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Improved Maryland defense faces challenge in ODU

Tuesday - 9/3/2013, 6:59pm  ET

Maryland defensive back Isaac Goins (17) holds up the ball after he recovered a Florida International fumble during the first half of an NCAA football game, Saturday, Aug. 31, 2013, in College Park, Md. Also seen are Florida International's Derrick Jones Jr. (25) and Jonnu Smith (87). (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

AP Sports Writer

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) -- Judging by its performance in the season opener, Maryland's defense is vastly improved from a year ago.

The Terrapins limited Florida International to 59 yards and three first downs last week before halftime in a 43-10 victory. The only points scored by FIU came on short drives following Maryland turnovers.

A year ago, the Terrapins yielded at least 20 points in 10 of 12 games.

The task gets tougher this Saturday against an Old Dominion. Junior quarterback Taylor Heinicke completed 38 of 51 passes for 338 yards and three touchdowns last week in a 52-38 loss to East Carolina. He also ran for a team-high 52 yards and a score.

Maryland coach Randy Edsall says, "Our defense is going to have a tremendous challenge ahead of them."

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