COLLEGE PARK -- It’s not just that Saturday marks Maryland’s first road game of the 2015 season or that it will be in Morgantown against a West Virginia team that is coming off a bye in front of an expected capacity crowd at Mountaineer Field.
It’s also, in part, that Maryland is young at a number of key positions. So in preparation, head coach Randy Edsall is using an old trick -- pumping crowd noise into practice to simulate Saturday’s environment.
“It’s kind of annoying,” freshman wide receiver D.J. Moore said on Tuesday.
So that probably means it’s doing its job.
“We know it’ll be loud,” Edsall said. “What we have to do is just go in and focus on ourselves and focus in on doing the things that we have to do.”
The biggest concern should be on the defensive side of the ball, which won’t be aided by relentless noise on Saturday.
Bowling Green’s spread offense shredded Maryland for 48 points in Week 2 and if last season’s matchup with West Virginia showed anything, it’s that the Mountaineers are fine with a shootout again.
The secondary, which will be tested, features a first-year starter in A.J. Hendy and a safety-turned-corner in Sean Davis, backing a front seven that had massive rollover from last season.
Maryland is looking for veterans anchors, which is why a player like graduate transfer Jefferson Ashiru becomes more important. After spending four seasons, including a redshirt year, at Connecticut, he is now starting at Maryland in that otherwise young linebacking corps.
“I just tell them don’t worry about the crowd, man. Just focus on what’s on the field,” Ashiru said. “Focus on your teammates and focus on your opponent. Don’t worry about the crowd noise.”
Kickoff is set for 3 p.m. in Morgantown.