All everyone seems to speak of when they talk about the 2013 Maryland Terrapins is the huge amount of success the offense has enjoyed thus far through four games, and rightfully so. But, what should not be overlooked is the fact that the other guys on the other side of the ball aren’t exactly slouches themselves.
So far through 2013, the Maryland defense has been almost equally impressive as the offensive unit, as well as just as important in contributing to the teams unblemished record thus far. They’ve allowed just 41 points and rank sixth in the NCAA in total defense. Two weeks ago against West Virginia, they pitched a shutout in their 37-0 victory. Overall they’re surrendering just a shade under 290 yards per game. In the ACC, they’re currently at the top in total team defense.
Linebacker Marcus Whitfield may the be the unquestioned overall star of this group, as he’s already recorded an ACC-high 5.5 sacks and 18 tackles through four games. In really what is his first year of full-time on-field action, the young man has certainly made the most of his opportunity so far this season.
Again, as much credit that has been given, needs to also be thrown toward the way of defensive coordinator Brian Stewart. He’s done a good job to this point of having this defense play much more aggressively and smarter. Recently, head coach Randy Edsall spoke about the success of not only Stewart, but his entire defensive coaching staff underneath him:
“I think first of all, Brian does tremendous job, and also [defensive line coach] Greg Gattuso and [outside linebackers coach] Lyndon Johnson and [inside linebackers coach] Keith Dudzinski are excellent coaches as well,” Coach Randy Edsall said Tuesday. “It’s all part of the team concept we have. Those guys are playing well, and they’re running to the ball, doing the things that Brian as a coordinator is asking them to do. When guys do their job, when they listen to what they’re being taught, then you have a chance for success.”
Florida State will give a lot of insight on Saturday afternoon into where the Maryland defense actually stands.