Saturday, September 13, 2008

Maryland 35, #23 California 27

Last week was perhaps the worst I've ever felt after a Maryland football game. This afternoon was perhaps the best I've ever felt. Honestly, I had no expectations going into this game. California was a two touchdown favorite and if I were a bettor I would have put my funds on Cal.

Well, it's a good thing I don't bet as Maryland, which was flat out awful last week vs Middle Tennessee State, scored touchdowns on its first three possessions and beat the #23 Bears 35-27.

I was extremely satisfied with our offensive play calling. It was exciting, unpredictable, and efficient. Quarterback Chris Turner (15-19, 156 yards 2 TD's) managed the game very well today. As a fan I couldn't ask for anything more from him. I think the more experience he gets, the better he will be. Coach Ralph Friedgen has to go the rest of the way with him. Today was the perfect example of the coaches putting a player in a position to succeed.

Maryland's defense woke up from their slumber and sacked the quarterback five times. After three quarters the Terps were up 28-6. However, halfway through the fourth quarter the defense let Cal back in the game as the Bears scored 21 points. I'm not a big fan of the prevent defense. The goal is to make the offense waste time by forcing them to throw short passes and hopefully not give up a big play. Instead, the Terps defense got beat deep time after time and there was no adjustments made. I wished they put more pressure on Cal's QB Kevin Riley, who threw 58 passes, completed 33 for 425 yards and 3 fourth quarter TD's. For the record, Cal outgained the Terps 461-297.

Despite Cal clawing back in the game and all of us sweating at the end, I was very proud of the efforts of the players today. I couldn't say that last week. They played with confidence and a chip on their shoulder after getting slammed around by MTSU. The defense held a very good Running Back Jahvid Best (311 yards rushing in two games) to ten carries and 30 yards rushing. Turner completed 15 passes to eight different players. This game will do a lot for their confidence as they head into ACC play after the Eastern Michigan game next Saturday.

Props to the Cal coach Jeff Tedford for not using the noon kickoff as an excuse for the loss. He said in an article I read there were no excuses, he felt his team had prepared well, that his players were up this morning focused and ready to go. The heat and humidity were much worse than it was during the opener against Delaware two weeks ago. I saw several players suffer heat cramps throughout the game.

The Good:
Quarterback Chris Turner, DB Kevin Barnes and Nolan Carroll, Punter Travis Baltz and RB Cory Jackson. Da’Rel Scott had 19 carries for 87 yards and two touchdowns before leaving the game with an injured shoulder. Darrius Heyward-Bey with two catches for 59 yards and a TD. He also set up another TD with a nine yard run.

The Bad:
Chris Turner getting sacked four times. Obi Egekeze missing a chip shot 27 yard field goal late in the 4th quarter. He's 0-5 in field goal attempts this season.

The Ugly:
The heat and humidity at the game today and that this game did not sell out.

Finally, check out this whallop that Terps DB Kevin Barnes put on Cal's RB Jahvid Best.

Next week: Home Saturday September 27th at 1:00 vs Eastern Michigan (1-2)

Post recap here


Terp Fan said...

Yeah I would've loved to have blown them out 28-6, but we all knew it wasn't going to end up that way. A big time win over a big time program with most of the nation watching.

Our defense made the plays when it mattered (except the prevent D at the end), the playc alling was pretty sharp (both ways) and the Terps executed on offense when they needed to.

Da’Rel Scott looks to be OK after injuring his shoulder. I saw him on the sidelines in uniform and read he could have come back. Fridge was pleased with Meggett filling in for Scott so there was no need.

We need a kicker.

Anonymous said...

I understand why we went to a more conservative approach with the big lead in the 4th quarter but I still think you continue to do at least some of the things you did to get the big lead when playing a dangerous opponent instead of seemingly completely going to a predictable offense and stop being aggressive defensively.

While the prevent "worked" today it did let CAL back into a game they never have should have even sniffed getting back into. I still have nightmares about the WF game last year and if I remember correctly the BC game last year, we also gave up a lot of points in the final quarter and gave them an opportunity to get back into the game. Losing momentum when you have the upper hand is never a good thing.

I dont generally agree with the approach "the only way we lose is if we totally eff something up" and "prevent limiting that possibility" - its a play not to lose attitude.

Why would you all of a sudden think that what worked for 3+ quarters is going to fail? I guess what I'm saying/asking is what the difference between how we approach a big end of 3rd quarter lead that often ends up being cloer than it should be and teams who turn the big leads into blowouts.

maryjanejeff said...

You remember what Jerry Glanville said about the prevent defense right? It prevents the other team from kicking a field goal but allows them to score a touchdown. Fortunately for Maryland, all the late touchdowns did was make the final score misleading.