Terps to switch to 3-4 defense

If you watched the defensive schematics of the Houston Texans against the Baltimore Ravens in Sunday's playoff game, you would have gotten a good idea of what Maryland is aiming for under first-year defensive coordinator Brian Stewart.

"That's the same thing we're going to be playing at the University of Maryland," coach Randy Edsall said. "I think we have the people that will fit it well there. We're going to be aggressive, we're going to be able to show different looks and people will have a difficult time discerning who's coming, who's not coming and that just puts a little bit more pressure on an offense."

The Terps will switch to a 3-4 defense under Stewart with the hopes of dramatically improving one of the nation's worst defenses in 2011. Maryland ranked No. 111 in the country in rushing defense, No. 108 in total defense and No. 102 in scoring defense. Stewart said the coverages he'll use are pretty simple. Houston was No. 35 in the country in scoring defense last year, allowing 22.43 points per game.

“The 3-4, basically what we’re doing is, we’re just switching that weakside end to a stand-up guy," Stewart said. "That way he’s more athletic, he’ll be able to run around a little bit more, be able to protect himself on blocks, and be able to take blocks on because he’s not coming from his hand in the dirt. He’s coming from standing up. We’re going to be able to show 7,6,5,3 -- it doesn’t matter; we’ll be able to show a lot of people at the line of scrimmage. Offensive coordinators and quarterbacks on the other side, they won’t know which guy’s coming. I’m excited about that."