Maryland football coach Ralph Friedgen talks with the media. Maryland (6-3, 3-2 ACC) plays at Virginia (4-5, 1-4 ACC) on Saturday.
On an overall message to the team this week after a tough loss
“I told the team yesterday that it was a very tough defeat. Our kids played extremely hard and it was a physical football game. Now that it’s done we can’t do anything about it. I think we need to learn and grow from it, onto the next game. When we go down to Virginia we need to play very well to win the football game.”
On what he enjoys about the rivalry between Maryland and Virginia
“I think it’s a good rivalry between two schools who are both very competitive. I think we don’t just compete for our students. I also think that border rivalries are good like what we have with Virginia Tech, Virginia, West Virginia and if we play frequently enough, Navy. I think rivalries are good for the program, the season, the fans and they are even better when we win.”
On Maryland’s great linebacker tradition
“We have a tremendous linebacker tradition here at Maryland. It is something I am very proud of. We also have a very good tradition of quarterbacks as well. Alex Wujciak is the latest, and I think Adrian Moten can cross over into that category as well. I also think we have some young linebackers that could cross over into that category as well.
“I spoke with Alex today in my office; it has been a real pleasure to coach him. He’s played a lot during his time here, a lot of the times he was hurt and I really appreciate all he has contributed to the program. As a lot of people know he’s one of my favorites. He’s a heck of a football player and one heck of a kid.”
On the ACC race and bowl eligibility
“At this point of the season we usually try to crank it up. But we need to slow it down, focusing on each of the remaining games. After watching the film from Saturday I can tell we’re a little beat up. I really wanted to make sure we had our assignments down for running. I think that when you have the record we have, 6-3, we went after all of our goals this season. As of right now we are still in control of our own destiny. We haven’t looked past our next game and we will not do that now.
“Right now we need to concentrate on Virginia and see what happens after that. I mentioned to the team last night, we need to jump back up on our feet. Last night I showed a power point on what each game means. Right now we’re one of ten teams eligible for a bowl game. I told them that just because you are bowl eligible, does not mean you are going to make a bowl. So every win from here on out will determine which bowl we go to. That was not all that was mentioned, we also spoke about what Virginia is able to do that could jeopardize not jut our bowl contention but our conference championship.”
On the differences with Virginia’s new coach
“They are playing with a lot of energy and playing with intensity. I have a lot of respect for Coach London. I think that he is a very good motivator, a very good recruiter. I think since he’s come in, he has done a lot with their program and I think they will be very successful football team.”
On performance Saturday at Miami
“I think that we had a tough match up and the effort in which we fought was really encouraging to me. Every play was important. Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose.”
On defensive end Drew Gloster
“I think he’s been a major influence on the defense. I think he’s had the season that I hoped he would. He played very well against Miami. He had one of his better games. I’m really happy for him. He’s been a guy that’s kind of been looking for a home to play. He’s really matured as a person. I think he has a chance to do very well once he gets out of here.
“He’s played very well for us and has given very good leadership. I’m hoping he can finish this thing out the right way, and graduate. He’s really made a difference in our defense because some of the things he does are unselfish. There are a lot of times he has to take a block or give himself up to free up the linebackers. He does that very well and I think he’s gotten better as a pass rusher. He runs well and is athletic and we’re much more productive at that position than we were last year.”