Sunday, November 04, 2007

North Carolina 16, Maryland 13

Connor Barth kicked three field goals and QB T.J. Yates threw a touchdown pass to Hakeem Nicks to lead North Carolina to a 16-13 victory over Maryland. The Terps didn't play smart football at all, getting called for nine penalties and committing all kinds of blunders-players lining up in the wrong formation, illegal shifts and missed blocking assignments. The coaches also made mistakes, a couple instances they sent in the wrong play resulting in more confusion. It's pretty sad going through the post game quotes seeing your QB say "I thought there would be a yellow flag every play". Nine weeks into the season and the fact mistakes like these are still being made is inexcusable.

But Maryland had a chance at the end. Their final drive to tie or win started on its own 23-yard line with under three minutes left in the game. QB Chris Turner completed four straight passes to move the Terps to the UNC 41 yard line. The game came down to a fourth and 2. Turner was pressured by the UNC defense and as a result, he threw high toward the sideline. Drive over and perhaps the season over as well.

Three straight losses for the Terps now and with a record of 4-5, a post season bowl bid is fading. The only reason the game was close because North Carolina let them stay in the game. They committed eleven penalties. It was truly an ugly game but the result was yet another devastating last-minute loss for the Terps.

Three players I was impressed with were OL Scott Burley, LB Erin Henderson and OL Bruce Campbell. They showed a lot of heart by playing through injuries they received in the game. As a fan, I appreciated their efforts. They didn't quit and that's all I ask when I watch college football.

But the bottom line is Maryland just shot itself in the foot too many times and you can't do that and expect to win. Next week it doesn't get any easier as they face the former #2 team in the country, Boston College. BC will be arriving at College Park with a chip on its shoulder after they suffered their first loss of the season to Florida State.

For the Terps, hopefully they can work hard in practice and eliminate these mistakes. Hard to believe next week is the last home game of the season for us fans and the Terps.

No comments: