With the first full college football weekend looming, teams all over the country are gearing up for their first week of action. For Maryland football, that means getting ready to play No. 23 Texas at FedEx Field; the Longhorns are preparing for the Terps, too.
Texas head coach Tom Herman took the podium on Monday to address the season and the matchup. Last year, the Terps went down to Texas to kick off the season and left town with a 51-41 win over the then-No. 23 team in the country. Herman knows that the Longhorns will have to be on their P’s and Q’s if they’re to avoid another letdown.
“There’s going to be a team that shows up ready to play and ready to win a game basically at a home site for them,” Herman said. “They don’t think they can beat us, they know they can because they did last year. ... They’ll be very confident. I’m sure they’ll be ready to play.”
Herman announced sophomore play-caller Sam Ehlinger as the Week 1 starting quarterback last week, and followed up with a full two-deep release before this week’s presser. Senior Anthony Wheeler is featured as the starting middle linebacker, but he’ll have to sit out the first half against Maryland due to a targeting ejection in last year’s Texas Bowl.
Herman will have to choose between Joshua Rowland and Cameron Dicker at kicker this week, but things are pretty settled outside of that. Grad transfer Tre Watson (a different Tre Watson) and Daniel Young are listed as co-starters at running back, and seven freshmen made the two-deep.
Here are some other highlights from Herman’s 44-minute press conference:
On the Big 12's weekly teleconference, Texas head coach Tom Herman said Maryland's offseason issues will have no effect on his team's preparation for Saturday's game.— Emily Giambalvo (@EmilyGiam) August 27, 2018
Herman: "I think our freshmen, whether they were here in the spring or during the summer, you’re going to see a lot of them play because they deserve it."— Brian Davis (@BDavisAAS) August 27, 2018
.@CoachTomHerman: "We feel extremely good about our QB situation. Sam has certainly embraced being the starting QB, and has had a good week of practice. Shane Buechele, to his credit, what a team guy." #HookEm— Joe Cook (@josephcook89) August 27, 2018
As he's said repeatedly when asked recently, Tom Herman described the play-calling situation as collaborative. "We'll all be calling plays on offense."— Wescott Eberts (@SBN_Wescott) August 27, 2018
Channeling Parcells, Tom Herman says it's fair to take a wait-and-see approach with Texas, coming off a 7-6 season. "You are what your record says you are."— Brian Davis (@BDavisAAS) August 27, 2018
We’ll hear from Maryland interim coach Matt Canada later today for his first game-week press conference of the year. With all of the recent press around Maryland’s culture, it’s unlikely Canada gets questioned about just X’s and O’s. Players still won’t be available for comment.
In other news
Famed alum Scott Van Pelt took a measured and thorough look at Maryland football’s current situation on Sportscenter.
After everything that’s happened with the football program, it’s time to wonder whether a more pro-like system is necessary and Ryan argues that the players should be on more even footing with their coaches.
Fall sports started in earnest over the weekend, and Justin took a look at the top storylines for each Maryland team this season.
Field hockey will return home undefeated after routing UC-Davis 6-1 to wrap up its opening weekend with a 14-1 goal differential.
Maryland’s senior athletic director of media relations is moving on. Zack Bolno has accepted a job at George Mason as the new deputy athletic director of external operations. After coming to the school in 2012, his last day will be Aug. 31, from InsideMDSports.
After withdrawing his name from the NBA Draft, Maryland basketball’s Bruno Fernando has been focused on expanding his game. Part of that regimen: working out with Utah Jazz forward Jae Crowder.