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Terps Notebook: Craddock 'human' after missed field goal

Maryland kicker Brad Craddock, right, kicks a field goal with Caleb Rowe holding in the first quarter. Maryland defeated Richmond 50-21 at Byrd Stadium.
Maryland kicker Brad Craddock, right, kicks a field goal with Caleb Rowe holding in the first quarter. Maryland defeated Richmond 50-21 at Byrd Stadium. (Kenneth K. Lam / Baltimore Sun)

Reigning Lou Groza Award winner Brad Craddock became just the third kicker in Maryland history to hit 50 field goals in his career when he knocked three attempts through the uprights Saturday afternoon.

While the Australian kicker continued his impressive stay in College Park, he did miss a 28-yard attempt in the third quarter, as well as his first failed PAT since 2012 earlier in the game.

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"We found out that Brad Craddock was human today," coach Randy Edsall said after the game. "I know he's disappointed, but I haven't lost any confidence in him. He's trying too hard. I thought he was moving a little bit quick on the extra point."

Craddock made 18 of his 19 field goal attempts last year on the way to being named college football's best kicker. He also finished the regular season with a national-best 94.7 conversion rate.

His one miss last year came on his final chance — a 54-yarder in the Terps' regular season finale on Nov. 29.

Edsall described Craddock as a "perfectionist" in his preparation, and stressed that he'll be OK as the year goes on, once he settles back into a routine.

'Terp Town' gets revamped

In an effort to provide a fuller fan experience for fans at Byrd Stadium, the University of Maryland department of athletics has added another wrinkle to its pregame festivities.

"Terp Town," a festival-like atmosphere just outside the stadium along Field House Drive, has featured live music, as well as food and games for fans in the past. This year, 2 hours and 15 minutes before each home kickoff, players themselves will walk through a tunnel of fans and marching band members on their way to the stadium.

"I just think it's just important for our fans to high-five our players on their way into the stadium, to wish them well," said Whitney Hughes, senior director of marketing for the athletics department. "[It's] just an extra touch point for our fans. It adds to the atmosphere of Terp Town, too."

Carrie Blankenship, associate director of marketing in athletics, said the idea for the players to interact with the fans before games this season came from the team itself. While the crowd wasn't as robust as the athletics department may have hoped Saturday morning, Blankenship expects to see more fans at each home game as word of the event spreads.

Freshmen success

While much of the statistics were dominated by upperclassmen, Maryland got solid play from a few true freshmen.

Ty Johnson rushed for 84 yards and a touchdown on 10 attempts. Wide receiver D.J. Moore had two catches for 23 yards. Linebacker Brett Zanotto recorded a tackle.

Notes

Edsall improved to 5-0 on opening day as Maryland's head coach, and 12-5 in his career overall. One of the things he said he was pleased with was the atmosphere from the fans.

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"The student section was great," Edsall said. "We had about 12,00 students here today. If we could get them to keep coming out and getting our guys up and our guys jacked up that was good."

Quarterback Perry Hills connected with eight different receivers Saturday, hitting Levern Jacobs and Malcolm Culmer with a score apiece. The touchdown was the first of Culmer's career. Jacobs hadn't found the end zone since Dec. 27, 2013 against Marshall. He was suspended during the 2014 season.

Will Likely's special teams standout day moved him into a tie for second-most punt returns for touchdowns in Maryland history. Steve Suter (North Carroll) is the program's all-time leader with six.

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