Maryland Gets Shoveled by PooVA

Questions that remained unanswered after Saturday’s loss:

How many times can Al Groh call that shovel pass before Maryland stops it? Will the Ralph Friedgen ever throw the ball down the field again (Could some one introduce him to Darius Heyward-Bey)? Seriously, when did the Fridge become so conservative? I used to think it was because he had no confidence in Steffy, but now I’m not so sure. Chris Turner looked fine tonight and Maryland has one of the fastest players in college football. Why can’t we throw one or two deep balls to him per game? Even if it gets intercepted; it is as good as a punt. Where’s the risk?

The Terps had so many chances to win this game. The dubious pass interference call on the last drive. The bad spot on fourth down. It’s really maddening. The Terps have now lost two games that they should have won. This is a talented team, but until the coach starts believing in them more, they aren’t going anywhere.

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5 Comments

  1. Ralph needs to fire his offensive coordinator. The guy calling plays coaches not to lose instead of coaching to win. While he’s at it, he should also fire his defensive coordinator, who for some reason, doesn’t like to blitz. It’s hard to force TOs when you’re sitting back in a zone all night and having WRs run off your secondary so that RBs are open all day in the flats. Hell, how about switching to a 2 deep every now and then? The coaches have let these players down.

    That spot on the 4th down play was a travesty. Their RB was out of bounds…and fumbling the ball forward (a no-no) when he hit the ground. How did ESPN not show the replay from above? Davie kept saying “We see what the replay people see.” They only showed 1 angle on the replay. That’s it?

    Can they win 2 more games an become bowl-eligible? I’d hope that they beat NCST and UNC, but who knows now. This team has too much talent to be so mediocre.

  2. It’s hard for Ralph to fire himself as O coordinator. But it would be nice to have him call some down the field plays or trick plays for once. Next week is a must win.

  3. I agree with Jeremy’s Heyward-Bey observation. I kept thinking, Ralph you’ve got the college version of Randy Moss out there, why don’t you take advantage of him by going deep over the middle several times during the game? In doing so, even if you miss, you’ve put the “fear of God” into the DBs and their defensive coordinator as well. It would open up things even more for Lattimore and Ball.

  4. The offense looked good on the first couple of drives and then either Ralph got too conservative or UVA made adjustments that Ralph wasn’t able to figure out. Or both.

    And for that 4th down conversion to be ruled the way it was, I hope the officials got fined for that call.

  5. I was at the Homecoming game and it wasn’t as good in-person than on TV. The refs blew several calls throughout the game, noteably in the final VA game-winning drive. That fourth down wasn’t a first down! That pass interference wasn’t correct, and to top it, Simpson didn’t have control of the ball as it was slapped out a micro-second before the ball crossed the plane of the goal-line and recovered by one of the defensive lineman – my view was blocked in who recovered the apparent fumble. In those last seven minutes, one could tell that our defense was running on fumes – giving up over 400 yards in total defense, nearly 75% of which back-up Simpson produced.

    After driving home Sunday, I have these major questions:
    1. Do we need another OC and DC? Possibly another HC?
    2. How is Friedgen going to fix these problems in stopping the run and starting a passing attack? Is his staff able to position our Terps into another second-half run as last season?
    3. What reason was Long able to penetrate in our offensive backfield? Again, do we have the quality backups and future recurits on the offensive line?
    4. Why can’t we win night games?
    5. Is this team worthy of bowl-eligiblity or contention?

    I’ll response seperately below.

    Point 1: It is very clear that we need an OC or Debbie needs to fire Ralph as Head Coach at the end of this season – too damn conservative on offense for ACC football. Is this because he can’t recurit skilled players who fit his offensive philosophy? Is it the lack of quality skilled players that produces this pattern of run-run-run? Turner and Steffy have quality arms, but where Turner excels is a proven starter’s confidence (a.k.a. – aura or look) that I saw at Rutgers three weeks ago. Turner possesses that poise of confidence that any coach can’t teach. Is RF’s conservative playcalling killing both QBs whereas it’s not their lack of talent as many felt earlier this season? Is Freidgen also afraid to lose Heyward-Bey to the pros? He’s doing a better job in keeping him quiet than most opponent DBs. Heyward-Bey was open a few times agt a young defensive backfield of Poo-Va, especially in the first quarter. Jeremy’s right – he has a similar gift compared to Moss – height and moxie. He wasn’t the ACC rookie of the year for nothing. It’s time to air it out – even if it’s intercepted or missed – keep the D honest!

    Point 2: Pearman was out with a foot injury. Simpson was the major feature of the night. Was DC Koch aware of this player at any time in the game? Henderson had a strong performance, but still rushing D needs work to stop the run. Football is simply, John Madden once said, you need to stop the run and run the ball yourself to win close games. Al Groh and staff did this while our staff appeared afraid or intimidated to call the plays that Va did, especially in the second half. Isn’t the purpose of coaching to put your players in a position to succeed? This leads into the third question.

    Point 3: Chris Long has one hell’va motor – I think he’s quicker than his Dad, having that safety at the end of the 3rd killed us psychologically. After that, any energy that we had gained back, we lost. More importantly, where was the second half adjustments to double team him? Any roll-outs or options for Turner? Or even to run at Long? Did we have the recurits on OL and skilled areas to keep defenses honest?

    Point 4: Why can’t we win at night? It seems that once we have a night game, we drift off to sleep. 18-17… This is tough loss for these guys and on Homecoming weekend. I, like many alums near me, were quiet as compared to the Cav Band and crowd, giving VA the emotional MO all night, which we didn’t have. We boo-ed some of the playcalling and officiating calls. It appeared all night that we were asleep.

    Point 5: If you look at our record thus far, we won twice, lose twice. We’ll lose to visitor Clemson, then beat host UNC and shock now #2 and guest BC, then lose to hosts FSU and NCSU to finish 6-6 – Is this record worthy of a bowl game? If so, which one?

    Just a few mid-season thoughts from a Terp in North Jersey.

    PS: Men’s Hoops…
    Gary and company are hitting the recuriting trail more seriously. May be Debbie has him on the hot seat to recapture another title before she and Gary leave CP? Gilchrist should add help to Gist, who hasn’t panned out as other forwards in the program’s history with similar athletic talent (i.e. one hoops mag claimed that Gist would be the next Bias)? It should be an interesting year for our young team – that’s what I heard at Bentley’s following the football game. I see a 15-18 win and 6th place reg.season finish, just too many new faces and second year players who are now on tape, and too few leaders – in a word: Inexperienced. The play of Hayes, Gist, Vasquez vs. our ACC foes will determine our position come late February and early March for ACC and NCAA (or NIT) tourneys. However, the future looks better with the expected incoming recurits in 2008-09 – what Hayes and Vasquez learn this season should carryover into next season.


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