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.

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