Friday, November 07, 2008

Virginia Tech 23, #23 Maryland 13

We've heard all about how well the Maryland football team plays against top 25 opponents, having won five straight games dating back to last season. Last night the Terps were the team ranked in the top 25 for the first time in awhile and their opponent Virginia Tech was not ranked. Adding to the fun was the fact this game was played at Lane Stadium in Blacksburg, VA, which Maryland Head Coach Ralph Friedgen probably still has nightmares from the 55-6 beat down Tech put on his Terps in 2004.

Tonight the Terps looked terrible on both sides of the ball. They were down at one point in the game 20-3 but to their credit they hung around and had a shot to win this game down 20-13 in the 4th quarter. Here goes:

The Terps defense resembled a matador at a bull fight. Wave the red cape and let the bull, in this case Freshman RB Darren Evans and his school record 253 yards run right on through. Evans, who had never had a 100-yard game before last night, had runs of 50 and 45 yards to do in the Terps (6-3, 3-2 ACC).

The offense, except for Darrius Heyward-Bey catching a short pass from QB Chris Turner, then running 60 yards for the Terps only touchdown reception, was non-existent. RB Da'Rel Scott finished with 10 carries for 11 yards. As a team, Maryland rushed for minus 12 yards. Scott's been suffering from a bad shoulder and the decision to start him over Davin Meggett against a tough Virginia Tech defense baffled me.

But as Coach Friedgen pointed out after the game, that -12 is misleading because sacks count against a team's rushing total. Great Coach. Maybe if the Offensive Line showed up to play tonight it might have been different as your QB was sacked three times and on several instances, was seen running for his life. Turner (19-31, 240 yards) said he could not evaluate the offensive line's performance because he had yet to see the game film. It's not hard Chris; you had maroon in your face all night. The OL weren't there for you, period.

However, as bad as this loss was, all is not lost for the Terps. Here's why:
Maryland is 6-3 and 3-2 in the ACC Atlantic Division, tied with Florida State and Wake Forest. Win their last three games (Home to UNC and Florida State, at Boston College) and they play for the ACC title. In other words, the Terps control their destiny.

Positive Thought of the Day: Terps stunk it up in away night games vs Middle Tennessee State and Virginia earlier this season but were able to bounce back from those by beating California and Wake Forest at home in the afternoon. The Terps lost to Virginia Tech and it was a night game. The Terps next game is Saturday November 15th vs North Carolina at home, 3:30 in the afternoon.

Hopefully the players and coaching staff can rally and get it together so the Terps can take care of business down the stretch. Maryland has talent to win all three remaining games but they have to play a hell of a lot better than they did at Blacksburg last night.

The Good:
Heyward-Bey Highlight of the Week Because you will see him playing on Sunday's in the NFL, Hey-Bey caught a screen pass and ran 60 yards for the Terps only TD.

Maryland's Special Teams: Blocked one punt and when down 20-10, recovered a fumble off another punt deep in Virginia Tech territory. However, the Terps could not find the end zone and settled for an Obi Egekeze field goal.

The Bad:
The Terps Offensive Line didn't come to play tonight as Chris Turner was sacked three times.

Maryland's Defense surrendered 400 total yards to a Virginia Tech offense that had been struggling and didn't have either of its top QB's healthy.

Maryland giving up 253 rushing yards to a redshirt freshman.

The Ugly:
Virginia Tech RB Darren Evans had more rushing yards, 253, than the Terps had total offense, 228.

4th Quarter Time of Possession: Virginia Tech 12:26, Maryland 2:34

Washington Post recap.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Tech played well considering the two top QB's had ankle injuries. Throw in a very good defense for Tech too. Maryland's only TD was a long screen play. Tech's D denies scoring in the red zone.