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Tracking the Terps
News and notes on Maryland football, basketball and other sports
Terps' Dez Wells to miss four weeks with broken bone in right wrist

The announcement Friday that Maryland senior guard Dez Wells will be out a month with a broken right wrist certainly takes some of the steam out of his team's 5-0 start and its 72-63 victory over No. 13 Iowa State in the CBE Hall of Fame Classic championship game Tuesday in Kansas City.

That said, it won’t derail what had – and still has – the makings of a turnaround season for fourth-year coach Mark Turgeon and the Terps.

As important as Wells has been to the program since transferring from Xavier as a sophomore, and as good a leader he has become this season, Maryland is playing its best basketball since Turgeon arrived as much because of its freshmen as other upperclassmen.

Former Maryland star and ESPN analyst Len Elmore, who worked the CBE games at the Sprint Center, believes the Terps can withstand their second major injury of the season and third in the past two years better now because of what transpired earlier this week.

“It comes down to maintaining that poise that they had,...

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Terps' success inside might change Evan Smotrycz's role

With Evan Smotrycz likely to return from a broken foot as soon as tonight, it’s going to be interesting to see how Maryland coach Mark Turgeon fits the 6-foot-9, 235-pound senior forward back into his team’s rotation.

Turgeon hopes Smotrycz, who broke his left foot in practice on Oct. 21, will be in some kind of game shape when No. 8 Virginia comes to Xfinity Center Wednesday for the ACC-Big Ten Challenge.

Smotrycz could get on the court for Friday's home game against Monmouth and, if not, for Sunday’s home game against VMI. The kind of role Smotrycz will play, at least in the short term, might have been changed by what transpired earlier this week in Kansas City.

After the Terps beat Arizona State in the semifinals of the CBE Hall of Fame Classic Monday night, Maryland assistant Dustin Clark suggested to Turgeon that he use a bigger lineup against Iowa State in the championship game Tuesday.

Turgeon started senior forward Jon Graham to match up against Cyclones star Georges Niang,...

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Looking back at recent matchups between Maryland and Rutgers

Seven of the nine previous games between Maryland and Rutgers were played years before Terps coach Randy Edsall was even born, with only two of those meetings coming since 1942.

Here is a look back at those two most recent matchups:

Sept. 26, 2009 in College Park: Rutgers 34, Maryland 13

While Rutgers quarterback Domenic Natale finished just 4 of 12 for 42 yards, the Scarlet Knights forced five Maryland turnovers and got 147 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries from running back Joe Martinek.

Scarlet Knights defensive end George Johnson recovered a fumble by Terps quarterback Chris Turner in the end zone to give Rutgers a 17-13 late in the third quarter.

The Scarlet Knights then added a field goal and two Martinek touchdown runs during the fourth quarter — one of 29 yards and one of 61 yards.

While Turner threw for 271 yards, he was just 21 of 38 and had only one touchdown pass to go along with three interceptions and the costly lost fumble.

Rutgers also limited Terps running backs...

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Maryland will have to deal with Rutgers' 'Kemoko Dragon'

Pictures show Kemoko Turay skying high, his waist parallel to other players’ helmets as he ascended and extended to block a field-goal attempt by Penn State kicker Sam Ficken.

Nicknamed the “Kemoko Dragon” by his teammates, Rutgers’ 6-foot-6, 235-pound redshirt freshman defensive end has been using his rare combination of size and athleticism to make plays like that throughout the season, something Maryland coaches are well aware of heading into Saturday’s matchup with the Scarlet Knights in College Park.

Turay leads Rutgers with 7.5 sacks and has three blocked kicks, including the one against Penn State on Sept. 13.

“They do a good job schematically,” Maryland offensive coordinator Mike Locksley said. “I know at one point in the year they were one of the leading sack teams in the country. … And he’s one of the top pass rushers. He’s got short-area quickness. He’s really long, which gives him the ability to keep offensive linemen off of him and create space needed to make rush moves....

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Terps focused on slowing down Rutgers standout WR Leonte Carroo

Leonte Carroo's breakout game came during Rutgers' first game of last season, a 52-51 overtime defeat at the hands of Fresno State.

Star quarterback Derek Carr was the catalyst for Fresno State, throwing for 456 yards and five touchdowns. But Carroo was the primary difference-maker for Rutgers, as the then-sophomore wide receiver exploited the Bulldogs’ defense for touchdowns of 69, 13 and 30 yards on his way to finishing with five catches for 135 yards and three touchdowns.

The 6-foot-1, 205-pound Carroo has further established himself as a playmaker for the Scarlet Knights this season and is one of the focal points for Maryland’s defense heading into Saturday’s game in College Park.

“Man, he’s pretty good,” Terps defensive coordinator Brian Stewart said. “I think their receiver crew is a solid crew. Carroo played [high school] ball with [Rutgers quarterback Gary Nova], so I’m sure they got a chance to hook up a lot in high school and talk about how they want to do things. That’s his...

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With new approach, Terps' Jake Wheeler finds new role at left tackle

The process has been gradual for Maryland left tackle Jake Wheeler, the growth from a 235-pound freshman in 2010 into a 315-pound redshirt senior capable of holding up physically against Big Ten defensive linemen.

Wheeler’s rise from little-used backup to the Terps’ starting left tackle also can be attributed to a change in approach.

Teammates said Wheeler plays and practices with a nastiness and mean streak that he didn’t have in previous years, a new attitude that led to Terps coach Randy Edsall putting him into the starting lineup ahead of last week's game against Michigan.

“Being the last year, I decided to not really care about who liked me and who didn’t like me and just going out there and getting after it,” said Wheeler, a 6-foot-7 native of Hollywood, Fla. “And if I had to start a fight or two, I would just to get things going, get the emotion high in practice especially.”

Aided by Wheeler, the Terps ran for 147 yards and two touchdowns in their 23-16 win over Michigan after...

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