The University of Maryland Terrapins improved to 7-4 overall, and 4-3 in The Big Ten with a 23-16 win at Michigan.
(Discuss this on the BSL Board here.)
1) Coach Edsall’s detractors won’t like to hear this, but this was an important win for MD’s Coach. It’s true that Michigan (and Penn State) were down this year, but these road victories still look good. Five road victories on the year is impressive. Finishing in 3rd place in the Big Ten East is an accomplishment, even if the Division (and Conference as a whole) is down. When MD’s conference move was announced, there were some who said it would take time until the Terps could beat anyone but Rutgers in Big Ten play. That MD would be intimidated going into places like the Big House. These results, combined with the news about MD’s planned indoor facility gives Terps fans a chance to envision bigger days ahead.
2) Embattled 6th year Senior QB CJ Brown had a quality game. His final numbers would have looked better had his WR’s not contributed at-least 5 drops. (Jacquille Veii twice, Daniel Adams, Deon Long, TE Derrick Hayward.)
3) CB/PR/KR William Likely, and PK Brad Craddock have had great seasons, and are true difference makers when MD faces teams with similar overall talent.
4) Wes Brown, Brandon Ross, and Veii combined for 17 carries (CJ Brown had 18). MD has guys with talent in their backfield, even though their numbers show very minimal production. We’ve talked and talked about the offensive line, but it has to be stated once again. The run blocking in particular has to be a priority for improvement starting in the Spring.
5) BSL Terps Analyst Zack Kiesel pointed out that Michael Dunn was moved from LT to RT, and that Jake Wheeler took over at RT.
6) Maryland came into the year with what was considered to be one of the premier WR corps in the country. By the end of the opener vs. James Madison on August 30th – both of the Jacobs brothers had been lost. Today MD was without both Diggs, and Winfree, leaving the Terps with a different looking group. Still weapons there though with Long, Veii, Leak, Etta-Tawo, and Adams. Does speak to the depth which has been assembled; an improvement over 2012 and ’13 – when injuries and other losses crippled the roster.
7) Hayward had that end-zone drop today, but I remain a fan of his potential. I hope to see the TE’s become a higher priority in this offense next year.
8) Yes, Michigan’s offense is rather poor – but Maryland’s defense deserves some kudos for their play today. There is a group of Senior’s who have consistently played well this year. The offense has often put them in tough positions, but they have continued to play with pride and compete. Andre Monroe has had a big year. Darius Kilgo, Yannik Cudjoe-Virgil, and Cole Farrand will be missed as well. (No slights to guys like Jeremiah Johnson, Matt Robinson, AJ Hendy, LA Goree – each of them have had their own moments.)
9) No turnovers for MD today.
10) Maryland returns home to face Rutgers, and close out the regular season. With a win Saturday, the Terps would finish 8-4 overall, and 5-3 in conference play. Maryland will face former Terps Head Coach (Rutgers OC) Ralph Friedgen. I was (am) a Friedgen fan. He’s always (at MD, Georgia Tech, with the Chargers) been an innovative offensive mind. He improved a lot of things at his Alma Mater, and should be remembered for that. I think his departure could have been handled better. I also think some of Friedgen’s actions / comments since his departure were not ideal. Clearly there were hurt feelings. When his Coaching career comes to an end, I’m hopeful there can be meaningful reconciliation between him and Maryland. This week, this will be brought up again, and again. The only comments which should come from Maryland (no matter what may come from Friedgen) are comments which thank him for his time in College Park. A nice gesture before and/or after the game might go a long way.
While Maryland won in Ann Arbor today, the Scarlet Knights were stomped 45-3 in East Lansing vs. the Michigan State Spartans. With the loss, Rutgers fell to 6-5 overall, and 2-5 in Big Ten play. They will arrive in College Park having lost 4 of their last 5 games. My guess is that they will be fired up to finish their regular season with a win over their fellow league newcomer.
What MD accomplished today, will be quickly forgotten if the Terps do not defend their home-field this coming week.