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Maryland football’s defense looking to ‘break through’ vs. Indiana

This is the Maryland Minute, a short story followed by a roundup of Terps-related news.

NCAA Football: Maryland at Texas John Gutierrez-USA TODAY Sports

Maryland football’s defense has had three solid games and four rough outings this season. Unsurprisingly, that’s directly correlated with the team’s 3-4 record.

With the team desperate for a win, DJ Durkin, and anybody else who spoke to the media this week, seemed to be in agreement that the team was one the verge of a breakout. We’ve already looked at Durkin’s comments this week, but senior defensive leaders Jermaine Carter Jr. and Josh Woods feel like the Terps are ready to put the past behind them and perform up to standard this weekend against Indiana.

“Practice [Monday] was unbelievably fun,” Woods told assembled reporters Tuesday afternoon. “A lot of the leaders on both sides of the ball [were] just kind of trying to take the reigns back of the team, just making sure everybody has fun because when we have fun, we play better, we play looser.

“I feel like we’re breaking through whatever slump we were in.”

On Wednesday, Carter, who leads the defense in tackles and sacks, echoed those same sentiments.

“The last couple weeks have been a down couple of weeks,” Carter said, “Things that we were doing early, as a team, weren’t showing up on film, so we just needed to get back to those things. I think that started this week at practice. We’ve been having fun at practice, just flying around.”

Denzel Conyers, who’s on his last year of eligibility and battling his way back from a nasty knee injury, might just be on the verge of his own personal breakout.

“One day, I fell in practice,” Conyers said. “I went up for a ball and I came down on my right leg. It was gratifying knowing that I just did it without reacting. The more I was exposed to things, the better I felt and the more I felt like me everyday.”

Conyers has recorded seven tackles in only four games this season for the Terps, mainly on special teams and in mop-up time on defense, but that could change going forward, as he’s working his way back up the rotation. His presence in the defensive backfield is invaluable, not only because he’s the most experienced defensive back on the team, but because Maryland’s defense spends a lot of time on the field, and any added depth is a plus.

“You’re going to start seeing him in the rotation a lot more,” Buh said Wednesday.

With five games left on the schedule, only Penn State is the only remaining opponent that fits the bill as an offensive powerhouse. If there was ever a time for the Terps have a defensive renaissance, it would be now.

In other news

Former Terps goalkeeper Zack Steffen was a BEAST last night in the MLS playoffs.

Our friends over at Terps Watch took a deeper look.

Maryland volleyball’s regular season is nearing an end, and the team is dealing with a couple injuries as it approaches the finish.

On the Testudo Times Podcast, Thomas and Matt took a look at the Terps’ upcoming matchup with Indiana and other miscellaneous Maryland sports odds and ends.

Maryland women’s basketball came in at No. 13 in the Women’s College Basketball Coaches Poll, which is its lowest preseason ranking since the 2010 season. The Terps are two spots behind the Oregon Ducks, who knocked the Terps out of the NCAA Tournament this past spring. UConn is No. 1 and defending national champion South Carolina is No. 2.

Maryland men’s basketball target Keldon Johnson is looking like a superstar this season. He should be nearing a decision in the next few weeks, since he’s finished all his official visits.