Image Credit: Maryland Terrapins
Maryland won the first game of this series in 1919 by a score of 13-0 in College Park. 94 years later, the Terrapins won the final game of the series in nail-biting fashion, 27-26. It took a missed field goal by the Cavaliers to get the win, but in a game where Maryland was forced to start its backup quarterback, most Terrapin fans will take it. There are certainly questions surrounding the team, especially the defense, but it definitely feels good for the team to get its first ACC win and be one win away from bowl eligibility. Let’s dig deeper into this game and find out what we learned from the big win.
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- Caleb Rowe has a big arm - We all knew that Rowe has the best arm on the team. Accuracy and lack of experience has always been his problem. But he showed off his huge arm on the 3rd & 21 pass to Deon Long to set the Terps up for what would be their winning score.
- Maryland’s offensive line must improve - The biggest question mark for the Terps coming into the 2013 season was the offensive line. It’s still a bit questionable after this game. Caleb Rowe was under a lot of pressure, and the running backs didn’t get many holes with consistency.
- Big plays are fun - But so are long, sustained drives. The Terps had a lot of big plays offensively today, but not many good drives. Part of that is definitely due to Caleb Rowe and his inconsistency. C.J. Brown doesn’t create too many big plays with his arm, but he’s a good leader on the field and is able to do what it takes to sustain drives and eat up clock when necessary.
- William Likely is still shaky - In Maryland’s opening game against Florida International, William Likely was mistakenly sent back to return a punt and muffed it. Today, he muffed his second punt of the year. The only difference was that he was supposed to be returning it. He’s only a true freshman, but the Terps have to decide whether they want to deal with the occasional mistake from Likely, or to risk injury sending Stefon Diggs back for every punt.
- Maryland’s defense has a lot of questions to answer - The Terps had one of the best defenses in the country through the first 4 weeks of the season. But over the past two weeks, they haven’t looked themselves. After giving up 63 points to Florida State, they struggled to shut down a Virginia offense that is one of the worst in the country. Too often they couldn’t get off the field on 3rd down, and couldn’t pressure David Watford to save their lives. Towards the end of the game, they did knock Watford around a little, and he wasn’t able to complete passes with such ease as earlier.
- Jake McGee is a beast - With Matt Robinson out with an injury, the Terps had no one to cover Virginia’s big tight end. A.J. Hendy and Isaac Goins tried to cover him as best they could, but a big man like McGee who can catch like a very talented wide receiver is an extremely tough assignment for any defender, especially an undersized one.
- A win is a win - The Terps desperately needed a win against Virginia after a blowout loss to Florida State last week, and they got it. Moving on and making adjustments is always easier after a win, and they just need to focus on heading down to Winston-Salem and being ready for Wake Forest next Saturday.