Football head coach Ralph Friedgen said that Maryland was facing an “serious football crisis” against Clemson and risked a “long and painful season” if the team failed to follow his administration’s game plan this weekend.
In an address to his players yesterday, the coach said he had invited captains from both the offense and the defense to his office at Byrd Stadium on Thursday in a bid to break open their deadlocked potential.
Da’Rel Scott and Jeremy Navarre, leaders from both sides of the ball, issued a joint statement urging the offense and defense to work together to prevent a “on-field catastrophe”. They said that Friedgen’s game plan was “flawed”, but agreed action was necessary. “This is a time to rise above individual achievement for the good of the team,” they said.
Navarre sprung a surprise earlier on Wednesday by vowing to suspend practicing and return to Byrd Stadium to help pull the team together, amid deep unease in College Park over the match-up with #20 Clemson, a 14-point favorite.
The offense and defense alike have so far resisted demands for blind acceptance of Friedgen’s game plan and are pushing for more audibles to be included. The team’s equipment manager told Shell Games that the offense and defense were inching closer to a compromise, with key assistant coaches and team leaders to meet on Friday to put the finishing touches on a bipartisan approach to the playbook.