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Maryland Vs. Towson: Darin Drakeford Injury Forces Terps Linebacker Out

Maryland Terrapins linebacker Darin Drakeford is "definitely out" for Saturday's game against the Towson Tigers, head coach Randy Edsall announced Thursday. The junior suffered an apparent leg injury--later revealed to be an ankle injury--in the first quarter of last Saturday's contest against the Temple Owls and had to leave the game.

With 17 tackles (12 solo), Drakeford ranks as the Terps' sixth-leading tackler this season. He's also one of the six Maryland players to force a fumble and one of five to record a sack.

Ben Broman of Testudo Times, SB Nation's Maryland blog, points out that Drakeford did not appear on the team's official depth chart (.PDF) released on Monday. He breaks down the result of Drakeford's injury:

The other big change has Lorne Goree starting at middle linebacker, with former starter Demetrius Hartsfield moving back to his more natural WILL spot. That's a result of a continuing injury to Darin Drakeford, formerly the WILL starter, and showcases really how little proven depth there is at linebacker. Goree's back-up is now Cole Farrand, a true freshman.

Drakeford is clearly a key part of the Terrapins' defense. Reeling from an embarrassing 38-7 loss to Temple--at home, no less--and standing with a 1-2 record, Maryland doesn't have much margin for error in his absence. Though Towson is far from a powerhouse, it nonetheless owns a 3-0 record and has outscored its opponents by a 115-30 margin.