Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Tune Up


Maryland sloshed its way through a messy 38-7 victory against the Temple Owls. The first quarter must have been difficult to watch, and I'm glad I didn't have to suffer through it. There are only a few things worth talking about out of this game. Temple isn't quite Prairie View but they are perhaps the worst team in Division I-A. Temple coach Bobby Wallace announced after the game that he would not be returning next season.

Sam Hollenbach was decent in some difficult conditions. He threw another interception in the red zone, although he has gotten good at converting 3rd downs. Sam must protect the ball better if Maryland is going to get to a bowl this season.

Lance Ball played well at running back again. He was productive with 58 yards on 11 carries and a touchdown. The staff seemed intent on getting Keon Lattimore some carries in the game even though he couldn't muster much on the ground. Mario Merrills came back from the dead to score 3 TDs on 12 carries. The platoon situation needs to end now. Lance Ball is the best combination of size and speed of all the backs. He can pick up blitzing LBs which can give the smaller Merrills and Lattimore problems. Ball catches well out of the backfield and seems to have a nack for big plays.

D'Qwell Jackson was held out of the game with a nagging injury. Expect him to be healthy and ready to go for Virginia Tech.

Maryland is 3rd in the ACC in total offense and 2nd in first downs.

The defense ranks dead last in 3rd down conversions.

SS Milton Harris leads the ACC in forced fumbles (3).

Sam Hollenbach leads the league in passing yards by a wide margin (1513 yards). He has only 77 yards fewer than Joel Statham had for the entire season in 2004.

Other Football Thoughts

Did you see the throw that Matt Leinart made in the Arizona game? Rolled out to his right under pressure, threw across his body and lofted a sweet pass for 57 yards. Arizona, only down 7 at that point, was toast. Not many NFL QBs could make that throw.

Great old fashion AFL-style Pac-10 game between UCLA and Cal. It was a 47-40 shootout. Each of those programs should always be good. UCLA RB Maurice Drew was shockingly articulate in his post game interview. I usually cringe when most college players are on TV in non-scripted moments.

When asked if UPS was back after a close 17-10 victory over Ohio State Joe Paterno said, "I don't know that we ever left." Maybe he is getting too old. Was he sundowning? Joe, you've had 4 losing seasons in the last 5 years. There were about 50 teams that were more relevant than UPS. Maybe in Joe Pa's reality they won all those games he whined about losing due to reffing mistakes.

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