Game Preview: Maryland, Part 2

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By and large, Maryland’s defense has struggled on trips to Charlottesville. Since 1988, the Terrapins have held Virginia to less than 20 points just once and they got shut out in that 2004 game in a 16-0 UVa win. With the Cavaliers’ difficulties on offense this season, the Terps may have a chance to keep points off the board this time around – if they can limit some of their defensive problems that is.

Virginia Offense vs. Maryland Defense

Can Mike Groh get the offense going against the Terps?

Maryland defensive coordinator Chris Cosh shouldn’t need an introduction to Virginia fans. In case you’ve forgotten, allow me to refresh some memories. Cosh was the defensive coordinator at South Carolina on September 6, 2003. Now you remember? Virginia lost that game in Columbia 31-7 in Anthony Martinez’s first and last start at quarterback. A week later a guy named Marques Hagans took over until Matt Schaub returned under center.

If you’ve had that memory surgically removed from your brain, some older Hoos (you know who you are) might remember Cosh from his days with the Hokies. A former linebacker who earned his bachelor’s degree in physical education from Virginia Tech in 1983, Cosh also got his start in coaching as a graduate assistant in Blacksburg. As if we needed another reason to dislike the Terps.

Cosh replaced former Maryland coordinator Gary Blackney, who presided over some of the top defenses in the ACC over the last five seasons. Blackney’s defense was a unit characterized by stopping the run and making teams score by moving the ball through the air. He was a master at modifying the defense to the opponent. At times in his four games against Virginia, he would blitz on seemingly every down (2001, 2003); at other times, he would rely on a zone blitzing scheme that used multiple fronts and disguised alignments to try to confuse the offense and bring blitzes only occasionally.

Cosh has adapted much of Blackney’s scheme but this edition of the Maryland defense does not appear to possess the talent Blackney had at his