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The Baltimore Sun

A meeting on the Terps defense

It may seem early in the season for a “players only” only meeting.

But safety Terrell Skinner and cornerback Nolan Carroll wanted to make sure Maryland’s defensive players were not sulking or blaming each other after the 52-13 loss to Cal in the team’s season opener on Saturday night.

So the two called a meeting of the defense on Monday. That’s what surrendering 542 yards in total offense will do.

“I woke up (Monday morning) and said, ‘We’ve got to talk to these guys,’ ” Skinner said. “Nolan said, ‘Let’s do it.’ We met in the visiting team locker room after practice. “

Skinner said the goal was “to make sure everyone is still one cohesive unit. I think I challenged them. I think I reached them.”

Cal quarterback Kevin Riley threw four touchdown passes in the first game for new defensive coordinator Don Brown and his blitzing, pressing defense.

Brown said he stands by his defense. And Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen said he stands by Brown.

“Cal did a very good job of picking up the blitzes,” Friedgen said. “It’s the first time running the defense so I think there is some growing pains.”

Friedgen said Maryland needed to be at its best Saturday night, and wasn’t. “I felt like this was a situation where we played a very good team playing their best and we didn’t play our best,” he said.

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