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Tracking the Terps
News and notes on Maryland football, basketball and other sports
Terps make change at left tackle; Sean Davis to start at safety

The Maryland football team's struggles along the offensive line have led the Terps to make a change at left tackle.

Senior Jake Wheeler will start against Michigan on Saturday in place of Michael Dunn, Maryland’s starting left tackle for the first 10 games.

As of Thursday, Maryland coach Randy Edsall was not sure whether Dunn or Ryan Doyle, the incumbent, would start at right tackle. Both players have struggled at times.

Sophomore Wes Brown will start at running back for the second straight game. Brandon Ross, however, who started eight of the Terps' first nine games, is expected to rotate into the game more than he did during the Terps’ loss to Michigan State on Saturday, when Ross had just one carry to Brown's nine.

Defensively, cornerback Jeremiah Johnson’s injured hamstring has improved to the point where the senior will start for the first time since Maryland’s loss to Wisconsin on Oct. 25. After starting in place of Johnson at cornerback the past two games, Sean Davis will move...

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Maryland basketball 'is a top-25 team,' Fordham coach says

In preparation for Thursday’s game against Maryland, Fordham coach Tom Pecora watched and evaluated game tape of the Terps from last season as well as from Maryland’s first two games of this year.

At one point Thursday, Pecora saw a couple Maryland fans that he knows. His message to them: “This is a top-25 team.”

“I think [that] because of their depth, their ability to shoot the basketball,” Pecora said. “They’ve got great size, and I know [coach Mark Turgeon] well enough to know they’re going to get better."

While the Terps led just 23-18 at halftime against Fordham before pulling away for 66-50 win, Maryland is 3-0 heading into Monday’s game against Arizona State (3-0).

Senior guard Dez Wells is averaging 17.7 points per game. Junior forward Jake Layman is averaging 14 points per game, and the Terps are shooting 52 percent from the field and 42 percent on 3-pointers after shooting just 43 percent on field goals and 34 percent on 3s on their way to finishing 17-15 last season....

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Terps beat writers predict the outcome of Maryland-Michigan

Each week during Big Ten play, The Washington Post’s Roman Stubbs, another Maryland football beat writer and I share our predictions for the Terps' upcoming game.

This week’s rotating writer is Daniel Martin from Comcast SportsNet.

Here are our predictions for Saturday’s game between Maryland (6-4 overall, 3-3 Big Ten) and Michigan (5-5, 3-3) in Ann Arbor.

Matt Zenitz

Maryland 20, Michigan 16

I think Maryland’s offense will struggle against a highly-ranked Michigan defense led by former Ravens defensive coordinator Greg Mattison. However, the Wolverines are last in the Big Ten in total offense. Michigan quarterbacks have thrown 15 interceptions and just five touchdown passes since the first game of the season. And I think the Terps’ defense, fresh off two strong performances, will lead Maryland to a win at the “Big House.”

Roman Stubbs

Maryland 16, Michigan 13

Although Michigan needs a win to clinch bowl eligibility and will feed off its crowd in the home finale, I think Maryland...

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Terps will have to overcome former Ravens defensive coordinator Greg Mattison

The approach of Michigan defensive coordinator Greg Mattison evolved through three years of scheming and brainstorming with the likes of John Harbaugh, Dean Pees, Rex Ryan and Chuck Pagano.

Mattison was the Ravens' linebackers coach in 2008 and their defensive coordinator in 2009 and 2010 before leaving to take the job in Ann Arbor, where he's built a highly ranked defense that Maryland will face Saturday.

"I think I’m a lot more aggressive," the 65-year old Mattison said of how he has changed from his time in Baltimore. "I think in my college years prior I was a little bit more conservative. I probably didn’t know as much as I learned while being the coordinator at the Ravens and being with some of the people that I was with. … All those guys broadened my [knowledge] of how to get after people, how to play good defense, and they helped me a great deal."

Since Mattison took over a unit that ranked 108th nationally in scoring defense in 2010, the Wolverines ranked sixth in scoring...

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Playing Maryland 'absolutely special' for Michigan's Blake Countess, a Reisterstown native

Texts were exchanged last week, friendly trash talk between Michigan cornerback Blake Countess and some of his former teammates in advance of Saturday's game between Maryland and the Wolverines.

The game has added meaning for Countess, a Reisterstown native who played high school football at Gilman and Good Counsel.

This is a chance for the redshirt junior to play against his home-state school and to showcase his skills to people around Maryland who do not get to watch him on a regular basis.

Countess will also get to compete with several friends and former teammates, including Terps safety Zach Dancel, running back Wes Brown and fullback Kenny Goins.

“Oh yeah. It’s absolutely special, not only because of it being the home school but also just having friends on the team, close friends, guys that I would consider family on that team,” Countess said during a phone interview. “It’s going to be fun for us to all be on the same field again.”

Countess' early playing days were spent suiting...

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With Melo Trimble inconsistent at point guard, Richaud Pack helps keep Terps steady

Coach Mark Turgeon has said several times in recent months that he didn’t expect senior transfer Richaud Pack to play as important a role for the Maryland men’s basketball team as he has so far this season.

Even Pack said before preseason practice began that he thought he'd be used mostly as a “spark plug” off the bench, playing behind freshman Melo Trimble at point guard and behind senior Dez Wells at shooting guard. Then an injury to forward Evan Smotrycz forced Pack into the starting lineup.

Because of his importance to Turgeon as a security blanket when Trimble gets sloppy with the ball, three games into the season, Pack already might be the Terps' third-most important player, behind Wells and forward Jake Layman.

"He's our glue guy," Layman said Thursday after Pack had nine points, a team-high eight rebounds, four assists and just one turnover in an otherwise sloppy 66-50 Maryland victory over Fordham at Xfinity Center.

On a night when Trimbled struggled with turnovers (four in...

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