What was the worst part of Maryland getting absolutely destroyed (63-0) at Florida State today? The choices are numerous, and hard to select from.
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Maryland had entered the Top 25 polls, and was getting positive National attention for the first time in years. While that certainly ends with the result today, that would not be my choice as the worst part of today’s loss.
The Terps lost CJ Brown to injury, and will have to await the results of his xrays to determine his future availability. That was tough to watch, and the results of those xrays will impact Maryland’s chances at reaching a Bowl Game this year. That said, that would also not be my choice as the worst part of today’s loss.
You lose a game head-to-head in the ACC Atlantic, and can no longer dream of really surprising in the division; but that can’t be my choice as the worst part of today’s loss. A loss was anticipated by most.
The worst part of today’s loss to me was that beating was so severe, that the fan-base will once again be forced to confront the thought of, “What is this program capable of achieving?” If MD was leaving Tallahassee having played well, there would be plenty to feel good about. You would be thinking that recruiting is on the upswing, and you just showed you could go on the road against a Top 10 team and be competitive. You could reasonably spend time wondering just what the ceiling is for the majority of this roster over the next two years. You would be thinking with the Under Armour tie ins, and move to the Big Ten; that the opportunity exists for MD to become more significant on the National stage.
Instead, you leave FSU again wondering if the program will ever have the capabilities of being a consistently capable threat?
After today, everyone that has a vested interest in MD’s football program needs to double-down and commit to addressing all of the existing limitations, and maximizing the current positives. You want to be one of the ‘big boys’, go control what you can control. You can’t make every top local talent sign with you. You can make sure you have the facilities which compare to anyone. Brian Stewart is an excellent Defensive Coordinator. Mike Locksley is a good Offensive Coordinator, and superb lead Recruiter. Go improve the rest of the Coaching staff.
What did we see?
1) Maryland wanted to use this game as a measuring stick of where they were as a program. What we saw was a beating delivered from a team with legitimate National Title aspirations, against a team that still has a lot of road to travel.
2) The Terps have plenty of skill position talent, but that doesn’t really matter until there is improvement made to the offensive line. MD is involved with a number of highly regarded lineman for this forthcoming class – they could use all of them.
3) MD’s defense had no chance of bringing down Winston without pressure. When they brought the blitz, they were picked apart. Crossing routes were open over the middle of the field all day. The Terps clearly missed McDougle and Johnson in their Secondary, but everything starts at the line of scrimmage.
4) That said, Andre Monroe played hard and well. Keith Bowers had moments as well.
5) Getting back to the offensive line limitations, MD could not run at all. With an inability to run, the Terps were consistently facing 3rd and long situations.
6) Rowe is a better drop back passer vs. Brown, with an arm capable of delivering darts. Brown is the better overall weapon though with his ability to make plays with his legs. If Brown is forced to again miss significant time, that will be a huge blow to the MD offense.
7) Long made several tough catches. We continue to hear the rumors about him jumping to the NFL. It would be great (and almost imperative) to have him back for the Terps first year in the Big Ten.
8) It will be easy to point to the final score and video game numbers of the FSU offense, and say the MD defense did not compete at all. However, you have to account for MD’s defense getting zero help from their offense. Had the Terps been able to put up some points and hold the ball at all; I think Maryland’s defense would have shown better.
9) Whitfield, Cudjoe-Virgil, Cole Farrand and Matt Robinson each had positive moments today, but were often in a reactionary positions where they were chasing the ball in space, vs. being able to attack up the field.
10) Not only did FSU totally eliminate the MD running game, they made Diggs a non-factor. This is back-to-back games where Diggs has done nothing. With the attention he commands, there should be room for others to make plays.
11) Nigel King had a penalty which erased a gainer from Diggs, dropped a pass, and fumbled another. Not a great showing.
12) It is understood that Winston is a special talent; that compares to Roethlistberger in being hard to bring down; but watching him escape multiple times was still annoying.
13) I saw no reason for the MD players or Coaching staff to be crying at FSU throwing the ball in the 4th Quarter. It is not their responsibility to stop playing.