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September 26, 2012

Randy Edsall

MIKE FINN:  We're now joined by Maryland head coach Randy Edsall.  We'll bring on coach, ask for a brief opening statement, then go to questions.
COACH EDSALL:  Well, of course we were disappointed with the loss to West Virginia, but I thought our guys competed very, very hard.  Other than probably about eight plays in the ballgame, if you could have had those back, some of the mistakes we made, the outcome could have been different.
But we're just going to head back out on the practice field today and tomorrow.  Guys will be off on Friday, Saturday, then get back to it on Sunday in preparation for Wake Forest.
MIKE FINN:  Questions for Coach Edsall.

Q.  What have you seen from A.J. Hendy the last two weeks on scout team that might encourage you as to his health and his return soon?
COACH EDSALL:  Well, I've just seen a guy that's gone out there and done more the last two weeks.  We'll find out a little bit more about him today as we go out there and practice today and tomorrow as we head into Wake Forest.
But I feel pretty good that he'll be available to us.  Hopefully that will be the case.

Q.  Pretty good defensive performance last week.  You gave up passing yards, but that's going to happen against that West Virginia offense.  You only gave up 25 rushing yards.  Talk about the West Virginia offense.  Do you think it's a one‑dimensional offense, and talk about their running game last week.
COACH EDSALL:  We thought, having a history of playing West Virginia, it was just one of those things where I didn't feel, our defensive coaches didn't feel, they don't like to run the ball.  They do it just to kind of make sure they have something in there because they'd rather throw the football.
We went with a game plan that could take care of those things.  We gave up three explosive plays, two of those were for touchdowns.  That's something that if we just played the things a little bit better and some guys did their job, we would have prevented those.
Like I said, we just felt like West Virginia is a team that really doesn't want to run the ball.  That's why we were able to be successful.  Our kids played very, very hard.

Q.  Randy, you played four non‑conference games.  You have an off week.  Is that as good a time as any to have a week off with the balance of your schedule being ACC games, you can heal up some, fine tune?
COACH EDSALL:  I think it is.  I always like to play the non‑conference games first, get them out of the way, then you go and focus.  Just so happened we had the bye at this point in time in the schedule.
I think it comes for a good time for us from the standpoint that we had a lot of injuries early on, starting to get guys back.  I think we'll get even more guys back.  Also it gives us a chance because we are so young.  We were able to find by playing a lot of people, we found out some things.  Now as we go forward, we have a better idea of who we are, what we can do.
Again, if we need to make any changes within our starting lineups, it gives us some extra time to get those guys that are going to be in those positions some extra work as we head into conference play.

Q.  What are some of the things that you have learned about this team through your four games so far?
COACH EDSALL:  Well, I learned we're still a young team because we got guys that can make some dynamic plays, but sometimes they're going to make mistakes, too.
I found out that this is a team that's going to play extremely hard for the full, entire game.  It's a team that has a lot of ability and potential to continue to get better.  I see a team that's gotten better from week‑to‑week.  That needs to continue.  It's a team that I feel really understands what we want to do and what we need to get done in order to be successful in the ACC race.

Q.  You mentioned the offensive line at West Virginia.  If you look more at that, Zeller and Madaras playing more.
COACH EDSALL:  That's why we're going to practice today, to be able to take a look at some of those things.  Like I said, we'll have a better idea after we get through these practices, how we want to go as we continue to start practice again on Sunday.
A lot of those things we want to take a look at today and tomorrow, then move forward from there.

Q.  Having the four non‑conference games, the bye week, then the ACC schedule.  With such a young team, how much progress do you think you have made?  Are you pleased with where you are at heading into conference play?
COACH EDSALL:  I'm not pleased with where we're headed, not pleased with where we're at.  I'd like to have more wins.  I'm pleased with the improvement I see taking place.  I'll be more pleased as we continue to improve from week to week.
Again, you get a chance to go back this week and take a look at the cutups for the first four weeks.  You can see where we were in the first game, you see where we were in the fourth game against West Virginia, you can see a definite improvement in each phase of the ball, within the individuals on each side of the ball.
You see the improvement, but you know we still got to get better and we're not happy with what our record is.  We just need to keep going out there and keep working hard each and every day in practice to get better.  That's what we're going to do again today.

Q.  I was looking at the numbers.  It's a truism you don't win with a freshman quarterback.  Your guy made a quantum jump against a quality team.  Can you talk about, was it a dramatic improvement for him or had you seen it coming like this all along?
COACH EDSALL:  I think the thing is, knowing Perry, you could see it was coming because of the fact his demeanor, how he approaches everything, how passionate he is about doing well.
And I thought as the game went on against West Virginia, standing on the sideline, I could almost see the game really starting to slow down for him as opposed to the other games.
I don't know why, but it just seems to happen.  That's just the way it is.  All of a sudden it just clicks.  So I think the game's going to get slower and slower for him, which is a good thing.
Again, he's seen so many different things in four weeks, really four different kind of defenses and everything else.  But I just think it's going to slow down for him and he's just going to get better and better.
Experience is a great teacher.  He's had a tremendous amount of experience.  The thing is, he's taken some shots.  He's gotten hit way too much.  But you don't see him backing down or shying away.  That just tells you about the mental and physical makeup of the young man.

Q.  Ever sit back and think in a year or two the combination of Hills and Diggs, two freshmen performing at high levels, what they'll be like in a year or two?
COACH EDSALL:  Well, yeah.  And that's why you have to have patience.  That's why you have to remember who those guys are.  When you throw all the guys in the backfield playing their first games, you just got to understand, you got to have patience.
When you take a look at the things that we did against West Virginia, how we progressed each and every week, it is, it makes you feel good that you have those type of players that you're going to be able to build your offense around, that those guys are going to be even more successful the more they play.
MIKE FINN:  Coach, thanks for being with us.  Enjoy the bye week and we'll talk to you next Wednesday.
COACH EDSALL:  Appreciate it.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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