Sunday, October 21, 2007

Virginia 18, Maryland 17

Very disappointing loss last night. Any chance of doing something really special this season is gone. No ACC Championship. No major bowl game. I know the chances weren't great before the game, but now the Terps are just trying to scratch and claw their way to a 7-5 season and a trip to the Charlotte Bowl. What a colossal disappointment this loss was. Ok, that's out of the way so here's the recap from Section 19.

The Terps had no answer for Virginia's seldom used sophomore RB Mikell Simpson, who rushed 16 times for 119 yards and 2 touchdowns and caught 13 passes for 152 yards. Total: 271 yards offense. Incredible. Simpson out gained the entire Terp offense with this explosion.

Virginia's Defensive End Chris Long, son of NFL Hall of Famer Howie Long, took advantage of a decimated Maryland offensive line and was in QB Chris Turner's face all game long. Long's sack of Turner in the end zone for a safety at the end of the third quarter was huge and it reduced the Terps lead to five, 17-12. For the game, Long had ten tackles, two sacks and batted down a couple of Turner's passes.

The two teams continued to pound one another in the fourth quarter and it came to this for Maryland. Fourth and one at the Virginia 41 with 7:40 left in the game. I don't know why they didn't go for it. You have two outstanding running backs in Keon Lattimore and Lance Ball. The whole offense wanted to go for it. The fans in the stands were hoping the Terps went for it. How about showing some confidence in your players?

If you do not make it, and Virginia scores using let's say four minutes to go in from their 41, you still have three and a half minutes left to score (plus a pair of time outs). Like last year, I am wondering if Maryland Head Coach Ralph Friedgen is taking on too much responsibility by being both the Head Coach and Offensive Coordinator.

So Maryland punts and pins Virginia at their own ten yard line. The Maryland Defense had 90 yards and 7:40 to come up with one stop. One stop thats all the Terps needed and they couldn't do it. The Terps had them third and 15 with 2:00 left but a pass interference by Maryland's Kevin Barnes gave the Cavaliers new life.

Later in the drive, Virginia had fourth and four from the 14. Virginia QB Jameel Sewell hit Simpson on a swing pass to the right. He caught the ball and ran for the first down marker, stretching the nose of the ball to the 10 as he was pushed out of bounds. A generous spot gave Virginia the first down and the ball game. Moments later Simpson (who else) scored on a one yard plunge with 16 seconds left. Game over. Gut wrenching defeat for us Terps fans.

On Virginia's game-winning drive Simpson gained 78 of those 90 yards. One of the best performances I've seen in the years I've been going to games at Byrd Stadium.

So Maryland falls to 4-3 (1-2 in the ACC) and they lose left guard Jaimie Thomas, who suffered a broken leg and will miss the rest of the season.

Next up for the Terps, Clemson on Saturday at 3:30 PM. I'm taking my eight year old nephew Matthew to his first Maryland game. He's very excited and these football Saturday's bring out the little kid in me.

Washinton Post recap

Post game quotes

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Injury Update:

And it just got worse.

Backup defensive end Mack Frost has been added to the list of players out for the rest of the season. Frost has injuries to his ACL and meniscus, and has to have surgery.

Fullback Cory Jackson will have an operation on his broken hand today and is out for the rest of week.

Jordan Steffy still hasn't been cleared to play. Linebacker Rick Costa is still out with a concussion as well and will not play on Saturday.

So the Terps are down four linemen -- two on offense (the top two guards), and two on defense (backup Travis Ivey is out for the season, too). Andrew Crummey might be able to return as early as the No. 17 game at Florida State.