"When I was a child I used to go to the playground. We lived in an Italian neighborhood. Just as you see on TV and movies, I'd be playing [soccer] with the Italian kids. That's all they do. So I always thought I would play on a professional scale as a soccer player."

He said his parents never imagined he'd be playing American football, much less starting for the Terps in a big game.

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Maryland (2-2, 1-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) vs. No. 13 Georgia Tech (5-0, 2-0 ACC)



Time: Noon.

Site: Bobby Dodd Stadium

TV: ESPNU

Radio: 105.7 FM,1300 AM

Series: Georgia Tech leads, 13-6.

Last meeting: Maryland beat Georgia Tech, 28-26, on Nov. 6, 2007 in College Park.

Maryland offense vs. Georgia Tech defense: Maryland is making its first road trip of the season. Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson appealed to fans during the week to support the team at home. Johnson has expressed concern about Georgia Tech's rushing defense, ranked seventh in the ACC (145 yards per game). Maryland has declined to reveal whether it will use its no-huddle offense or try to slow things down to increase its possession time and keep the ball away from Georgia Tech's potent offense.

Maryland defense vs. Georgia Tech offense: Opponents have learned that Georgia Tech starts quickly on offense. In three straight games to open the season, the Yellow Jackets scored on their first offensive play. Overall, they average 51.6 points and have 40 plays of at least 20 yards. Their triple option leads the nation in rushing offense and passing efficiency. Quarterback Tevin Washington has 10 touchdown passes and one interception. The Terps started three first-year players on defense last week. Injured linebacker Darin Drakeford and defensive lineman Andre Monroe did not practice this week and are unlikely to play. Linebacker Kenny Tate was listed as "doubtful" by Maryland, which did not specify the reason.

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