questions for TT, and you can find those here.
1.) Can you give us a rundown of all the guys who are hurt and unable to play this weekend?
The biggest two names are star receivers Stefon Diggs and Deon Long, who have been out for more than a month now after sustaining almost-matching leg injuries against Wake Forest. Linebacker Alex Twine will also not play. Here's a fuller rundown.
2.) What's the general sentiment among the fan base about Randy Edsall? This season qualifies as progress from a wins and losses perspective, but I get the sense there's still a lot of frustration. Especially after that timeout debacle last week. (Sorry for bringing that up.)
Sentiment toward Edsall ranges from "hostile" to "meh." Progress has been slow, but Edsall has made undeniable gains in recruiting and on-field record, going from two wins in 2011 to four wins last year and at least six this year. You're right, though, that he didn't make any new fans with that episode last Saturday.
3.) How effective has the passing game been in the absence of Diggs and Long?
It mostly hasn't been. The Terps have a serious talent deficit without their best two guys, and that's been exacerbated with some of quarterback C.J. Brown's recent struggles.
4.) What are Maryland's strengths on the defensive side? I mean, NC State will make it look like all facets of UMD's defense are strengths, but I figured I'd ask anyhow.
Maryland can generate a strong pass rush and occasionally ballhawk its way to some turnovers. These things had both been going better early on in the season, but they've done some nice work lately, especially against Logan Thomas and Virginia Tech.
5.) Big Ten teams play for rivalry trophies like five times per season, which has been a boon to the nation's bucket- and jug-producing industries. Have you guys been brainstorming any trophy ideas in an effort to better fit in?
Not yet, but I'm sure Maryland will forge some exciting, geography-based rivalries with neighboring opponents from Iowa and Nebraska.
OK, OK, I kid. But the Big Ten will be a neat journey for the school. I'm looking forward to seeing how it plays out, on the field and off.