Sunday Maryland notes: Kenneth Tate, Andrew Zeller and more

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News and notes from Maryland coach Randy Edsall’s Sunday teleconference…

The biggest problem Edsall had with linebacker Kenneth Tate’s season debut had nothing to do with what the fifth-year senior did.

It was how Maryland’s coaches used him.

Edsall said the staff had Tate pegged to play between 25 and 30 plays in Saturday’s 31-21 loss to West Virginia. He had no idea until reviewing the film Tate was in for 54 snaps.

West Virginia ran 68 offensive plays as well as five PAT/field goal snaps. Tate split time with Alex Twine at strong-side linebacker in his first action since Oct. 1, 2011.

“I thought he played too many plays,” Edsall said. “We didn’t want to play him that many plays. He came out of it good. I thought he played well for the first time being back in about a year.”

PROTECTION PROBLEMS

Edsall said both quarterback Perry Hills and those around him have been responsible for the Terps’ protection issues to date.

Hills has been sacked 16 times, more than everyone in the country except Colorado State’s Garrett Grayson, who has taken 17 sacks.

“It’s a combination of everybody,” Edsall said. “There’s times when Perry’s got to get the ball out of his hands quicker. He’s got to trust his receivers to get their head around. There’s times where we don’t do a good enough job with our techniques with guys we’re supposed to block. You can spread it around to everybody.”

Edsall said he was impressed with the work of redshirt freshman Andrew Zeller, who saw time on a couple series against West Virginia at right guard. Zeller wiped out three Mountaineer defenders on a downfield block to help spring Stefon Diggs for his second touchdown.

Zeller and freshman Mike Madaras could factor in more as the season progresses. Whoever mans the lines, keeping Hills off the ground is a priority going forward.

“You don’t want to see your quarterback get hit that many times,” Edsall said. “As a lineman, you’ve got to have a vow and say ‘We don’t want out guy hit.’”

CONDOLENCES FOR TORREY SMITH

Edsall opened the teleconference by expressing condolences to former Maryland wide receiver Torrey Smith, whose brother Tevin was killed in a motorcycle accident late Saturday night.

Smith played at Maryland from 2007 to 2010. He declared for the NFL Draft after the 2010 Military Bowl and is in his second season with the Baltimore Ravens.

“We just want him to know everyone here at the University of Maryland football program is thinking about him and his family,” Edsall said. “Hopefully, our thoughts and prayers will help him get through this very tough time.”

OPTIMISM OVER INJURIES

Edsall said the Terps escaped Saturday without any injuries. While he wouldn’t delve deeply into an extended infirmary report, he hinted Maryland could have everyone back besides quarterback C.J. Brown and defensive end Andre Monroe after the bye week.

That would mean defensive end Keith Bowers, wideout Kerry Boykins and defensive back A.J. Hendy could be ready to return.

“We should hopefully be at full strength [besides Brown and Monroe] and we’ll see how that transpires this week and next week,” Edsall said.

BYE WEEK PLANS

Maryland will practice Sunday, Wednesday and Thursday this week, with coaches hitting the road to recruit on Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday. The Terps will begin their full week of practice for Wake Forest next Sunday.

Edsall and several players will also visit pediatric patients at Sinai Hospital in Baltimore on Monday, one of the team’s days off this week.

Patrick Stevens

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