Archive for the 'Football' Category

21
May
08

Some Thoughts….Summer Vacation

Sorry for my complete lack of updates to the blog, but with finals coming up and school ending, I just didn’t have time to write….

As we enter the summer, we do not know who will be our quarterback, and we have no idea who is going to join the men’s basketball team. It seems to me that we have new junior college recruits every week. The most important recruit is Sean Mosley however, and if he does not get his SAT scores up, he is not coming to College Park in the fall.

While there are these story lines to pay attention to over the summer, the summer is usually the quiet point for college sports as everyone is out of school. Therefore, I would like to tell everyone that I will not be updating this blog throughout the summer. I found out through this past year, that my favorite thing to write about is football, and most specifically, the previews I do for the games. There is just not enough for me to write about over the summer that I feel it is worth me spending the time to come up with.

With that being said, I hope everyone has enjoyed what I have written over the past year in my first year blogging about the Terps. Check back in late August when I start writing again prior to the football team’s home opening August 30th against the Joe Flacco-less Delaware Blue Hens.

08
Feb
08

2008 Football Schedule Released

The ACC has released the football schedules for the 2008 season. It looks like a favorable schedule for the Terps. All four home ACC games are very winnable games. Clemson and VT on the road will be tough, but UVA and BC should not be too bad. The schedule also includes a visit from Pac-10 participant Cal, and a visit from I-AA national champion runner-up Delaware. It is way to early to predict how we will fair, but a 10-2 season with a 6-2 ACC record is very possible if the team plays up to its abilities. I’ll talk more about football following the basketball season. Here is the schedule.

Aug. 30 Delaware
Sept. 6 @ Middle Tennessee St.
Sept. 13 California
Sept. 20 Eastern Michigan
Sept. 27 @ Clemson
Oct. 4 @ Virginia
Oct. 11 Open
Oct. 18 Wake Forest
Oct. 25 NC State
Nov. 1 Open
Nov. 6 @ Virginia Tech (Thursday night game)
Nov. 15 North Carolina
Nov. 22 Florida State
Nov. 29 @ Boston College

31
Jan
08

Recruiting News and GT Game Notes

I usually don’t like to talk about recruiting as I don’t know much about it besides what i read online, but this was a big day for the Terps so I thought I would touch on it. First to football.

WR Kenny Tate committed to Maryland Thursday night, and has been ranked as high as the 16th best WR in this year’s national recruiting class. Combined with the commitments of WR Kevin Dorsey and Kerry Boykins, both top 100 WR prospects, the Terps bring in an amazing WR recruiting class. If the team finds a quarterback who can use these three new weapons in the next 5 years(if they redshirt), we could be looking at a very potent offense. I will blog more on football recruiting as we get closer to the spring game in April.

On to basketball. News has surfaced that JuCo forward Ken Bowman has been offered a scholarship for next season and has accepted it. The reason why this is big news is because this would be their 4th scholarship player to sign for next year including JuCo Bobby Maze, Sean Mosley, and Gus Gilchrist. With the terps not using one of their 13 scholarships this year, and Gist and Osby being the only scholarship players to graduate ( McAlpin is not a scholarship player) following this season, this only adds up to 3 available scholarships for 4 players. Something fishy is going on. Many things could be happening. One possible solution is that Gus Gilchrist will not be allowed to play next year because he committed to Virginia Tech before deciding to come to Maryland. If that is not the answer, than somebody is leaving the team; either by transfer, graduated early, or being kicked off the team.

Now this is all speculation on my part, but these are some of my thoughts on what may be happening. If someone is graduating early, it would probably be Neal, although I have heard nothing about this. Another possibility is that his shoulder is more injured than we know and he has decided to quit following the season. In terms of a player transferring I would look towards Burney or Gregory as they have sat out the longest period of time since last playing(note: Pearman has not played often this year, but to the best of my knowledge he is a walkon). Gregory last saw action against Wake on Jan. 15th and has not seen significant minutes since Jan. 8th against Holy Cross. You have to go all the way back to the Jan. 2nd game against Savannah State for the last time Burney played. Again, this is just speculation on my part, but I would look towards Burney being the opening of this scholarship, and if not him Neal. For those of you who think Vasquez may be thinking Pro, he is not ready yet, and I am pretty sure he knows it.

Now for a quick preview of Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets are 10-9, 3-3 in the ACC, and will have been off for a week following their victory against Virginia on Sunday. They lost a lot of close games out of conference, including a 4 point loss at #15 Indiana and a 5 point loss against #3 Kansas. They also almost upset then #1 UNC right before the Terps knocked off UNC, losing to them 82-83. The Jackets also come into this game with a 3 game winning streak including VT, N.C. State, and UVA. The big three players to watch out for are seniors Jeremis Smith and Anthony Morrow, as well as Junior Lewis Clinch. Matt Causey has also been on fire for them lately. None of this should matter though if the Terps play their game. Now I wouldn’t expect another 3 point outburst from Hayes and Vasquez, but timly shots by them, as well as pounding it inside to Gist and Osby should get it done at Georgia Tech. This team showed us something by playing well against Virginia following a tough loss against Duke. I think this team gets it, and knows what it must do to win. They have been playing great of late and the only criticism I can find for them is lack of bench points. If they can get more points off the bench, it will only help their chances at making a nice run and making the NCAAs. The starters are going to have off nights sometimes, and we need our bench players to pick up their game a bit.

25
Jan
08

Big Weekend for the Terps

It’s another big weekend for Terps basketball. On Saturday the Women head down to Chapel Hill to face #3 North Carolina in a game that could determine who wins the ACC Regular Season Championship. It will be a tough game, especially on the road, but there is no reason the Terps cannot win. The game could go either way, but with North Carolina coming off of a loss to #1 Connecticut, they will be very motivated to win this game. If we do not show up with the energy needed to match them, this game could easily end up in the Terps second loss of the season.

The game everybody is looking forward to however is the Duke game, this Sunday at Comcast. Duke won Thursday evening at Virginia Tech so we will be playing a legitimate #3 team, not one coming off of a loss. This Duke team is much better than teams Duke has had in the past couple of years. They have two freshman who contribute a lot, King and Singler, to go along with Senior Guard DeMarcus Nelson and Junior Guard Greg Paulus; the only upperclassmen who see minutes at Duke this year. This will be an extremely tough game, but if the same team that beat UNC shows up, then a win is very possible. I doubt we will see the huge 26-6 run that began last year’s Duke game at Comcast, but if we show up, there is no reason we cannot win. Should we win this game? Probably not, Duke is much more talented. But that has never stopped us in the past and hopefully it will not stop us Sunday.

In football news, Freidgen has hired two more coaches. Danny Pearman will coach tight ends and be the Special Teams Coordinator. Pearman has coached at Duke, UNC, Virgina Tech, and Alabama. Kasey Dunn will coach the wide receivers; he comes from Baylor, and Arizona prior to that. John Donovan will remain on staff but switch from quarterbacks coach to running-backs coach. Offensive Coordinator James Franklin will coach the quarterbacks.

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.