- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 23, 2014

It’s time for Maryland football team to find out how it stacks up against the Big (Ten) boys.

Following four non-league games, the Terrapins make their Big Ten debut Saturday at Indiana. The significance of the event is not lost on Maryland running back Brandon Ross.

“I definitely think it’s going to go down in history because it’s the first game, and to be part of it is something special,” linebacker L.A. Goree said Tuesday. “To say that I played in the first Big Ten game, it’s something my kids and their kids are going to ask me about.”

Most importantly, the Terrapins (3-1) are eager to make a good first impression.

“As a team we want to step up and prove we belong in this league,” Goree said.

Maryland was a charter member of the Atlantic Coast Conference before announcing in November 2012 that it was leaving for the Big Ten. The move became official in July, and now the Terrapins are gearing up for a schedule that includes matchups against Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State and Wisconsin.

It all begins Saturday at Memorial Stadium in Bloomington, Indiana.

No Maryland football team has played in the state of Indiana since 1934, so the Terps have no idea what to expect. They know it isn’t a 100,000-seat stadium, but they expect the 52,000 fans to sound just as loud.

“It’s not one of the big ones,” Maryland quarterback C.J. Brown said. “Obviously, it’s going to be a good atmosphere and we’re looking forward to it.”

Coach Randy Edsall understands why this game is different than most, yet he’s trying to make sure his players focus more on Indiana (2-1) than their role in a landmark event in Maryland history.

“We do know that it’s very important because it is the first Big Ten game we’re going to play in football,” he said. “But we also understand that we have to treat this just like any other game. I say that because we treat them all the same. We have to the same thing we’ve done in the previous games we’ve played.”

Message received.

“As far as the history, that’s not what we talk about too much in our locker room. We need to do well, we need to beat them,” said running back Brandon Ross, whose 90-yard catch and run last week sparked Maryland to a 34-20 win over Syracuse. “It’s historical. But it will be great winning the game, instead of being in that first game and losing it.”

Indiana (2-1) is coming off a 31-27 upset of then-No. 18 Missouri and runs an up-tempo offense that could prove troublesome to a Maryland defense that has struggled recently. The Terrapins yielded 694 yards in a loss to West Virginia before surrendering 370 yards rushing to the Orange.

“They go very fast, faster than anybody we’ve seen play,” Edsall said. “They do a great job of running the football. One of the things we are going to have to do is control the run and make sure that we get lined up and be able to execute at a very quick pace.”

On offense, sophomore tight end Andrew Issacs will miss the rest of the season after dislocating his knee against Syracuse. Edsall said Isaacs will apply for a medical redshirt. 

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