Dealing With Ex In Sickness And In Health

COLLEGE PARK, Md. —

Speaking of being humbled, heading into West Virginia next weekend, do you think Edsall would like to bring along Sio to face Geno Smith?

The Terps had eight offensive yards in the first quarter. They had 72 in the second, but only 22 in the third. Maybe it was the heat. Maybe it was the illness. Maybe Maryland, which has a number of skilled freshmen, finally made some plays. Whatever it was, the Terps had 103 yards in the fourth quarter. Yet when it mattered most, with UConn leading by three, the defense again stood tall on the last drive.

"That last drive was about ownership," Moore said. "Making a statement about what we're going to be about this year, about finishing. If you go back in the archives, we had Rutgers at Rutgers late two years ago and we let that one slip away. We didn't ever want that to happen again."

Smallwood, the sophomore, and Moore, the senior, are fast and they are furious. And evidence by that blow Smallwood delivered on Hills you can feel their hits in the press box.

"I feel like that one was a game-changing play," Smallwood said.

"I couldn't be more proud of Yawin," Moore said.

With Wreh-Wilson sidelined, the Huskies often went with three safeties. They played a 3-4 front at times, too. The linebackers, meanwhile, remain easy to spot and are up for lots of praise these days. They deserve it.

"But when linebackers are making those number of tackles, usually that means the guys up front are playing pretty decent, [the offensive line] is spending a lot time with two people on one guy and not getting to the linebackers quick enough," Pasqualoni said. "You talk about Yawin. Ryan Wirth has put together three [good games] in a row, too."

Smallwood and Moore were right there with their coach to jump on the defensive line bandwagon.

"Those guys have been playing great all year," Smallwood said. "I feel like they're not getting enough credit."

Said Moore: "They are able to defeat a lot of those offensive linemen by themselves. That helps keep the second level free and able to move around."

Wirth wasn't going to let that kind of praise go unrewarded.

"When it's crunch time and everybody's sucking wind," Wirth said, "I know [Moore and Smallwood] are coming in and making a big play."

Pasqualoni insisted the Huskies handled everything leading into the game against their former coach "big league." They remained focused. They didn't let the media storyline become their story. He said he saw a growing maturity. But this love Wirth was talking about, wow, this win might have brought this team together in a way they hadn't expected. It was enough to make those teammates sniffle and their former coach cry.

College Park, MD

Featured Stories

CTnow is using Facebook comments on stories. To comment on ctnow.com articles, sign into Facebook and enter your comment in the field below. Comments will appear in your Facebook News Feed unless you choose otherwise. To report spam or abuse, click the X next to the comment. For guidelines on commenting, click here.