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Time for Philistin, Terps to Wake up

September 21, 2007|By BOB PARASILITI

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - David Philistin is hoping it was a bad dream.

"They kept running that play and we couldn't stop it," the University of Maryland linebacker said. "I kept seeing it over and over and there was nothing we could do."

If it was a nightmare, Philistin dreamt it with his eyes open. It was Wake Forest marching down the field last year, using a speedy misdirection sweep to score against Maryland in the Demon Deacons' 38-24 victory over the Terps.

The loss came in the last game of the regular season and was the difference between the Terps heading to Jacksonville, Fla., for the Atlantic Coast Conference Championship game and just waiting around for a bowl bid.

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Wake got that chance, won the conference title and finished it off by playing in the Orange Bowl.

The good thing for Maryland is it doesn't have to wait long to try for a measure of revenge. Last year's final game in the ACC schedule is the first conference game for the Terps this season.

"I'm excited," said Philistin. "It's like playing the first game of the season all over again. We have to go undefeated in the ACC this season."

It will start by stopping the Wake offense Maryland couldn't stop last season.

The Demon Deacons have speed and use it with trapping blocks to get to the outer edge of defenses. Maryland didn't fare well trying to keep tabs on Wake Forest's runners last season, especially after the Terps' offense turned the ball over to give the Deacons extra chances.

And now, Philistin's dream seems to be reoccurring. He is seeing Wake's same play over and over again. But this time, it's Maryland's scout team running it to get the defense ready to handle the movement when it comes.

"We have to know our options and responsibilities as far as the plays they run," Philistin said. "We have to be technically sound. We know they are a fast team. Speed kills."

The Terps are counting on the experience of last week's 31-14 loss to No. 5 WVU to help them get ready for Wake. The Mountaineers are built around the speed of their skilled players and their ability to get outside of defensive containment.

"Those teams are similar, but (Wake) does the misdirection more than WVU," Philistin said. "But I still see a lot of similarities in their offenses."

If Maryland can withstand Wake's speed, the Terps might own something more powerful.

"Momentum is one of the most powerful things in college football," Philistin said. "We have to treat them like champions. If we can get this game, it will only help us down the road. (Wake) won the ACC last year."

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