Maryland coach Randy Edsall was asked Wednesday if facing a Hurricanes team minus nine suspended players including seven starters makes him feel like the Terrapins should be favored to win Monday's season opener at Byrd Stadium.
"Even though there are going to be some of those young men who aren't going to be coming with them as they make the trip north on Sunday to play Monday, those other young men who are going to step in have been very eager and very hungry to go in and play. So, we just need to make sure we take care of ourselves and go out and perform... that's how we're going to approach it."
Edsall, who went 74-70 at UConn including 33-19 over his final four seasons, was also very complimentary of Hurricanes coach Al Golden, who told us Tuesday he called Edsall to keep him abreast of the situation involving his team as a courtesy. While it might be unusual to hear from an opposing coach the week before you face his team, Edsall said he was appreciative of Golden's phone call.
"I would have done the same thing if I was in that same situation," Edsall said. "Again, that's the right thing to do.
"I've gone against Al and have a lot of respect for Al and what he did at Temple and what he's going to do there at Miami. As a coach, it's unfortunate he inherited that situation. He didn't cause the problem. I just told him keep looking forward, keep doing what you're going to do and you'll be fine. That's really all he can do or anybody in that situation can. That's all they can do. I think what he did was make sure his people were up front and honest with the NCAA and the people at the university. That's what I would always expect from Al and the way Al has always been. We were in contact with Al. I was in total agreement with how we were going to handle the situation. Again, it was a mutual respect between two coaches."
> Edsall said he's very aware of the success UM quarterback Stephen Morris had against Maryland last season and respects him. Morris led UM to a come-from-behind win over the Terrapins in his first start for the Canes, tossing the go-ahead 35-yard touchdown pass to Leonard Hankerson with 37 seconds left.
"When you take a look at his numbers and how he performs he's, an elite quarterback," Edsall said. "He's a young man that has the ability to beat you in a couple different ways. We're very aware of him. It's good we do have some film on him, we can study him. Now, he's going to be in a new offense. But again, I have a tremendous amount of respect for him and what he can do. Our guys know he's a guy who beat us a year ago."
> The Hurricanes won't be the only team playing Monday night with suspensions. Edsall said Maryland running back D.J. Adams and offensive lineman Cody Blue will be held out of the game for violating team rules.
Adams had been listed as the tailback behind Davin Meggett. Blue had been a backup tackle. Adams played in nine games as a reserve tailback in 2010, finishing third on the team in rushes (67) and rushing yards (239) and had a team-high 11 rushing touchdowns, a Maryland freshman record.