Monday, November 12, 2007

What was that?

I'm not sure anyone, including Ralph Friedgen, would have predicted the stunning 42-35 win over Boston College on Saturday. For an offense that looked so utterly inept against North Carolina I'm not even sure reason and science can explain what happened to unleash 472 total yards. Fridge finally threw caution to the wind and decided to take some chances on offense. He allowed Turner to throw down the field and that resulted in several big plays by Isaiah Williams and Darrius Heyward-Bey. Freshman Emani Lee-Odai came out of nowhere to catch three passes for 78 yards. Jason Goode, who normally plays the role of H-back saw a fair amount of action in the game and was a vital safety valve for Turner. With tight end Joey Haynos really struggling it was a subtle but critical change in the offense to have a tight end that could make some plays. Chris Turner was able to shake off a few bad performances and connect on four passes of over 40 yards and post a career high 337 yards passing. It is sometimes as simple as getting the ball in the hands of your best players and Ralph finally did that by getting Heyward-Bey and speedster Da'Rel Scott involved in the offense. With a reverse and screen pass both scored on big plays to help blow the game open. The patchwork offensive line did a great job both run blocking and in pass protection.

Turned out that Maryland needed both of those touchdowns because Boston College came storming back behind the arm of Matt Ryan to score two late touchdowns and get within one score before failing to recover on an on-side kick. The defense did some thing better, getting pressure on Matt Ryan with just the front four and picking off the preseason conference Player of the Year. The Eagles still managed to rack up 466 yards of offense and score 5 touchdowns. Without the offensive explosion Maryland would have probably lost this game like it did against Clemson. The defense still needs a great deal of improvement if Maryland hopes to win its last two games on the road.

This game certainly revived Maryland's bowl hopes and coupled with a Miami loss suddenly make things very interesting in the ACC bowl standings. Miami and NC State both sit at 5-5 with Maryland. Miami will face both Virginia Tech and Boston College on the road for its final two games. NC State goes to Wake Forest before a final game against Maryland which will be an elimination game for the loser. A win against a Florida State may all but assure a bowl bid for the Terps depending on the outcome of the games by Miami and NC State this weekend.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Haynos has not been struggling. His blocking has been great. He may not have as many receptions as last year but that's because Friedgen has relied more on the running game. What makes Haynos such a great tight end is that he is good at blocking and receiving. With Gronkowski back in the game against FSU and Freidgen calling more passing plays you will see a lot more of Haynos. He is having a great year and it will only get better.