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Terps could use more from Kevin Dorsey, Matt Furstenburg

Randy Edsall wants Maryland to continue spreading the ball around

By Jeff Barker, The Baltimore Sun

8:04 PM EDT, September 18, 2012

COLLEGE PARK —

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After catching 45 passes last season, senior Kevin Dorsey entered this year as Maryland's No. 1 receiver. Through three games, Dorsey has three catches for 26 yards.

Tight end Matt Furstenburg, who was voted by the media to the All-Atlantic Coast Conference preseason team, has three catches for 33 yards.

Terps coach Randy Edsall said Tuesday that the pair's scarcity of early-season catches is partly a function of Maryland spreading the ball around to a number of players. Neither he nor the two receivers indicated Tuesday that there was a problem.

"There's only so many touches in a game," Edsall said Tuesday. "A lot will depend on what defenses do — coverages that they play, how do they match up versus sets. I think we've thrown a number of balls to each guy."

Maryland's leading receivers so far are Marcus Leak and Stefon Diggs. Each has nine catches and a touchdown.

Dorsey suggested that his presence can help others. "It's part of the scheme," he said. "If I can be on one side of the ball and I can take two defenders out of the play and leave someone else open, it gives us a better opportunity."

Furstenburg said all that matters to him is that Maryland wins.

"We've had some troubles on offense, but we're just trying to play our role," Furstenburg said. "If I get no more catches the rest of the reason and we win games, I'm going to be fine with that."

Tough test in Morgantown

Maryland (2-1) will try to slow a West Virginia (2-0) team Saturday that has scored 111 points in its first two games. Quarterback Geno Smith already has passing games this season of 429 and 388 yards. His career has included seven games in which he has completed 30 or more passes.

Edsall began Tuesday's media session, saying: "We've got a tough one this week, that's for sure. They're averaging over 600 yards a game, 55 points a game. Our defense is going to have its work cut out for them."

Edsall suggested the Terps will try to sustain long drives. He said Maryland may use as many as four running backs in the game — Justus Pickett, Brandon Ross, Wes Brown and Albert Reid.

Last season, the Terps — with their hurry-up, spread offense — were often dominated in time of possession. The offense ran plays so quickly that they sometimes held the ball for little over a minute.

This season, Maryland is going with the no-huddle, but it's designed to be a methodical no-huddle. It takes a little more time off the clock.

"Even though we are in a no-huddle, it's not the hurry-up type of offense like West Virginia's. The best defense we can play is having our defense on the sideline," Edsall said.

This season, Maryland's time of possession has averaged slightly more than its opponent — 30:30 to 29:30.

Rowdy crowd

Many of the players' conversations with the media Tuesday focused on the challenge of facing not only the No. 8 Mountaineers, but also their fans.

"You go in there and no one likes you," Furstenburg said. "Even the little kids don't like you. I've seen little kids curse at you."

Edsall, a former Syracuse player, has plenty of experience traveling to Morgantown, W.Va.

"I can still remember going to old Mountaineer Field when it was right in the middle of campus when I was a quarterback at Syracuse," the coach said. "We'd go and they pelted us with oranges and we walked on the field pre-game and they had dogs out their catching Frisbees and tobacco-spitting contests," he said. "I've always enjoyed playing against West Virginia teams from when Don Nehlen was a coach and Rich [Rodriguez] and now Dana [Holgorsen]."

jeff.barker@baltsun.com

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