- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Maryland football coach Ralph Friedgen has remained optimistic about his team since the start of camp, concentrating on the progress he’s seen while trying not to let his impatient nature get the best of him.

Saturday’s tight loss at Georgia Tech hasn’t changed his approach.

Friedgen reiterated yesterday he remains pleased with the effort he’s received from the Terrapins (3-2, 0-1 ACC), who visit Virginia (2-4, 1-1) on Saturday.

“I have seen improvement,” Friedgen said. “Sometimes it’s not always measured in wins and losses. You keep the right attitude and keep working, things will work out from my experience from coaching as long as I have.”

It looked like things would work out against Georgia Tech for three quarters, but the Yellow Jackets scored two touchdowns in the final 12 minutes and the held on for a victory.

Friedgen was visibly frustrated after the loss, but it didn’t carry over into the Terps’ practice and film sessions Monday. Instead, he offered encouragement as his team prepares for its second straight road game.

“I think he realizes that if he’s not positive right now, it wouldn’t be the best thing for our team,” quarterback Sam Hollenbach said. “With seven tough games ahead of us, you can’t really worry about it. As bad as that sounds, you have to move on, win or lose.”

It would only help the Terps if they could move past their propensity for committing turnovers. For all of his positive vibes, Friedgen has not mellowed on his aversion to such mistakes, which proved costly throughout last season and again in the fourth quarter against Georgia Tech.

“Steve Spurrier called me [two years ago] and said ‘Ralph, for three years the ball’s bounced your way and it’s not bouncing your way now,’” said Friedgen, whose team has committed a turnover in 21 straight games. “He’s right. It’s due to even out here shortly.”

Tube time

Saturday’s game will be televised by ESPN360, which has become a de facto flagship station for the Terps to the chagrin of the team’s fans.

The station, available in about 8 million homes nationwide, is a broadband Internet entity available only through high-speed providers who have signed up for the service. Verizon and Charter are two of the notable companies who participate, while Comcast is not affiliated with ESPN360.

The ACC and its television partners — particularly the various entities under the ESPN umbrella and Lincoln Financial Sports — decide which outlet will broadcast each game.

“We made it clear to everyone involved that we wish the Maryland-Virginia game was on,” associate athletic director for external operations Brian Ullmann said. “I personally fielded many calls from fans who are disappointed the game is not on and unfortunately I don’t have a good response for them.”

It will be Maryland’s third ESPN360 appearance of the season, though it doesn’t seem to bother players too much what outlet carries their games.

“There’s nothing you can really do,” linebacker Erin Henderson said. “You go out there and win and you go out there and perform and then the TV stations will start picking up our games. We have to do our part before we can complain or get mad about them not picking up our games or not playing on a different channel.”

Skinner swaps positions

Friedgen said redshirt freshman Terrell Skinner was shifted to safety from wide receiver.

Skinner, who didn’t make a catch while playing in the Terps’ first four games, warmed up with the defensive backs before Saturday’s game but did not play.

The Terps’ depth at safety was hurt when Hunter Reddick failed to qualify academically during camp.

Redshirt freshman Jamari McCollough was then moved from cornerback to safety, but tore an ACL a week after his shift.

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