Friday, September 15, 2006

Border Bore

There isn't really much point in analysing the game against West Virginia since all that really came out of it was that Maryland isn't ready to compete against upper tier teams and probably won't be until next season, if then. The defense was totally ineffective and coordinator Chris Cosh's big game debut was a disaster. Cosh failed to make adjustments against a team that only passed the ball 9 times all night and ended with 43 yards passing. Now that is what people mean when they say an offense is one dimensional. West Virginia had a short field on two of their first four touchdowns but the defense looked totally flummoxed by an offense that despite all of the moronic ESPN booya commentary is fairly sparse on trickery and innovation. The Maryland offense didn't do much until West Virginia was sitting back in soft coverage with a comfortable lead. The special teams was a carnival show style fiasco.

Here are the grades:

Quarterback: C
Sam Hollenbach didn't have much to work with being down 14-0 before even touching the ball. His passes didn't look sharp and he underthrew his receivers repeatedly. One interception wasn't his fault as he was hit by a WVU defender while throwing.

Running Back: C
Even though Maryland got blow out they still ran the ball 33 times. Lance Ball did the most with limited opportunities. Keon Lattimore had his usual game in ripping off a few nice runs but also losing yardage on a number of critical carries. Fridge should end this silly running back by committee system he has and go with Ball.

Wide Out: C-
Joey Haynos had a nice stat line but most of his receptions were check downs late in the game. He doesn't have the ability to stretch the field but has a good set of hands and runs good routes. Darrius Heyward-Bey fumbled the kickoff exchange with Josh Wilson but also showed the tantalizing physical ability he possesses. Isaiah Williams had another nice game, including his first touchdown catch. Danny Oquendo was solid. This trio will be a very good corps for Maryland, perhaps as soon as the season's end, but it is too soon to expect them to take over a game.

Offensive Line: D+
Hollenbach was pressured often by a fairly mediocre West Virginia defense. Jared Gaither struggled again and Andrew Crummey is nursing an injury. Gerrick Glig showed a nice nasty streak in his place. Center Edwin Williams was also flying around looking for people to hit. It wasn't an impressive showing by this bunch. With the game on the line they could not dominate an undersized WVU defensive front.

Defensive Line: F
I'm not sure where to begin. Jeremy Navarre was totally ineffective at defensive end and was drawn out of position on many occasions. There isn't a single player on the line that deserves a double team and that is making things difficult for the linebackers. Maryland gets little push up front from anyone on the line and there seems to be a lack of strength and athleticism in this group. When you give up 300+ yards rushing the line just didn't do its job.

Linebackers: C-
This group had West Virginia linemen in their faces all night as the defensive line wasn't getting the job done. This group is talented but isn't designed to take on offensive linemen. They are quick linebackers who are supposed to flow to the point of attack and pursue sideline to sideline. There are not many in this group that can take on a guard or center and win regularly. No one had a standout game. David Holloway is too slow to be very effective at outside linebacker and is getting more time as a pass rusher because Jeremy Navarre and Trey Covington are not getting the job done.

Secondary: D+
I'm not sure where the run support was from the safety position. You would think with all the long runs by Slaton and Pat White that they would have had some downfield tackles. There isn't a heavy hitter in the bunch with the possible exception of JJ Justice, who hasn't put things together enough to win a starting job. That may change soon if the safety play doesn't improve. Isaiah Gardner showed some willingness in run support but he's still giving up too much cushion in pass coverage.

Special Teams: F
What a disaster. A couple of fumbles killed any chance Maryland had for an upset. Josh Wilson may want to stick to defense. Obi Egekeze may be replaced on kickoffs since he has no coverage ability. At least it didn't come down to Dan Ennis making a field goal.

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