Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Take the Win

While the win over Wake Forest may not have been very impressive it is the first road win for Maryland since September 25 of last year. The total inability to win in a closely contested game on the road cost Maryland a shot at a bowl bid last season. The only road win came against lowly Duke. Perhaps this is part of the maturation process for this young team. Since the game wasn't on Comcast I am not able to assign any grades since I only got to listen on the radio and check the box score.

Sam Hollenbach had probably his most shaky performance against a tough but hardly intimidating Wake Forest defense. He again struggled on 3rd down and it appears that is his bugaboo. The lack of 3rd down conversions is preventing the offense from really blossoming into a 30 point powerhouse. The offense as a whole got into the red zone a few times and failed to convert these chances into touchdowns. This is partly the result of a inept running game. Mario Merrills has likely lost his starting job for good and Lance Ball didn't wow anyone with his numbers. Keon Lattimore did run well and showed some of the same skills he did during the spring. Trey Covington proved he deserved to start at DE with 4 tackles and a sack. SS Milton Harris forced two fumbles including one returned for a touchdown by CB Josh Wilson.

Clearly the offense will have to improve against Virginia for the Terps to pull the upset. Keon Lattimore will have to be efficient, at least getting 3-4 yards per carry and not the no gain runs that Merrills had been piling up. Positive yards on every carry will be key. The defense must contain Marcus Hagans and force him into mistakes. Maryland must win the turnover battle to have a chance.

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