Thursday, April 10, 2014
Spring game preview: Maryland
By Adam Rittenberg
Ten Big Ten teams wrap up spring practice this weekend with games or scrimmages, and we're taking a look at each one. Maryland kicks things off Friday night.
Here's a quick look:
When: 7 p.m. ET Friday
Where: Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium in College Park, Md.
Admission: Tickets and parking are free
Weather forecast: After a potentially stormy day, partly cloudy skies with temperatures in the mid to upper 50s, winds at 5 mph.
What to watch for: As of Wednesday, coach Randy Edsall hadn't finalized the format for the game but said it likely will be a mix of individual work as well as a scrimmage using a modified scoring system. Fans will get to see standout wide receivers Stefon Diggs and Deon Long, both recovering from leg injuries, in the individual (noncontact) drills. Quarterbacks won't be hit during the scrimmage.
Running back Wes Brown and wide receiver Marcus Leak both return to the field after a year away from the program. Brown is in a crowded mix at running back that includes Brandon Ross, Jacquille Veii and Albert Reid. Leak adds depth to the receiver group, where Levern Jacobs has stood out this spring, according to quarterback C.J. Brown.
Although the offense won't be whole until the summer, it could showcase some of its explosiveness in the scrimmage. Brown is the cemented starter, but reserves Caleb Rowe, Shane Cockerille and Perry Hills have their final showcase opportunity for the coaches.
On defense, cornerback Will Likely has had a good spring making plays on the ball as he moves closer to locking up a starting spot. Alvin Hill also is competing at cornerback as Jeremiah Johnson has been limited by injuries.
Several top defenders have been limited this spring, so the real intrigue Friday is the offense, which could take a significant step this fall if everyone can finally stay healthy.