Saturday, September 29, 2007

Maryland 34, #10 Rutgers 24

Maryland recovered from their devastating loss to Wake Forest last week with a 34-24 win over #10 Rutgers in Piscataway, NJ. I didn't get to see a lot of this game as we had a family outing to go to but I was able to sneak out and listen to old reliable Johnny Holliday and the Terrapin Football Radio Network call the upset.

Terps back up Quarterback Chris Turner completed 14 of 20 passes for 149 yards and twenty second half points after he came in for an injured Jordan Steffy (concussion). The Terps beat a top 10 team for the first time in three years (Florida State, October 2004) and doing so on the road was more impressive. You have to go back to 1990 at Virginia for the last time the Terps beat a top 10 team on the road.

There were several stars of the game and I probably will leave a few out since I did not watch the game. Keon Lattimore rushed for 124 yards and a TD. Lance Ball (picture below) rushed for 90 yards and two TD's. Overall the Terps rushed for 239 yards so give game balls to the Offensive Line.

Darrius Heyward-Bey had five catches for 60 yards and a TD. The Terps defense, which got stomped on by Wake Forest in the fourth quarter and OT last week, responded and held Heisman Trophy candidate Ray Rice to 97 yards rushing. This was a Rutgers team that had averaged 46 points a game coming into today's game. Mack Frost and Jeremy Navarre were two defensive standouts today for the Terps. Frost and Navarre each had key fourth quarter sacks of Rutgers Quarterback Mike Teel.

Driving home we listened to Maryland Head Coach Ralph Friedgen's news conference (again, thank you Terrapin Football Radio Network!). Friedgen called this one of his biggest wins at Maryland and said today's game showed the character of his team. Driving over to our friend's house for example, the Terps blew a 14-3 lead late in the first half and when we arrived they were losing 17-14. Friedgen said that instead of making adjustments with his coaches after that, he spoke with his players and said that it was anybody's ballgame; you're down three points at the half to the #10 team in the nation. Stop sulking and stop worrying about what just happened. Worry about what you're going to go out and do in the second half. They responded and the result was a huge, much needed victory.

In closing, three big statistics stand out in the Terps favor here:
Rushing: Maryland 239 yards, Rutgers 82
Turnovers: Maryland 0, Rutgers 3
Time of possession: Maryland 36:57, Rutgers 23:03

Next game is Saturday October 6 at Byrd Stadium. The Terps (3-2) take on Georgia Tech (3-2), who beat #13 Clemson today 13-3. Game time is 12:00 PM.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Daddy and Benjamin

Daddy: Age 3, December 1964

Benjamin: 23 months, September 2007

We got to spend some rare morning time together on Thursday and Friday. Benjamin had congestion and a cold so Weena and I decided to keep him out of day care those two days. Since I do not have any vacation time accrued yet, I would go into work from 12:30 until 8:30 and would watch Benjamin from 6:30 until noon when Weena got home from her job.

We had some fun during our couple of mornings together. We colored pictures, read books, studied flash card pictures, watched some Elmo, tossed the mini football around and bonded like Father's and Son's do. Benjamin also learned a new phrase "How are you Daddy?" This morning we both needed some outside air, so we took a walk together around the block and saw dogs, cats, birds and airplanes. I didn't want the morning to end.

He is feeling better and will be back at his day care Monday morning with his friends.

I kept thinking that the basic and simple things we did together past two days make being his Father very special and I'm so proud at what he has accomplished so far in his short life.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Benjamin Makes The Washington Post

Page three in the Metro section of today's printed Washington Post. The Post has a weekly series Scene and Heard and I sent this in a couple weeks ago.

A Good Soul Lends a Helping Hand
Just about the time he first learned to walk, my son, Benjamin, sensed there was something a little different about his grandfather, who is blind.

Benjamin watched as he maneuvered around the house with his cane. And then, with help from my wife and mother-in-law, he learned how to take him by the arm and escort him to the table for each meal. He does this with love and a smile.

I am happy they printed the picture and story. When we went down to see my brother in law and Weena's folks before we went to the beach, Benjamin remembered to escort his Lolo to the table. That was more amazing to me considering he hadn't seen him in a couple months.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Nationals Say Goodbye To RFK Stadium

RFK Stadium was a big state of the art stadium and baseball heaven for me when my parents would take me to see the Washington Senators play in the late 1960's and early 1970's. We used to get there early to see Frank Howard launch moonshots in the upper deck during batting practice. I remember seeing Boog Powell, Frank Robinson, Harmon Killebrew and Mickey Mantle all play there.

Yesterday Washington Nationals played their final baseball game at RFK Stadium, beating the Philadelphia Phillies 5-3. Chad Cordero struck out Jayson Werth to end the 1,046th baseall game at RFK.

I was excited when baseball returned to Washington DC and RFK Stadium but to be honest, I didn't get to as many games as I thought I would once it was announced that the Montreal Expos would be relocating here for the 2005 season. Too many things happened, the most significant was Weena's pregnancy and the birth of Benjamin. With all the games on cable TV, it was a lot easier to stay home than make the trip to RFK.

For the record, I went to three Nationals games in 2005, none in 2006 and two games in 2007. I really don't even attend D.C. United soccer matches at RFK anymore either, opting to stay home with Weena and Benjamin and rooting from home thanks to the Direct Kick package of MLS soccer we subscribe to.

This stadium has served the city well but it is an old structure and pretty soon the time will come when it is torn down. The Nationals move into their new stadium for the start of the 2008 season and I do hope D.C. United gets their own place to play soon as well. Right now they will be RFK's only tenant. When RFK does meet the wrecking ball, that will be a pretty sad day for a lot of DC area sports fans.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Wake Forest 31, Maryland 24 OT

I'm still stunned what I saw on TV this afternoon. I really don't know where to begin here so I'll just type until my blood boils, hit submit and call it a night. Maryland had a 24-3 lead late in the third quarter. Darrius Heyward-Bey just ran 54 yards on a reverse to the Wake Forest three yard line. It was first and goal from the three yard line. A touchdown ends this game for Maryland. One rush for no gain and an incomplete pass brought the Terps to third down. I'm sitting calmly in my rec. room thinking Lance Ball up the middle. Oh no: Maryland Head Coach Ralph Friedgen (who is also the Terps Offensive Coordinator) decided to call a pass on this third down play. Jordan Steffy threw to his left. The play took a bit too long from what I can recall and all I remember is seeing Wake Forest Cornerback Alphonso Smith step in and intercept Steffy's pass and cruise 100 yards for a Deamon Deacon touchdown.

What was looking like a 31-3 blowout suddenly was a 24-10 game and a whole quarter left to play. Sure enough, with less than eight minutes to play, Wake Forest cut the deficit to seven as Quarterback Riley Skinner scored on a one yard run. Maryland still led 24-17. With three minutes left in the game, the Terps appeared to have the game won after Kevin Barnes intercepted a Skinner pass.

But the offense continued to sputter and the Terps failed to pick up a first down that would have killed the clock so they had to punt.

Here was the scenario: Wake Forest down 24-17, no timeouts and on its 20-yard line with less than two minutes left in the game. Skinner ran the offense to perfection as Wake marched down the field. Nine seconds were left; fourth down from the Maryland six yard line. Skinner lobbed a perfect pass over the Terps defense and to Tight End John Tereshinksi who was open in the back of the end zone. PAT makes it 24-24.

We get to the overtime and here is a decision I question big time. The Terps won the coin toss and elected to defend first. Why? The defense was hung out to dry most of the fourth quarter, they were tired and you want to put them out there immediately after they gave up the tying score?

Wake Forest took full advantage of a ragged Terps defense on their possession in OT and Running Back Josh Adams scored to make it 31-24 for the Deamon Decons. The Terps had to match that or the game was over. But the Terrapins offense failed to move more than one yard and Wake Forest completed an incredible comeback.

For Maryland's players and coaching staff, they are left to figure out what happened and it does not get any easier as the 2-2 Terps travel to Rutgers to face the 11th ranked Scarlet Knights.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Benjamin's Trip To Baltimore

Yesterday we took Benjamin to Baltimore to see Sesame Street Live When Elmo Grows Up

He was pretty pumped up when he realized we were going to see his favorite character Elmo.

We could take pictures so we took a bunch of them for his scrapbook. Benjamin had a big smile on his face throughout the show and was even dancing in the aisles.

After the show we went to the Inner Harbor for lunch and some fun.

We'll go back to Baltimore again soon as there are several museums and the Aquarium we would like to see. Plus when Benjamin is older, I plan to take him to see his first baseball game when the Orioles play at Camden Yards.

Once inside, I realized the 1st Mariner Arena was the old Baltimore Civic Center. Click the link, this arena has an interesting history behind it.

Driving home we passed the Baltimore Ravens stadium and I was wishing Maryland and Navy would resume their football series and play annually there. I saw the those two play their opening game of the 2005 season there. It's a great place to watch a football game and Maryland won that night 23-20.

Admin Note: I've updated the Flickr photo albums finally.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Katie and Christian's Wedding

Today is the big day for my cousin Katie and Christian. They are getting married in Oslo, Norway. Benjamin, Weena and I extend our congratulations and may you two enjoy a wonderful life together.

Friday, September 14, 2007

West Virginia 31, Maryland 14

Well for a half things looked pretty good for the Terps to possibly pull off an upset of the 4th ranked team in the country. The score was 14-7 in favor of West Virginia. However, the second half was a different story and West Virginia just ran all over the Terps defense and the result was a 31-14 victory.

The Mountaineers had nine plays that gained twenty or more yards. The Terps had three and two of those came when the game was out of reach in the 4th quarter.

At least this game was not like last year's Massacre in Morgantown, when West Virginia took a 28-0 lead in the first quarter and cruised to a 45-24 win. The truth is West Virginia is loaded with offensive talent. They rushed for 353 yards. QB Patrick White had a 22 yard TD run and threw two scoring passes of 35 yards and 21 yards. Steve Slaton (pictured above), 26 carries, 137 yards and 3 TD runs. Noel Devine had 5 carries for 136 yards including runs of 76 yards and 31 yards.

Maryland was better this year but still not good enough.

With that said, the experience of trying to stop a Pat White, Steve Slaton, Noel Devine, etc. will pay huge dividends as this season progresses. West Virginia is a top-5 team. Maryland will not see another team this highly ranked the rest of the way. After last seasons rout, the Terps rebounded and clawed their way to a 9-win season, including a bowl victory. We'll see how 2007 goes.

Game recap here

Mike Wise's Washington Post column here

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Playoff Berth Clinched For D.C. United

D.C. United 2 (Emilio 16th minute, Gomez 73rd minute)
Real Salt Lake 1 (Beckerman 32nd minute)

MLS Player of the Week Luciano Emilio scored his league leading 19th goal and Christian Gomez got the game winner with his 7th as D.C. United beat Real Salt Lake 2-1 at RFK Stadium. With the win, United became the first team to clinch a berth in the MLS Cup Playoffs.

It was an ugly win for United as there were 39 fouls called, eight yellow cards issued and each team missed a penalty kick. Ben Olsen, Christian Gomez and Fred were among the yellow card recipients and due to their past card accumulation, they will miss United's next league match at Chicago on September 23. In my opinion, missing the Chicago game will help Olsen and Gomez. These two take a pounding each game and the rest will help them. Down the stretch it is going to be interesting to see how Head Coach Tom Soehn manages playing time for his players. I'd like to see some reserves get some valuable playing time in the last five games but you want to keep your starters fresh too. The goal is the overall best record and top seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs (MLS Cup 2007 is at RFK Stadium) but you don't want your guys banged up. Stay tuned.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Maryland 26, Florida International 10

I didn't see the game thanks to our regional Comcast Sports Net showing the Texas game. ESPN 360 had the game but it is not available to Comcast high speed internet customers in the DC area. So I missed this game and as ugly as it sounded on the radio perhaps it's a good thing.

West Virginia, the number three team in the nation comes to College Park on Thursday night. Then the Terps travel the next two weeks to face ACC Champion Wake Forest and nationally ranked Rutgers. Because of this, Maryland had treated their first two games against Villanova and Florida International like an NFL team treats pre-season games. Be conservative and don't reveal too much for the opposition to study on game film.

For the Terps though, their starters did not have a half off last night. They got up 16-0 first quarter lead thanks to a safety and two Keon Lattimore TD's. After that, the offense struggled. The Terps got a scare when Florida International cut the lead to 16-10 with fourteen minutes left in the game. It was 19-10 Terps late in the game when Lance Ball had a 1-yard scoring run with 53 seconds left to end the game. A win is a win and Maryland is 2-0 for the fourth time in Coach Ralph Friedgen's seven years.

It would have been nice to cruise to a 59-0 win over this team like Penn State did last week and have the starters sit and rest for West Virginia. It didn't happen and the Terps players, coaches and fans should take the win, file it and forget about it.

The replay of this is on Tuesday night but I think I will pass and concentrate all my energy for West Virginia Thursday night.

Game Notes

Washington Post recap

More Baseball

Saw this in the Post comics today (Click on the comic for a larger version). First time I saw the phrase "By Cracky" was in Benjamin's Dr. Seuss book Wacky Wednesday.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Fifth Wedding Anniversary

Today is our fifth wedding anniversary. Wow, has five years really gone by that quickly? Was it five years ago we were planning our wedding and going crazy making sure everything went smoothly? I was a wreck at the rehearsal and dinner that followed but once I realized there was nothing more for me to do besides showing up, I relaxed. I remember the nice party Mom threw for me the night before and I remember watching The Blues Brothers movie at the hotel. I also stayed up until 2:00 AM listening to a live Bruce Springsteen show I had on CD. The next day I had breakfast with Dave K. and on the day of the wedding, I was relaxed and loose, not real nervous. It was great that my childhood friend Father Dan was able to perform the ceremony. That's something I'll never forget.

We received the best gift on October 25, 2005 when Benjamin was born and each day it is a joy being both a husband and a Dad. I am learning more and more daily and hope everyone who reads this blog is having fun watching Benjamin grow and progress.

Tonight the three of us we'll head out to Reston Town Center for a nice dinner celebration.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Maryland 31, Villanova 17

Good to be back in Section 19 again on a beautiful afternoon for tailgating and a great evening for a game. The Terps went up 10-0 on an Obi Egekeze 42 yard field goal and a Keon Lattimore TD run. Villanova scored with 2:30 left in the first half to make it 10-7 Maryland. Then Terp QB Jordan Steffy threw an ill advised pass in the end zone that was intercepted near the end of the half that would have put MD up 17-7. Overall, I thought Steffy played very well in his first start. Terps took control of the second half going up at one point 31-7 on two Lattimore TD runs and a TD run from Steffy. Villanova returned an interception for a TD late to make the final 31-14. Hopefully the Terps didn't give too much away in their game plan for other teams scouting. Florida International next week in Miami and (gulp!) home to #3 West Virginia on 9/13.

Game Recap

Postgame Notes