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October 17, 2012

Randy Edsall

MIKE FINN:  We now welcome Maryland head coach Randy Edsall.  We'll bring on coach, ask for a brief opening statement, then go to questions.
Well, we're coming off a good win over Virginia.  Now we get to play a very difficult and tough NC State team here at home.  We just know it's going to be a very difficult, very physical, hard‑fought game on Saturday against them.  We're just trying to get prepared this week to go out and play to the best of our ability on Saturday.
MIKE FINN:  Questions for Coach Edsall.

Q.  In general, how have you seen Evan Mulrooney improve as a player?
COACH EDSALL:  Evan had an opportunity to go in and play against Virginia when Sal Conaboy hurt his ankle.  I've just seen a guy throughout practice who has just gotten better, communicating there on the offensive line, kind of being a leader for us as a backup.  Also just in terms of his fundamentals he's gotten better.  I've seen a steady progression since he's been here.
He went and made the most of his opportunity on Saturday in a tough situation.  I thought he held his own.  He's a guy that I think will continue to get better because he's a guy that really wants to get better.  He's a hard worker.  He's smart.  He's a good guy to be around.

Q.  Randy, I told your brother that I asked this question, so blame him if he didn't warn you.  For the last two or three years, your quote from that basketball game has been dredged up about Maryland not losing to Virginia.  Any regrets about having said that?  Did you think it would have the life its had?
COACH EDSALL:  No.  I mean, you say it at halftime of a basketball game.  I was really referring more to basketball than what I was football.
In that moment, just trying to get the crowd fired up so the team could come out and the crowd could get behind them a little bit more in the second half.  It was nothing ill willed toward Virginia.  It was just one of those statements you make, getting people fired up.  In this day and age you have to be careful about that because everybody hears it and it goes out all over the world.

Q.  You probably wouldn't say it again?
COACH EDSALL:  No, I wouldn't say it publicly again (laughter).

Q.  Coach, your defense is one of the most improved in the nation this year, ranking ninth in rushing and total defense.  What has been the impetus to this?
COACH EDSALL:  I think, first of all, it starts with Brian Stewart and the coaching staff in terms of teaching the players, the scheme, getting them to understand it, which they do.  But then when you take a look at our defense, when you have A.J. Francis, who is a junior, Joe Vellano, who is a senior, Kenneth Tate, who is a senior, Demetrius Hartsfield, Eric Franklin, I think those are the guys there, those seniors, that really said, Hey, we want to try to do something a little bit special.  They've done a great job of leading and making plays.  Then you incorporate some of the other young guys we have into the system.
But it's a group that really feeds off of each other and plays off of each other.  Everybody is committed to doing their job, doing it to the best of their ability.  I think that's why we've had some success in the first six games.  But we have even higher expectations for ourselves.  We got to continue to work hard each and every day, each and every week to obtain those standards that we want for ourselves on defense.

Q.  Do you have any more clarity this week on how the run game might go?
COACH EDSALL:  No, I mean, we'll know more on Thursday once we get through practice and everything.  We have confidence in any of the guys that we have out there, again, just in terms of what we want to do from a game plan standpoint.
But, no, we'll be fine.  We'll just keep working at it, on the run game.  That's all we can do.  The players are working hard.  The coaches are working hard.  We'll get it resolved some way, somehow.  We'll just keep working at it.

Q.  Randy, I know you don't like to revisit history.  Is it hard at all not to look back at last year's game at all in terms of using it for motivation?
COACH EDSALL:  No.  Like I said, we're a different team from last year.  They're a different team from last year.  This is a whole new year.
Again, I'm worried about what we're going to do this Saturday, not what we did back last November.  Again, like I told you yesterday, yeah, you might look at the film to look at a couple things.  Like I said, this is a whole different team, a whole different situation this year than opposed to a year ago.

Q.  Randy, if I'm not mistaken, Stefon Diggs had something like 240 all purpose yards on eight touches the other day.  As you look at that, is there an ideal number of touches you'd like for him to get each game?  What are the upper limits of how much you can use him?
COACH EDSALL:  Yeah, I mean, we'd like to get him the ball as much as we can.  Again, when you play wide receiver, there's only so many ways to get him the ball.  But the other thing is, there's also times when you have him in there, you're doing some things with him, he attracts the attention of other people, it opens up for the other ones.
On the touchdown that Perry ran, we put him in motion, faked it to him.  Had three or four guys going with Stefon.  Even though he didn't touch the ball, that play was a big factor because of him.
We're trying to find as many ways as we can to get him the ball and get it in his hands, let him do things.  Again, if we can at least try, and sometimes you don't hit what you want to get done, but if we can get it to 10 to 15 times or so, then I think we're doing okay.  Really like to have a minimum of 10.  How many more we get after that, 15, that would be a bonus.  Again, situations will dictate how many touches, as well.
MIKE FINN:  Randy, thanks for being with us today.  Good luck this weekend.  We'll talk to you next Wednesday.
COACH EDSALL:  Okay, appreciate it.

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