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Tracking the Terps
News and notes on Maryland football, basketball and other sports
Terps coordinator Brian Stewart 'learned a lot from' Wisconsin's Gary Andersen

In 1995, Brian Stewart was a young coach eager to pursue an opportunity at his alma mater, Northern Arizona.

Stewart, who was hired in January 2012 as Maryland's defensive coordinator, did not make a lot of money at that point. He had only been a coach for two years -- previously at Cal Poly -- and he had taken a restricted earning position at Northern Arizona.

To help, Wisconsin coach Gary Andersen, then an assistant coach at Northern Arizona, offered for Stewart to stay rent-free in his basement, and Stewart accepted. The two, who will see each other Saturday when the Terps play at Wisconsin, have been friends since.

“As far as knowing Gary as a person, I don’t know if I know a better person,” Stewart said.

Stewart did not know Andersen before taking the position at Northern Arizona. However, after the then-30-year-old Stewart accepted the job, the then-31-year-old Andersen told Stewart he had a big basement and that Stewart was welcome to stay there instead of having to pay for an...

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One win from bowl eligibility, Terps football team not looking ahead

Maryland offensive coordinator Mike Locksley was asked Wednesday whether the Terps are talking at all about being one win away from gaining bowl eligibility.

“It hasn’t even come up,” Locksley said.

Being bowl-eligible is the first priority on the Terps’ checklist going into every season.

However, at 5-2 through seven games and fresh off a win over previously 5-1 Iowa, Maryland coaches and players are all focused on more than just going to a bowl game.

“I think that’s a good thing that they’re not talking about bowl eligibility, because I think with them not talking about bowl eligibility, they see us as a better team than we [were],” inside linebacker L.A. Goree said. “If everybody was excited about us being bowl-eligible, then they didn’t really expect it.”

At 2-1 in Big Ten play, the Terps are third in the East Division behind Michigan State (3-0) and Ohio State (2-0) and are one of just six teams in the conference with a winning percentage of .667 or better in league play heading...

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Even in situational role, Terps' Yannik Cudjoe-Virgil remains 'key guy'

On a third-and-8 during the fourth quarter of Maryland’s win over Iowa on Saturday, Terps outside linebacker Yannik Cudjoe-Virgil -- lined up over center -- used a quick swim move to beat Hawkeyes center Austin Blythe before converging with fellow outside linebacker Yannick Ngakoue to force a hurried throw from Iowa quarterback Jake Rudock.

Earlier in the fourth quarter, Cudjoe-Virgil jumped up and got his hands on a pass after reading Rudock’s eyes and recognizing that the quarterback was about to throw a screen to his side of the field.

Although Cudjoe-Virgil (Towson) is not starting as was expected before the season started, the senior still is making an impact on Maryland’s defense.

After missing the first three games this year with a foot injury that he suffered during preseason practice, Cudjoe-Virgil has played in each of the last four games and has nine tackles, 1.5 tackles for a loss, a sack and two pass breakups.

“His role is still very important,” Ngakoue said of the...

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Previewing Maryland-Wisconsin football with a Badgers beat reporter

Back for a second season, we'll be previewing each of Maryland's football games by conducting a Q&A with a reporter who covers the Terps' next opponent.

This week, we traded emails with Jeff Potrykus, Wisconsin beat reporter for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Be sure to check out more of their coverage here before the Terps and Badgers kick off Saturday at noon in Madison, Wis.

TRACKING THE TERPS: Even us Big Ten neophytes down here are well aware that Camp Randall is a tough place to play. Why do the Badgers seem to have such an advantage on their home field, and what should Maryland fans who brave the trip know ahead of time?

JEFF POTRYKUS: CRS can be a very loud venue but like most places, including Lambeau Field in Green Bay, it is the team that makes the difference. When UW has been very good, opponents find it difficult to win in Madison. But remember PSU came to Madison and played well in a 31-24 victory. As for this week, with an 11 a.m. kickoff the student section will be...

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Maryland freshman Michal Cekovsky is quickly adapting to life and basketball in the U.S.

The education of Maryland freshman Michal Cekovsky is a daily grind that includes five hours of learning English in the classroom and two more hours with a tutor in study hall at night.

“It’s a lot,” Cekovsky said with a laugh at Tuesday's team media day.

In between, there is basketball.

While the 20-year-old freshman from Slovakia is far ahead of where former Terps star Alex Len was at a similar stage in terms of his comfort level with a new language and new surroundings, Cekovsky is much like Len in trying to figure out how to keep pace with the speed and physicality of the American game.

“It’s a little bit faster than what I played in Europe. Game is really like up and down, up and down. That’s the hardest thing on the court,” Cekovsky said. "I’m still playing my game."

Asked about his goals for his first year at Maryland, Cekovsky said he wants to put weight on and get stronger.

Maryland coach Mark Turgeon is trying not to have too many comparisons made between Cekovsky and Len....

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C.J. Brown 'feeling great' and other Maryland football notes

COLLEGE PARK — Maryland quarterback C.J. Brown showed up to the postgame media availability Saturday sporting the same brace on his left wrist he has worn since spraining it against Indiana earlier this month.

Brown had also just spent time in the cold tub after suffering an upper trapezius injury during the Terps' 38-31 win over Iowa.

However, Maryland coach Randy Edsall said Tuesday that Brown is "feeling great" as the Terps prepare for Saturday's game at Wisconsin.

“He's doing well,” Edsall said. “He's smiling and walking. As a matter of fact, he was just up here going to his car a little while ago. He's fine. He's doing well."

The possum

Maryland defensive end Andre Monroe lacks prototypical size for a defensive lineman at just 5-foot-11 and 280 pounds. Monroe also may not test out well when it comes time to run a 40-yard dash or knock out reps on the bench press.

However, Monroe consistently finds a way to beat offensive linemen and make plays in opposing backfields.

Monroe had 17...

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