Maryland vs. GaTech Preview

I am going to be flying to NYC tomorrow and I will not have access to the Internet for most of the weekend. Thus, I am posting a preview of tomorrow’s decisive tilt against the Yellow Jackets now. The Jackets have some nice wins in their favor, most notably at Notre Dame (I don’t care how bad they are, that was the first game of the season in a hostile environment and Tech torched them.) and against Clemson, but Maryland has a few things going for it:

1. We nearly beat Tech in Atlanta last year (we fell apart at the end a la Wake this year), so there is no fear. The Terps know that they can play with these guys.

2. Tashard Choice is one of the best backs in the country and he is the centerpiece of their offense. Well, the Terps handled Ray Rice soundly last week, and we should be able to keep Choice in check as well. Rice and Choice. Choice and Rice. What great last names, eh?. When I am reincarnated, I am coming back with a last name that is a noun, I swear it. Or at least one that isn’t so darn Jewish.

3. The Terps are at home. Byrd Stadium is our friend except when WVU is involved.

None of the above may matter because this game has wildcard that will essentially determine the game and the season: Chris Turner. Is what we saw in the second half against Rutgers, the real deal? Has the Fridge finally found a QB who can run his offense? I am extremely cautious because you would think that two months of practice would have given the Fridge time to discover Mr. Turner. He was third string until Quiz Maestro, Josh Portis cheated in his discussion class, so maybe it is just a case of being buried on the third team and not getting a solid look from the coaching staff. Regardless, tomorrow we will know if Turner can be relied upon to lead the team.

One thing is for sure, and that is that Steffy is not the answer. Even before that Rutgers player committed battery against him with that helmet to helmet hit, Steffy was killing us. He simply can’t throw down the field and get it into our playmakers hands. He took too many sacks and made awful decisions. He is D-U-N. If we are forced to rely on Steffy at any point the rest of the way, you can forget about a bowl game. Count on it.

The good news is that Maryland has all of the other pieces in place. Solid run defense and a punishing rushing attack usually translates into 8 or 9 wins at the collegiate level. Throw in a QB who won’t kill you with mistakes and can keep defenses honest by going down the field, and the Terps could be a tough out as we get into the meat of the ACC schedule.

Show you got what it takes, Mr. Turner. The Terrapin Nation-State is watching.

On a final note, how much would you pay to see a Biggest Loser: Celebrity Edition with The Fridge, Charlie Weis, Frank Beamer’s Goiter, and that coach from Kansas (I think his name is Mangino)? Now that’s a riveting Final Four

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12 Comments

  1. Post game observations.

    The seats under Tyser Tower are a great place to watch the game!

    The Good – the crowd never gave up and seemed to *will* the Terps to victory

    The Bad – watching the helicopter fly Rick Costa to the hospital

    The Ugly – #1 our consistent lack of pass rush and #2 9:37 TOP in the second half before the final missed field goal. No wonder the D was exhausted.

    But a W is a W. Only one league loss. Things could be worse!

  2. Congrats to the team. 4-2, two wins from bowl eligibility. Someone mentioned in another thread that upcoming wins would likely be ugly. I didn’t see the game but the play-by-play recap tells me it got ugly in the 2nd half. But they found a way to win. Go Terps.

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  4. Oops, hit ‘send’ inadvertently. I was at the game yesterday. Turner looked very good. I don’t think he is a flash in the pan; however, he is still young and will need the experience the rest of this season will give him to reach his full potential.

  5. Realistically, how many games can the Terps win this season?

  6. 7 or 8 if they play error free and through the injuries. UVA and Clemson should be close and the UNC game is who shows up for them. BC is a strong chance for a loss and FSU is getting better so there will be a real tough one. NCSU is off this year so easy win there. So if you give the Terps 2 of 3 with the next 3 and NCSU that is 7 easy. I can see them losing maybe a max of 3 more unless injuries become more costly or if there is a NEED for Steffy.

  7. Briefly, and I’m amazed I’m typing this. Al V. is correct. 7-8 games sounds spot on.

  8. E$ just because I care about how coaches treat easily influenced kids does not mean I cannot see ability. Turner opens up the field and there are 2 strong rb’s and a decent defense. That wins at all levels. Not every game but at all levels. Even Fridge can’t screw that up unless there is a Steffy.

  9. I’m not doubting you. With regards to Maryland’s remaining football games, and anticipating their finish: I have penciled in wins over Virginia, North Carolina and NC State. That puts them at 7 wins. I have BC penciled in as a loss. Florida State and Clemson I have as totally up in the air. If they win the three games that they should, and take 1of 2 b/w Clemson and FSU, they finish 8-4.

  10. To finish 8-4 Fridge is going to have to keep attacking offensively all the time. After the Turner fumble that led to a GaTech touchdown to make it 21-10, the Terps got the ball back somewhere near their own 40 with about 50 secs left. I thought great! Turner can either take a couple of shots downfield, or if Tech goes into a prevent defense, hit something underneath to get them in field goal range. They needed to answer that Turner miscue right away. Tech had been on the ropes with their heads hanging at 21-3, but now Tech was walking around pumped even though they were still down by 11 (I know this because I was sitting behind their bench in section 7). Then Ralph let the last 50 secs tick off the clock with no attempt to get downfield. I sensed a tremendous shift occur which really troubled me. I felt it was foolish to get overly conservative offensively after the miscue. I know someone is going to say Ralph was just playing the percentages or something, but it “felt” wuss like to me. Looking at the Terp players, their body language looked like they watned to go mano-o-mano with Tech to end the half. I’m glad they got the W, but the Tech kicker’s field goal from 52 looked good to me from where I was sitting. Obviously it was a bit wide. Ralph has got to “kick” the other team when it is down. the Terps are going to lose some close games if they don’t put some of these teams away when they get a sizeable lead. Enough said! I was happy they won, but left the place feeling Tech could have taken a game they should never have been in after the Terps 21-3 lead in the first half.

  11. This team has the uncanny ability to steamroll the opponent in the first half only to pull up and let them back in the game. They’ve done it in basically every game this season except WVA which obviously we had no shot at…

    Until they maintain the intensity, expect every game to come down to the wire. UVA is not going to roll over for us…you don’t think they want revenge after last year’s amazing collapse?

  12. In my TV area I haven’t been able to see any of MD games except the WVU debacle, which I switched off when it started getting ugly. But I’ve listened to a couple of the Terp FB contests on the internet and followed them on Gametracker. It seems to me the opposing team must be concluding as soon as MD jumps to an early–and often commanding–lead: “We’ve got them where we want them.” I’m trying hard to avoid investing too much psychic energy in this bunch. Following the roundballers is stress enough.


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