The Washington Times - September 2, 2012, 02:37PM

Maryland junior Dexter McDougle knew William & Mary would be coming at him. After moving to boundary corner this season, extra attention was an inevitability.

He just happened to be noticed by a lot more people thanks to a difficult day,

SEE RELATED:


McDougle was called for three pass interference penalties in the Terrapins’ 7-6 victory over William & Mary. One came on a third down to extend a drive that ended in the Tribe’s first field goal. The other two came on drives that ended with a punt and a missed field goal.

He acknowledged there were some fundamental errors and some times when he tried to make a play rather than just doing his job. But rather than long pass plays, it was penalties that stood out as an area in need of improvement.

“Definitely penalty-wise, that was a rough game,” McDougle said. “I just kept my head up. My teammates always had my back. They just told me to keep playing and that’s what I did.”

McDougle played regularly as a reserve cornerback in 2010, then claimed a starting spot opposite Cameron Chism (and later Trenton Hughes) last season. This year, he’s the lone corner who enjoyed regular playing time; sophomore Jeremiah Johnson played mostly on special teams in 2011.

And so the cornerbacks aren’t so much in a state of flux as they are adjusting to new demands.

“I just told him and J.J., just get past this game and work on your technique,” linebacker Demetrius Hartsfield said. “It’s J.J.’s first time starting and Dex’s first time playing in the boundary, so definitely they were new to their scene. I was just giving them encouragement after the game: ‘Just forget it. I don’t care how you played, we won the game.’ Next week, I expect them to play great.”

Next week brings a date with Temple (1-0). The Terps face nothing but power conference opponents the rest of the way, and the only help on the way figures to be junior college transfer Isaac Goins (illness) and sophomore A.J. Hendy (ankle). It’s also possible Hendy plays primarily safety when he gets back.

The backup corners Saturday were both freshmen, meaning McDougle will likely remain a target on the boundary going forward.

“I don’t think Dexter had his best game, but you know what? Dexter is a competitor and is a guy who will learn,” coach Randy Edsall said. “The thing for Dexter to take from this game is he just has to be better technique[-wise] and fundamentally. When he does that, he’s pretty good. … I’m not worried about Dexter McDougle at all. Dexter McDougle will bounce back and Dexter McDougle will wind up making a lot of plays in our secondary.”

Patrick Stevens