- The Washington Times - Monday, September 17, 2007

The Maryland football team crammed as much preparation for No. 4 West Virginia as possible in five days last week.

The result, a 31-14 loss to the Mountaineers on Thursday night, didn’t provide the payoff the Terrapins were looking for. But the short week eventually gave way to a lighter weekend for both players and coaches eager to recharge for Saturday’s visit to Wake Forest.

Well, sort of.

“I know a lot of coaches were looking for a little break,” said coach Ralph Friedgen, who attended two high school games over the weekend. “The recruiting makes it tough, too. I got home at 1 o’clock [Saturday] night. I’m sure for our players it was probably good to get some time off.”

When the Terps (2-1) return to practice today, they will begin moving past the program’s fourth straight loss to West Virginia and start preparing for their ACC opener. And while Friedgen remained upbeat during a teleconference yesterday, it appears there could be at least one change after the team’s first setback.

Friedgen said redshirt freshman tailback Da’Rel Scott could receive work on kickoff returns in place of Terrell Skinner. Scott was a champion high school sprinter in Pennsylvania but has yet to play this season because of nagging injuries and the presence of two entrenched seniors.

However, Scott’s speed could earn him a look as soon as this week.

“I was really planning to play him more Saturday,” Friedgen said. “What we have to do with Da’Rel is to get a little package for him and see what he can do. When you have Lance [Ball] and Keon [Lattimore], it’s kind of tough to get him in the game.”

Besides finding ways to involve Scott, Friedgen didn’t hint at any major upheaval. Instead, he said he believes the Terps are better at this juncture than they were last year even though they have a quarterback (Jordan Steffy) learning on the job this season.

“We were in the right situations. We just didn’t execute the way we needed to execute. I was down after the game, and I think our players are, too, but when I watched the tape we’re not that far away. We just have to keep our heads up and try to get better.”

Notes — Friedgen said linebacker Erin Henderson suffered a stinger in Thursday night’s game, an injury much like the one that has bothered him since camp last month. …

Friedgen said offensive lineman Paul Pinegar (knee) could return this week, while he was told cornerback Richard Taylor (ACL) was on track to resume practicing by the end of the month.

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