Archive for December, 2007

29
Dec
07

Quick Bowl Afterthoughts

Well…it certainly was a disappointing game to watch, but easily summed up the Terps season. The Terps managed 222 total yards, but 159 were in the first quarter. Do the math….thats 63 total yards in the last 3 quarters. You can’t win football games like that. The Maryland offense also owes the defense an apology for allowing OSU to start 6 of its 13 possessions in Maryland territory. The punt coverage wasn’t great for Maryland, but more blame should go to the Maryland offense for OSU having great starting field position than the Special Teams. Another thing that didn’t help the Terps was the dropped passes. We knew coming into the game that running the ball would be tough, which it proved to be as we finished the game with 18 rushing yards. Turner did not have a bad game at all. His receivers simply did not step up to the plate and deliver. There is nothing Turner can do if the receivers drop the ball.

Thankfully, this is the last time we have to see Friedgen call a game. 25 rushed for 18 yards. Did he really waste 25 plays for 18 yards? It doesn’t matter that the receivers dropped passes, you have to keep on trying the passing game; it was our only shot at winning. He did however call the wide receiver reverse, which i predicted he would. It was our longest rush, 11 yards. It was also unfortunate that we forced a fumble as OSU is about to score, but they recover it the endzone for the games’ only score of the second half. That is just unlucky, but there is nothing you can do about it. OSU gave the Terps many opportunities with turnovers, but the Terps just couldn’t do anything with it. On top of that, Maryland gave OSU the ball on a few turnovers. Its tough to win when you turn the ball over.

Give Oregon State credit. They were the better team tonight and won. I felt we did not play to our best abilities, but I also feel OSU did not play as well as they could too, so I have no complaints there. My only complaint is to the Emerald Bowl organizers. Two teams on one sideline is crazy. It becomes very difficult to sub in players when they are on the far end of the field, and although both teams had to deal with it, it definitely seemed to affect the Terps much more. Also, thanks Mr. Referee for letting Turner know about the play clock. I guess that’s why you are employed by the WAC conference. In closing, it was a disappointing game, but it was nice to see the Terps not get killed against an opponent who clearly was better. Maryland could have won this game, but made too many mistakes. Give OSU credit for the win, but Maryland’s mistakes certainly helped them out.

27
Dec
07

Emerald Bowl Preview- Maryland Vs. Oregon State

It is almost here. After a month off, the season concludes for the Terps this Friday night when they face the Oregon State Beavers in the Emerald Bowl out in San Francisco, California. Many people have their own opinions as to what may happen in this game. If you are reading this, you are probably curious as to what I expect, so here is my breakdown of the game and how I think the Terps will fare…

Note: Check back to my entry titles, “Oregon State…Who are They” for a brief synopsis of their schedule and their season

When Oregon State has the ball:

Oregon State opened the season with sophomore Sean Canfield running the offense as the beavers quarterback, but throughout the season, sophomore Lyle Moevao had been inserted into games. Well, it was a good thing, because Canfield got hurt, and Moevao lead the Beavers as the starting quarterback in the final three games and did a great job. His numbers are not overly impressive, but as a backup quarterback, your first job is to not lose the game, and he has succeeded at this. From what I have heard this week, Canfield may be healthy enough to serve as the backup, but the Emerald Bowl gig is all Moevao’s. If you talk to any Oregon State fan though, they don’t really care about the quarterback situation; they are excited about getting their star senior running back Yvenson Bernard back. The kid had knee surgery on Nov.20th, but is expected to play. He is a three year starter and looking at his stat sheet is impressive. In each of his three years, he averaged 4.4 yards per carry, 12 rushing TD’s every year besides the 13 he had his sophomore year, and 1 receiving TD each year. Talk about consistency. He is a very solid back and provides the balance needed to have a successful running game, and open up a passing game.

I do think Maryland will give up points, but I don’t think they are in over their heads when it comes to stopping the Beavers offense. Maryland’s defense is much improved from what we saw against Clemson, and even Virginia. I feel they match up better against teams that have balanced offenses, like OSU has, compared to teams that simply pound it up front all day, or pass it all day. The Beavers do not have any receivers that scare me, so I think the first focus should be on stopping Bernard. You take care of him, and I then take my chances with Moevao passing. Bernard is the ‘star’ offensive player of the team. If you let OSU beat you, make them do it through the air where they are less polished. Overall, I like this matchup and expect the Terps to do fairly well.

When Maryland has the ball:

Oregon State gives up 74.9 yards on the ground per game. That’s good. It’s actually so good, that according the Fox Sports, they rank #3 in the country in rush defense including all of those FCS teams. That is impressive. However, the terps have faced situations like this before. The best example is the Boston College game. Boston College came into that game with a top 30 rush defense. Maryland had relied on the run all year, and although Turner had some games where he passed over 200 yards, a heavy passing attack was never in the gameplan. Then came the Boston College game, where Fridge let loose, and we passed for 337 yards and 3 TD’s. So we are playing a great rushing defense, so same game plan, right? No. Well, kind of. Maryland will need to pass to win this game, but I don’t think it will come as easy as it did against Boston College. You see, Oregon State knows we can pass now, Boston College did not, and probably did not gameplan for it. Oregon State will. So how can the Terps beat OSU when they have the ball?

A balanced attack, favoring the pass over the run, but not neglecting the run. If I was Friedgen, I would line up in shot gun a lot against OSU, with two running backs. That way, you can run options, short flare passes to the running backs, but can also go deep. I think running from an I formation will fail miserably against a team like OSU, but running from strange formations may work. I can guarantee you this, you will probably see a wide reciever reverse at least once on Friday. Why am I so sure? Well, we saw it work against Wake Forest who has the 26th best rush defense, and it worked against Boston College. Friedgen knows how to counter these tough rush defenses. We also know that Friedgen is not afraid to pass anymore now that he has a quarterback in Chris turner who can throw, and we even saw him throw in the option when we played N.C. State. Will Maryland thrown down 6 touchdowns and 500 yards on OSU? I highly doubt it(although that would be awesome). But i think they will have sucess, and if they play smart, can move the ball on this tough OSU defense.

So what’s going to happen?

Maryland will be able to move the ball on OSU. I am afraid they may stall out in the redzone a few times, but I still expect them to be able to move the ball. On the other side, Bernard will probably has a decent game as long as he knee isn’t bothering him, but if we can somewhat contain him while keeping Moevao under control, the Terps won’t give up too much. Lets face it, as much as we like to complain about Chris Cosh and his defense, they have done pretty well this year against some tough competition, and only in the West Virginia, and Virginia games did they really look over matched (and don’t forget that they only gave up 18 points to UVA, and we all remember that BS 4th down conversion by UVA at the end of that game). The Terps defense will step up to the plate in this game like they have done most of the season. If the offense produces how they should, I see a close victory for the Terps. Now, of course I am going to pick the Terps, but this game could go either way. This truly is a great matchup and should be a very entertaining game to watch. Oregon State and Maryland are very similar teams, and are pretty even in the talent category. This will be a close game, but the Terps will get their 4th straight bowl victory. Prediction: Oregon State 17 Maryland 20

Lastly, I would like to thank all of the Oregon State fans who have been checking out my blog. WordPress allows me to see where people click on my site from, and the folks at Beaver Sports News have found my blog and have put some of my entries up there. I have read almost all of the other articles put up on BSN(is it ok if I call is that?) and I must say I think you have some of the best fans in the country. From what I have read, you all love your football team and know a lot about it, but are not arrogant, and do not think you are God’s gift to the world (*cough* West Virginia / UNC fans). You seem like nice people and I wish you well. I am sure you will never read this blog again after the bowl game, but thanks for stopping by.

To my Terps fans…I promise to get around to that basketball team sooner or later, but did you ever think that through 12 games, the men’s basketball team and the football team would have the same record, and it would be 6-6?

25
Dec
07

2007 ACC Bowl Predictions

Here is a taste of what I expect to happen for all of the ACC teams in their bowls this season…of course, the Maryland/Oregon State will be covered later in the week and thus will not be predicted in this blog entry. I think the ACC has some very favorable matchups this year and should fare well. Here is how I think each game will go.

Friday Dec. 28th – Champs Sports Bowl – 5:00 PM EST – #14 Boston College (10-3) Vs. Michigan State (7-5)

Easy game here to predict. Boston College is a much better team then one that got selected to go to the Champs Sports Bowl, but when you have a reputation for not traveling well, you are always going to slide down. Michigan State is not a bad team, beating Indiana, Penn State, and Purdue, all of which are heading to bowls. They also played well in loses to #9 Wisconsin, #1 Ohio State, and #12 Michigan. So yea, Michigan State is very capable of pulling the upset, I just can’t go against the ACC runner-up who comes in with a 7 game bowl winning streak. Prediction: Boston College 32 Michigan State 21

Saturday Dec. 29th – Meineke Car Care Bowl – 1:00 PM EST – #25 Connecticut (9-3) Vs. Wake Forest (8-4)

The Huskies are a nice story, being less than 10 years removed from being a I-AA football school. However, this is their first year of what can be considered serious success. Nine wins is very new to this school, even newer than it is to Wake Forest. They also were not tested much while playing in the Big East. They played South Florida and beat them, but got killed by West Virginia in their season finale. Jim Grobe should prepare his team well, and the game is in North Carolina. Again, I like the ACC team. Prediction: Connecticut 16 Wake Forest 23

Monday Dec. 31st – Humanitarian Bowl – 2:00 PM EST – Georgia Tech (7-5) Vs. Fresno State (8-4)

This is a tough game to pick. Georgia Tech finished the season 2-2 with losses against Georgia and Virginia Tech, with wins against Duke and UNC sandwiched in between. I really haven’t been a big fan of Tech this season. They are a better team than their 7-5 record shows, but they just couldn’t get it together, and unlike Maryland, you can’t blame the injury bug too much with them. Fresno State has beaten every team they were suppose to beat with losses against #23 Texas A+M, #19 Oregon, Boise State, and #16 Hawaii. These are all better teams than Georgia Tech, and Fresno State was able to hang in there with all of these teams except for Oregon. Throw in the fact that Georgia Tech has fired their head coach Chan Gailey since the regular season ended and I have to pick Fresno State. Prediction: Georgia Tech 17 Fresno State 28

Monday Dec. 31st – Music City Bowl – 5:00 PM EST – Florida State (7-5) Vs. Kentucky (7-5)

Along with Kansas, Kentucky may have had the second most surprising season this year for BCS conference teams. However, after starting the season 6-1, including a win against #1 LSU, the wildcats stumbled, finishing the year 1-4, playing in the tough SEC conference. Too be fair, three of the final 4 losses were to ranked opponents Florida, Georgia, and Tennessee. On the other side of this bowl matchup, Florida State is coming off the news that about a third of its team cheated in school and will not be able to play. I don’t know how many of these players are key players for the Seminoles, but it is sure to affect the team. I don’t think Florida State will be in a good state of mind for this game, and I expect a fairly easy win for Kentucky. Prediction: Florida State 10 Kentucky 37

Monday Dec. 31st – Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl – 7:30 PM EST – #15 Clemson (9-3) Vs. #23 Auburn (8-4)

This should be a great game to watch. Clemson finished off the season strong, winning 5 of their last 6, with the loss coming at the hands of Boston College. Auburn, after a tough start, finished the season on a 6-2 run, losing only to #4 LSU and #10 Georgia in that stretch. Auburn gets challenged almost every week in the SEC and will be well prepared for the game. I worry how ready Clemson will be to play a good SEC school, but my gut is telling me that they will be able to handle Auburn. Clemson struggled in their games against better foes such as Virginia Tech and Boston College, but I am going to take them in this game. Prediction: Clemson 20 Auburn 17

Monday Jan. 1st – Gator Bowl – 1:00 PM EST – Texas Tech (8-4) Vs. #20 Virginia (9-3)

This is another game I feel could go either way. Texas Tech has a high power scoring offense and hopes it can score more points than you as they cruise to 50-45 victories. Virginia plays more of its games scoring in the 20’s. I am not convinced Virginia can stop Texas Tech from scoring a lot, and I worry about Virginia’s ability to keep up with Texas Tech on the scoreboard. This was my toughest decision as to how this game would play out, but again, I am going to go with my gut and pick Texas Tech. I would not be surprised at all if Virginia wins, but I just am not convinced they are capable of scoring what they will need to score to win. Prediction: Texas Tech 49 Virginia 24

Wednesday Jan. 3rd – Orange Bowl – 5:00 PM EST – #8 Kansas (11-1) Vs. #3 Virginia Tech (11-2)

I love what Kansas has been able to do this season. As a fan of football, it was awesome to watch a program that has struggled for so long to explode and obtain an 11-1 record. However, I just cannot fathom a situation in which they will be able to beat Virginia Tech. I don’t think they will get killed, but I think it will be similar to last year’s Orange bowl where Wake Forest lost to Louisville 24-13; it will be clear that Virginia Tech is the better team. Can Kansas pull a Boise State out of its pocket and win? Sure they can, but I just don’t see it happening. Prediction: Kansas 21 Virginia Tech 38

Well there you have it…I have the ACC going 4-3 in bowls excluding Maryland’s game. Check back soon for my Maryland / Oregon State Emerald Bowl Preview.

24
Dec
07

Oregon state…who are they???

I was planning on blogging about both basketball teams this week in addition to the football team…but after the loss to American yesterday by the Men, I am in no mood to talk about basketball so I plan on only focusing on the football team until the bowl is over…

Onto the business of this particular blog…Who is Oregon State and how did the end up in the Emerald bowl? Well, they play in the Pac-10, were 8-4 overall, and 6-3 in their conference finishing in 3rd place. You may be asking yourself, why is the 3rd best Pac-10 team playing what is suppose to be the #7 ACC school? Well, it all starts with the BCS(which I actually like, but we do not need to get into that right now). USC won the Pac-10 for like the 50th straight season it seems and won a bid to play in the Rose Bowl. Ohio State won the Big10, but was also #1 in the rankings, so they went to the National Championship game. Now here comes the stuff about the BCS I actually do not like. The Rose bowl loves to have their traditional Pac-10/Big 10 match-up. Well after Ohio State, the next highest ranked Big10 school was Illinois at #13. Usually you must be ranked in the top 12 to go to a BCS bowl, especially as an at-large team, but the Rose Bowl really wanted a Big10 school and thus selected Illinois as its at-large school.

So why am I talking about this in an Oregon State blog. Well, by selecting Illinois, #11 ranked Arizona State, who finished 2nd in the Pac-10 was left out of a BCS bowl, and many, like myself, think they were left out unfairly because of the Rose Bowl’s desires. They dropped down to the Holiday bowl (essentially the equivalent to the ACC’s Chick-Fil-A Peach bowl). Oregon State, finishing third in the Pac-10, and assuming Arizona State would get a BCS bid, assumed they were going to the Holiday bowl, but obviously that did not happen. So, off to the next bowl game for the Pac-10, the Sun bowl. Except….uh oh….Oregon State played in the Sun bowl last year, so no way they were going to be picked to travel to El Paso again. To make matters worse for Oregon State, their arch-rival Oregon was the team that leapfrogged them to go to the Sun bowl. Thus, Oregon State finds themselves in the next bowl for the Pac-10, the Emerald Bowl. And needless to say, they are a little angry. If you thought you deserved a Peach bowl bid, and instead went to the Champs Sports bowl, you would be angry too.

The Oregon State Beavers make their home in Corvallis, Oregon. Following a visit to mapquest, I can tell you that Corvallis is just south of Portland, and looks to be about 40 miles off the Pacific Coast. Oregon State opened in 1868 as an agriculture school. After various names throughout its history, Oregon State University became the name of the school in 1961. Football has been played at Oregon State since 1893. Current NFL players who are Alumni of OSU include Bengals Wideouts Chad Johnson and TJ Houshmandzadah, Browns Quarterback Derek Anderson, and Rams RB Steven Jackson. And lastly…and I am not sure of the complete validity of it, but rumor has it in the Music Department at Maryland that “Hail old OSU”, the fight song for Oregon State, was adopted from the same melody that some school on the East Coast had for its fight song in the early 1900’s. Since then, that east coast school has changed its fight songs, but Oregon State still uses that old, *cough* Maryland song.

I’ll give you the full football preview of Oregon State when I actually preview the game, but here is a little bit about Oregon State’s Season. They started the season off 2-3, winning against Utah and Idaho State(a very bad I-AA school). Their losses came at Cincinnati, at Arizona State, and at home to UCLA. Only the UCLA loss is what I would consider a bad loss as it came out home, against a not so great team. Arizona State obviously had a good season and Cincinnati was in the Big East race all season finishing 10-3. Nevertheless, following the 2-3 start, Oregon State finished the season on a 6-1 run, only losing at USC. However, while the top of the Pac-10 was good, the bottom of the Pac-10 was equally bad. Oregon State beat Arizona(5-7), Cal (6-6), Stanford(4-8), Washington(4-9), Washington State(5-7), and Oregon (8-4) to close out the season. When they beat Cal, Cal was ranked #2 in the country. Oregon State should have lost to them too, however, with the ball on the OSU 15 yard line, down by 3, Cal ran a play, did not get out of bounds, and could not get off the chip shot FG to send the game to overtime. OSU of course gets credit for beating the #2 team in the country, however, it must be taken with a grain of salt, they should have lost the game, and Cal went on to lose 5 more games. Beating Cal was similar to us beating #10 Rutgers. Yea, it looked good when it happened, but after a few more teams beat them, it was clear they did not belong in the top 10. Their win against Oregon should also be taken with a grain of salt as star QB Dennis Dixon was out with a knee injury. Oregon lost to Arizona and UCLA before losing to OSU, all without Dennis Dixon. If Dennis Dixon were to have played in all of those games, I think Oregon would probably be in the National Championship. The point is, Oregon State is 8-4, but don’t be scared. They haven’t played a very tough schedule, and when they have played challenging teams, they have lost. Now of course, a 6-6 Maryland fan has no place talking crap about an 8-4 team, but I am just saying, they don’t have any “wow” victories.

That’s all I have for you now…we’ll talk about some of Oregon State’s key players when I do the actual preview for the game. Lastly, as I am writing this I have just read on the Baltimore Sun Sports page that we have hired James Franklin to serve as our Offensive Coordinator next season. He was the receivers coach at Maryland from 2000-2004 and most recently was the Offensive Coordinator at Kansas State, and quickly looking at Kansas State’s schedule this season, they certainly were able to score.

19
Dec
07

I am Alive….

Sorry for long break between posts but it was exam season here in college park, but now I am home and ready to blog again…expect blogs on both basketball teams and the football team in coming days….I want to write about Ray Rychleski though quickly

If you are a Maryland football fan and do not know who this is, then shame on you. He is our special teams coordinator, well at least for the next 2 weeks. Rychleski is leaving Maryland to become Steve Spurrier’s special teams coordinator at South Carolina. Why is this such a big deal? Maybe because Rychleski is great. In his 7 years he has never allowed a punt to be blocked and also has had 3 of his kickers/punters play in the NFL (Nick Novak, Brooks Barnard, Adam Podlesh). That is a lot in a seven year span. I think this is a huge blow for Maryland. Rychleski truly is a gifted coach and I hope we can find someone to replace him. Maybe he really wanted to go the the SEC, but if he left for money, I will be very upset with the Athletic Department. You can’t let a coach like Rychleski just walk away. There are too few great special teams coaches in the country to just replace him. This is a huge loss for Maryland.

09
Dec
07

Quick Boston College Preview

Sorry but I have been very busy as the semester is coming to an end. After next Tuesday though I will be finished and will update more frequently. Here is a very quick preview for tonight Men’s Game against Boston College.

Boston College enters the game with a 6-1 record, and will also be playing its ACC season opening. Boston College had played a relatively easy schedule so far this season. Their one loss was against Big East foe Providence. None of their victories were against “quality” opponents with their best win probably being a road win at Michigan, who is now 3-6. The Eagles lost a lot of players last season and are looking at a very young squad, similar to what Maryland is dealing with. The one player the Terps must watch out for is Junior Giraud Tyrese Rice. He is averaging 21 points a game in 38 mins.

If the Terps don’t commit silly turnovers, they should be able to win with the home court advantage.  If the Terps do commit lots of turnovers, the game could turn ugly fast. Boston College is not going to be a top ACC school this year, but they are still an ACC school, and you can’t play sloppy ball against an ACC school. Nevertheless, I think the Terps will be fine and win their first ACC game of the year.

03
Dec
07

Late Sunday Night Thoughts….

Well its official…the football team is heading out to San Fransisco to play Oregon State in the Emerald Bowl. I can’t even pretend I know much about Oregon State. I do know this though. Chad Johnson and T.J. Whoseyourmamma (I could have looked up how to spell it, but this is more fun) of the Cincinnati Bengals both played for OSU. Also, I only watched 2 mins of Beavers football all season. It was the end of their upset win against then #2 Cal. Cal had a major screw up when they didn’t leave enough time on the clock to kick the game winning FG from like the 15 yard-line. So after I finish all of my exams a few weeks from now I’ll do my research and give you guys a nice preview, so don’t expect much football news from me anytime soon.

The Men’s Basketball team lost to VCU in the BB&T classic a few hours ago and boy did they look bad. They put up another high turnover number of 19, and struggled again from 3, hitting only 4 of 15 shots. Vasquez, although scoring 19 points, played a pretty terrible point guard, and I loved it when MASN commentator Gary Thorne said he plays the position about as well as a junior highschooler. Note to Gary Williams: switch Eric Hayes to the point permanently. The Men get the week off until Thursday when they take on Morgan State at home.

The Women’s Basketball team is still undefeated, and had a really nice win last Friday against #17 Ohio State. It was nice to see Crystal Langhorne, coming off her injury, start to produce some numbers on offense. The Women will take on Rutgers this Monday evening at 7:00 on ESPN 2. Be sure to watch as the the #3 Terps face another tough test playing on the road against Rutgers, the #6 team in the nation.