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Maryland concerned about Old Dominion QB Taylor Heinicke 'improvising'

It’s not just the spread offense of Old Dominion that Maryland will be concerned with on Saturday.

It’s the particular ability of Monarchs quarterback Taylor Heinicke, who won the 2012 Walter Payton Award as the top offensive player in the Football Championship Subdivision, to make plays.

The Terps have faced spread offenses and will again. Clemson and West Virginia -- opponents last year and this year -- run variations of the spread.

But it’s hard to stop an instinctive player.

“I think the major thing is he can create things when you cover his receivers,” Maryland defensive coordinator Brian Stewart said Wednesday. “Just him improvising is my biggest concern.”

Old Dominion lost, 52-38, to East Carolina in its opener last Saturday.

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Maryland has many goals for each game. When it comes to errors -- penalties, turnovers, etc. -- the Terps have a specific standard they want the offense to maintain.

“We want to be under 12 percent each game,” Terps offensive coordinator Mike Locksley said. “Basically, less than 12 percent of your plays can have one of those five things -- whether it’s penalties, fumbles, sacks, interceptions or drops. We want to be under 12 percent for a winning grade."

So how did Maryland do in its season-opening 43-10 win over Florida International?

Six.

“That was the lowest that I’ve had since I’ve been here,” Locksley said.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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