Posts Tagged ‘ralph friedgen

04
Jan
11

Maryland hires Randy Edsall

By Ben Linton

After firing Ralph Friedgen, the Maryland Terrapins have hired Connecticut Coach Randy Edsall to take the program in a new direction. The announcement comes a day after Edsall’s Huskies lost in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl to Oklahoma. At age 52, Edsall led the Huskies from 1-AA to 1-A competition, winning two conference championships and accumulating a 74-70 total record in 12 seasons.

At first hearing of this news, I was disappointed. After Maryland fired Friedgen, citing decreases in ticket sales as a main reason for letting him go, how could a man that most Terp fans know nothing about create a buzz and excitement around the program and fill seats that Friedgen couldn’t? Who is to say that ticket sales would have actually increased next season if Friedgen had returned, with the Terps coming off a 9-4 season and the Fridge winning ACC Coach of the Year? I do not disagree with the hire, but I disagree with letting Friedgen go before his contract expired. Especially for everything the Fridge did for the program, he should have been granted the opportunity to stay as long as he wanted.

However, Maryland did hire a good coach to replace Friedgen. Edsall and Friedgen have many similarities: they both put their respective programs on the map and finished with similar records. Edsall a disciplined and defensive-minded coach, a very different candidate from other names mentioned as candidates such as Mike Leach. He is a safe hire, with no risks involved like with Leach. Edsall to me is a younger version of Friedgen, but he will need to prove himself to the fan base by winning before the seats get filled at Byrd Stadium. It will be a very interesting season in College Park next year to see how his team performs.

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30
Dec
10

Terps send Coach Friedgen out with a blowout win

Coach Ralph Friedgen enjoys the Gatorade shower after his Terps defeated ECU 51-20 in the Military Bowl

By Ben Linton

The Maryland Terrapins Football Team completed their turnaround season with a 51-20 demolishing of the East Carolina Pirates in the Military Bowl on Wednesday. Although the Terps (9-4) started the game sloppy, they finished strong, outscoring the Pirates (6-7) 35 to 17 in the second half. Running Back Da’Rel Scott had a monster day with 202 yards rushing, the majority of it coming on touchdown runs of 61 and 91 yards. The Terrapins sent a message to the college football world, proving that they deserved to be in a better bowl game.

But all of that was overshadowed by the emotions surrounding Head Coach Ralph Freidgen’s last game as coach at the University of Maryland.

In one of the most bizarre moves in the college football season, the Terps fired Coach Friedgen after improving from their 2-10 record last year, which awarded Friedgen the ACC Coach of the Year honor. Friedgen was under contract for one more season, but the University bought out his deal, as they decided to part seperate ways with the man that put this program back on the map.

In his time at Maryland, Friedgen guided his alma mater to seven bowls in ten seasons, and gave the program an ACC Title in 2001, his first season as coach. But since 2005, ticket sales declined, luxury seats were not being filled, and a nationally televised game against NC State in November was not sold out. All of these factors prompted new athletic director Kevin Anderson to get rid of the Fridge. Along with the departure of Friedgen, offensive coordinator and head coach in waiting James Franklin left Maryland for the head coaching position at Vanderbilt, because Anderson would not honor his commitment to the deal that was struck with the old AD in place. This leaves Maryland to start from scratch next year with a new coach and a new philosophy.

I do not agree with the way Maryland treated Coach Friedgen. After all he has done for the program, he should have been able to coach there as long as he wanted. The fact that Maryland had to fire Friedgen instead of him retiring also rubs me the wrong way. It is as if they had to force him out, where one more year would surely not hurt the program. This further confirms the harsh reality that college football is not about the coaches or the players; its all about the money. Frankly, Friedgen was not making enough money for the program and getting people excited about the team, and that ending up being his demise. Is it fair? Absolutely not. But that is just the way it is in college football. Consider a coach like Mike Leach, a possible candidate to replace Friedgen at Maryland. A coach known for controversy and a high powered offense would get the seats filled at Byrd Stadium if he were to be hired.

Whoever the new Maryland coach is, Friedgen left him with a pretty darn good football team. For that we at AllMetro Sports thank you for 10 great years of Maryland Football, Coach Ralph Friedgen.

03
Dec
10

Maryland Athletic Director Speaks on Bowl Situation

By Ben Linton

Here is the video from the new Maryland Athletic Director Kevin Anderson’s speech about the football team’s bowl situation. Anderson first congradulated the Terps for its 8-4 season, in which Ralph Friedgen and Danny O’Brien were awarded by the ACC as Coach and Rookie of the Year. He also stated that Maryland will not know it’s bowl destination until Sunday.

Maryland also had other players be awarded by the ACC for their achievements this season. Wide Receiver Torrey Smith, Punt Returner Tony Logan, Linebacker Alex Wujciak, and Safety Kenny Tate all received first team all-ACC Honors this season. Smith led the Terps in receiving with 65 receptions for 1,065, while posting school records this year in touchdown receptions (12) and all-purpose yardage (5,183). Logan led the ACC in punt returns with and 18.8 yard average, which is also good for third in the FBS. He returned two punts for touchdowns this season as a Junior. Tate and Wujciak led the defense in averaging 22.3 points against per game, ranking 6th in the ACC, and improvement from last year’s 11th place finish.

Defensive Lineman Joe Vellano was named to second-team all ACC, while offensive Lineman Paul Pinegar was granted an Honorable-Mention Selection. Check back on Sunday when Maryland finds out their bowl destination.

01
Dec
09

Coach Friedgen to stay for 2010

By Ben Linton

After three and a half hours with Athletic Director Debbie Yow, Maryland Coach Ralph Friedgen was granted the privilege to coach the Terps next season. After suffering the most losses (10) in a season in Maryland history and only winning one conference game, Friedgen tells fans to “keep the faith.”

Why should we keep the faith? Maryland will return all of its running backs and wide receivers, lose only one offensive lineman (Center Phil Costa), and three young quarterbacks. The future seems bright for the Terps for now, but then again it couldn’t have been much worse.

I think partly the reason Friedgen was let go was because of the financial situation. It would have cost $4 million to buy out the Fridge’s contract, which has two years left on it. Giving him one more shot won’t hurt as much as losing four million would.

Also the optimism for the future may have helped Friedgen keep his job. So far Maryland has the number 26th ranked recruiting class, and returns all those forementioned players. This can be owed partly to Offensive Coordinator and Head Coach in waiting James Franklin, who is known as a great recruiter. If Franklin is not coach after the 2011 season, Maryland will owe him $1 million.

This was no doubt a dismal season, but all the experience these young players got may pay off in the long run. So now that all the uncertainty and doubt has been cleared and confirmed, look for Maryland to have some more success on the recruiting trail.


29
Nov
09

Terps football- Where do they go from here?


By Ben Linton

Lets put aside this 2-10 record. Throw out the 19-17 loss to Boston College. Whats more important right now is where the direction of Maryland football is heading. The obvious goal is to make it to the ACC Championship, but how do they get there? Athletic Director Debbie Yow and Coach Ralph Friedgen will discuss the future of Terps football on meetings Sunday and Monday, which will give us a clearer picture. For now, all we can talk about is next year and what we can expect.

The team only loses 14 seniors, and returns a load of talent, including Running Backs Da’Rel Scott and Davin Meggett, Wide Recievers Torrey Smith and Adrian Cannon, and Linebackers Alex Wujciak and Adrian Moten. Quarterback Jamarr Robinson showed flashes of greatness in his two starts, and may be a stud in the future under center for the Terps.

But all of that means nothing if the Terps can’t block. The Offensive Line was obviously a mess this year and huge part of the reason Maryland was not successful. The only loss is Center Phil Costa, and Left tackle Bruce Campbell will return and possibly be a pro prospect. But the development of the other lineman will be key to Maryland’s success in the future.

The defensive line wasn’t very impressive either this season, and losses three starters. Big A.J. Francis will be the only returning starter in the middle, so somebody else will have to step up. The secondary also loses three starters, with Cameron Chism the only returning player.

So it looks like Maryland will have to rely on recruiting, and it starts on the lines. Last year Maryland had the 26th best recruiting class highlighted by four-star Guard Pete White, Defensive End De’Onte Arnett, Cornerback Travis Hawkins, and Running Back Caleb Porzel. The only player to see action was Porzel, so im guessing the other three redshirted.

How does the class look this year? Take a look for yourself. Four star OL Nathaniel Clarke and DE David Mackall higlight the class, so it looks like the Terps are hitting the right spots on the recruiting trail. However, you can’t just have one good player on the line, you need at least two or three so the group plays well as a collective unit.

But when a team endures a 2-10 season, obvious changes need to be made. It will cost $4 million dollars to buyout Friedgen to fire him, so I don’t know if that is a possibility. I say just keep him around for one more year. You can’t fire Franklin since he’s the head coach in waiting, and if he’s not coach by 2011 you owe him $1 million. Not worth it. Can’t fire DC Don Brown since it was just his first year and he hasn’t had the chance to recruit players to fit his system. But something needs to be done. Something has to change. Or else Maryland may be stuck in its losing days for years to come.

The schedule next year is not very favorable either. The Terps open with Navy at M&T Bank Stadium, then take on Eastern Michigan at home. They end the non-conference with a trip to Morgantown and rival West Virginia. The conference schedule includes games at Miami, at Virginia, at Clemson, at Boston College, and home games against Florida State, Wake Forest, NC State, and Duke. Tough sledding for the Terps next season.

There are a lot of questions surfacting in College Park, and these next few days will give us a lot of understanding about the future of Maryland Football.

02
Jul
09

Terps on College Football Live

By Ben Linton

Today, the state of Maryland was discussed in the 50 State Tour¬† on College Football Live early today. Analysts discussed the top players, coaches, and games in the history of Maryland Football. They also had Coach Ralph Friedgen on the show to talk about Terps Football and his astounding weight loss (click here). Since I can only remember players from so far back, let’s take a look at my Top 10 players and Top 5 games in Maryland Football in the past 10 years.

Players:

10. Domonique Foxworth (2001-2004 CB) – Foxworth was a shut down corner, accumulating eight interceptions in his career. He could also come up and make tackles, amassing 135 in his career. He had a breakout Sophomore campaign, where he had five interceptions, 54 tackles, and a fumble return for a touchdown. He now starts for the Baltimore Ravens.

9. Steve Suter (2002-2005 WR)- Suter was definately not the biggest player on the field, at 5’9 weighing only 195 pounds, but boy was he quick. Suter holds many Maryland records as a punt returner, with six career TDs. The guy was just amazing to watch as other teams would hold their breath every time he got the ball.

8. Darrius Heyward-Bey (2006-2009 WR) – Heyward-Bey is one of the fastest players to ever play at Maryland, clocking in at 4.23 in the 40 yard dash. He used a perfect blend of size, speed, and agility to collect 2,089 recieving yards and 14 touchdowns in his illustrious career as a Terp. He was selected 7th overall in the 2009 NFL Draft by the Oakland Raiders.

7. Scott McBrien (2002-2004 QB)- After transferring from West Virginia, McBrien was a star in his two years at Maryland. He led the Terps to its first bowl win since 1985 against Tennessee in the Peach Bowl, and followed that up with a Gator Bowl win over West Virginia the following season. McBrien threw for 5,169 yards and 34 touchdowns in the red and white.

6. Shaun Hill (2000-2002 QB) Hill led Maryland to the Orange Bowl in one of the most amazing seasons in Maryland history. He tossed for 2,380 yards and 13 TDs that year as the Terps won ten games that year. He now starts for the San Fransisco 49ers in the NFL.

5. Vernon Davis (2003-2005 TE)- Vernon “Cyborg” Davis was certainly a body of work, this guy was huge. He could easily break tackles and throw defenders to the ground. He gained 1,371 yards and scored six TDs in his career as a Terp in two seasons of starting. He now plays with Hill in San Fransisco.

4. D’Qwell Jackson (2002-2005 MLB)- D’Qwell Jackson had a very prominent career at Maryland, collecting 443 tackles as a Terp. Jackson also had ten sacks and could play coverage, accumulating six interceptions as a Terp. He now plays for the Cleveland Browns, and led them in tackles last season with 115.

3. Shawne Merriman (2002-2004 DE)- Shawne Merriman was not only “lights out” for the Chargers, he also was as a Terp. Merriman amassed 189 tackles and 22 sacks in the red and white. He could really fly off the edge and lay the big hit on an unsuspecting victim. That success has also carried over to the NFL, as Merriman is now a pro-bowler.

2. E.J. Henderson (1999-2002 MLB)- Henderson won the ACC Defensive Player of the year in 2001 as a Junior and the Butkus and Bednarik as a senior in 2002 . He finished his career with 424 tackles, 16.5 sacks, and three INTs. Henderson also had an important fumble return in 2001 in a big game against Georgia Tech. He now starts for the Vikings.

1. LaMont Jordan (1997-2000 RB)- Let’s face it: LaMont Jordan was out of this world in college. In 1999, He rushed for 1,740 yards and 16 TDs, and against Virginia he rushed for 306¬† yards and 2 TDs, a Maryland record. At a time in Maryland Football where the Terps were struggling, Jordan was one of the few bright spots to watch. Jordan has played in the NFL for the Jets, Raiders, and Patriots.

Games:

5. 2001 at Georgia Tech, 20-17 Win– In Ralph Friedgen’s first season as Terrapin Head Coach, the Terps got off to a big 5-0 start and could become bowl eligable with a win in Atlanta on Thursday night. Down 14-17, Nick Novak made a career long 46-yard field goal as time expired to send it into overtime. In overtime, Novak made a 26 yard field goal and Georgia Tech Running Back Joe Burns fumbled to give the Terps the win and become bowl eligable.

4. 2003 at NC State, 26-24 Win– Down 23-24 with 2 minutes left, Leroy Ambush put a big hit on T.A. McLendon to force a fumble and the Terps recovered. Then Nick Novak hit a 43-yard field goal with 23 seconds left to give the Terps the win and send NC State (Especially Phillip Rivers) home crying.

3. 2002 vs. Tennessee, 30-3 Win– In the 2002 Peach Bowl, Maryland crushed Tennessee to give the Terps their first bowl win since 1985. It also capped off another 10-win season for Maryland, when they would accumulate three seasons in a row of such wins.

2. 2001 at NC State, Win 23-19– With this win, Maryland clinched its first ACC title in 16 years. But it did not come easy. Shaun Hill hit Guilian Gary for an eight-yard touchdown pass with 41 seconds remaining for the Terps to complete the dream season. It was the first time somebody besides Florida State had won the ACC since the Seminoles joined the league.

1. 2004 vs. Florida State, Win 20-17– The Seminoles came into the game with a 14 game winning streak against Maryland and a number five ranking in the nation, but Maryland was unphased. Josh Allen scored on a 72-yard screen pass and with 1:27 left, Chris Rix’s 4th down desperation pass sailed high of his intended reciever and the celebration began. Fans stormed the field and players rejoiced in celebration. It was simply the best game I have ever been to.

Well, that’s it. leave your comments and let me know what you think.




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