Sunday, October 19, 2008

Maryland blanks Deacons

Maryland was more Jekyll than Hyde yesterday and that helped them record an emphatic 26-0 win over Wake Forest in College Park. Ralph Friedgen had not defeated Jim Grobe since 2005 but this Wake Forest team isn't up to the same level of the last two seasons. Before you get too excited it is worth noting that the Deacons lost to Navy a couple of weeks ago and beat a sinking Clemson team despite only scoring 12 points. They are 103rd in scoring offense and 99th in total offense out 0f 119 team in the Football Bowl Subdivision. Kicker Sam Swank, perhaps their best offensive weapon at times this season, missed the game with an injury. The Deacons are a scrappy team this year but don't have the weapons to be truly dangerous. As great a coach as Jim Grobe is, and he is likely the best in the ACC, it is difficult to win without good skill players.

I don't mean to be a rain cloud but with this group I'm not sure this win is a spring board to anything because they have been unable to capitalize on their momentum all season. The three "ranked" teams Maryland has defeated this year: Clemson, California and Wake Forest will probably all be unranked after the new polls are released. This team will face a much more difficult road coming up with games against Virginia Tech, North Carolina, Florida State and Boston College. I could see Maryland going winless against that group but truly can't see them going undefeated. There are still too many holes on defense and the running game, while better at least for one game, is not able to carry the load. It will have to get much better because four of the remaining five opponents are in the top half of the ACC against the run and all are among the top 50 in the nation.

I'll have more on the game later...


homertuck said...

I don't think you're giving the team enough credit and although you mention valid points about Wake's offense, you didn't mention that Wake has a great defense, probably the best MD has faced all season and they still put up 26 points against them.

Esquire said...

Indeed. It annoyed me that some saw this as a vindication of Chris Cosh but the offense did play well against a solid, if not great, Wake Forest defense.