Monday, September 11, 2006

Terps Plod to Win

Remember the victims of terrorism.

So this is the "new" offense of Ralph Friedgen? After the first two games it appears far more Woody Hayes than Steve Spurrier. So much for innovation. The conspiracy theorists might be saying that Friedgen is just holding back his arsenal of offensive weapons for the game against West Virginia this Thursday. I'd probably be more concerned if those theories had some weight to them. With a two year starter at quarterback and a stacked tail back position it would seem a rather timid pair of performances by the Maryland offense. The players seemed to suggest that the coach had yet to take the gloves off in regards to his playcalling, yet the coach himself suggested that he was scared to rely too much on his young receiving corps. Not the kind of scenario you want to be going into the land of the flying Wild Turkey bottles.

The pass protection troubles continued for the offensive line and the 3rd down conversion rate of the offense was slightly alarming for the 2nd straight game. Over the first two game the offense is only converting at a 27% rate inspite of a strong running game. It is hard to explain. The defense on the other hand has struggled with the 3rd down defense, still hasn't been able to cause many turnovers, and has given up yardage late in games. They did show some ability to rush the passer and Dre Moore demonstrated some pass rush ability with two sacks.

The Terrapins will have to thrown the ball to win on Thursday. If they throw the ball 16 times against the musketstuffers it will be a blowout in the wrong direction. Williams and Oquendo have the ability to stretch the defense if the pass protection can give Hollenbach the chance to connect on those deep patterns. The run defense of Maryland is another concern. The defensive line will have to raise its game tremedously to slow down the 300+ yard per game WVU steamroller.


Kevin said...

How did Gaither look? I had to work Sat and missed the game. Keep up the good work on the blogs!

Go Terps!

Esquire said...

Jared Gaither had a mixed performance. He looked out of shape to me. He whiffed on two blocks, one resulting in a sack and the other in a loss by Lance Ball. He is so massive that once he gets his hands onto a defender they are toast, but he often fails to finish his blocks. He needs to improve his effort and technique and stop coasting on his natural ability. He isn't playing at an All-ACC level.

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