Experience gives Terps' Brandon Ross starting tailback job

  • Could Brandon Ross emerge into the workhorse type of back that Terps coach Randy Edsall liked having when he was at Connecticut?
Could Brandon Ross emerge into the workhorse type of back that… (Charles LeClaire, US PRESSWIRE )
August 27, 2013|By Jeff Barker | The Baltimore Sun

Maryland football coach Randy Edsall said the experience of tailback Brandon Ross vaulted him over Albert Reid and into the Terps' starting tailback position.

Ross -- 5-foot-10, 210-pound redshirt sophomore -- played in six games last season, starting five, and led Maryland with 390 yards and a 4.6 average. He finished with a 141-yard rushing game in a loss to North Carolina to end the season.

Reid, a sophomore, started two games last season, netting 92 yards with a 2.6 average.

“Brandon is the starter. Brandon just has a little bit more experience,” Edsall said.

Maryland’s running game often lacked excitement last season. Through five games, the Terps' longest run was 21 yards. Ross had a 71-yarder in the season’s last game.

There's no doubt Reid will see plenty of action. But Edsall has often said he likes workhorse backs.

Consider Edsall’s history:  The coach has had his share of run-heavy teams. His 2010 Connecticut team -- which finished 8-5 with a Fiesta Bowl appearance -- relied on tailback Jordan Todman, who gained 1,695 yards with 5.1 yards per carry and 14 touchdowns.

Ross and Reid both worked extensively during training camp with quarterback C.J. Brown on the option read. A key to Maryland’s rushing success will be the offensive line, which has two new starters (Michael Dunn and Ryan Doyle).

Maryland will miss sophomore running back Wes Brown, who was suspended for the season after a confrontation with police who had hoped to question him during the offseason.

Other notes

** Edsall celebrated his 55th birthday Tuesday. But “celebrated” is perhaps the wrong word.

“I haven't really celebrated a birthday … because I've always been involved in football. Just seems like another day,” the coach said.

** Maryland never did name a backup quarterback to C.J. Brown. The competition remains between sophomore Caleb Rowe and transfer Ricardo Young.

“That’s probably the most disappointing situation coming out of the preseason,” Edsall said. “Nobody really stood up and created that separation.”

** The starting quarterback – Brown – can’t wait for this week’s opener against Florida International. He missed last season with an ACL tear.

He abandoned his knee brace months ago. He says he’ll also soon abandon his training camp beard.

“I was only out there in the spring for 7-on-7. When you’re out there in full pads -- – it’s just great to be back,” he said.

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