It was ugly. Really ugly. It should also remind you of a Family Guy episode with three of the first four grades.
But hey, there's always the defense.
This was the first really bad performance for Chris Turner this year. And god, was it bad. Three interceptions, only one of which was really forced, and a huge fumble in the end zone would usually be enough for this grade all by themselves. But combine that with a poor day throwing the ball even outside of those four plays, and I kind of want to give him a J. Maybe a J+, because he did throw a TD. Seriously, I was pining for Joel Statham today.
Turner can turn it around, I have no doubt about that. He's not that physically talented, sure, but there's a reason he's played well before. Turner of the sophomore and junior years had some awesome games. But he's equally capable of going out and having games like this, being all-around terrible. If he doesn't bounce back, neither does Maryland.
Neither Da'Rel Scott nor Davin Meggett had any impact today - well, that's not entirely true. See, Scott fumbled again, and Meggett missed an assignment which led to Turner's endzone fumble. Other than that, no impact.
Honestly, I'd be surprised if Scott starts next week or even sees the field much. I'm not saying that's what I'd do - right now this is mental for Da'Rel, not an ability issue, so benching only makes the problem worse - but Ralph doesn't like stuff like this. The problem with that is that Meggett isn't talented enough to replace Scott, at least not without a major dropoff. Quite a predicament, to be sure, but not one I thought they'd find themselves in at the start of the season. Perhaps Gary Douglas gets some looks next week. There's always Caleb Porzel or D.J. Adams, too.
Ronnie Tyler had his habitually two open drops, but he made up for them with two great catches. Adrian Cannon had a nice snag. And of course, Torrey Smith had a big day, though he still didn't get the ball nearly enough (4 catches?). LaQuan Williams even had a TD. With Turner throwing the ball behind or too far ahead of the WRs almost every time, you can't complain about their performance outside of the two Tyler drops.
They weren't good, that's for sure. Bruce Campbell's presence didn't help much, and neither did the inclusion of Maurice Hampton into the starting lineup at RG. Running the ball was particularly bad - Scott and Meggett rarely had any holes. Turner, while not excusing his mistakes, tended to be under a decent amount of pressure. To top it off, there were a couple of big penalties from the linemen (though they didn't really make that big of an impact). They're getting a little better, but still a very long way to go.
I considered not even including the final ten minutes in these grades, because by that point 1) there was no emotion left, 2) the game was all but out of hand, and 3) the defense was exhausted by being constantly on the field. But I did factor them in a bit, which will bring all these grades down a bit. Anyway, Maryland's defensive line has been absymal so far. But for some reason, they didn't look bad today. Maybe it's because I was looking for a positive, but they were able to shut down Rutgers' running game most of the game, and were part of a complete shutdown of the Scarlet Knights for the first three quarters.
Alex Wujciak looked good against the State University of his former home, making a few big tackles and occasionally showing off some improved speed. Demetrius Hartsfield is continuing to show why so many people hyped him up so early in his career. He really nailed Natale once, and forced him to leave the game for a few plays. Lastly, Adrian Moten looked awesome. Easily the best player on the defense. Can't really say much bad about them for these types of performances. Selective memory, perhaps, but it was definitely a good performance.
This would be better if it weren't for the final Rutgers TD. After all, the group held Rutgers to a measly four completions, and were buoyed by some great coverage for most of the game. They actually caused a coverage sack - I may not be able to say that for the rest of the year. Of course, it was against Domenic Natale, whom not too many people would describe as a good QB, but I'll take what I can get.
On the negative, though, both Kenny Tate and Cameron Chism got caught on pass interference calls, and Tate and Terrell Skinner were victims of piss-poor tackling on Joe Martinek's long TD run. Those bring down what should've been an A performance.
Torrey Smith wasn't great on kickoff returns, though he was solid (and set the Maryland career KO return yardage record...in his 4th game as a sophomore). Nick Ferrara had two field goals, one of which barely snuck in after being partially blocked. Travis Baltz got hurt, and his replacement, Ted Townsley, botched a punt snap. Overall, a very average performance.
Could it have been higher than a D? Yeah, it could've probably be in the C area. But I'm still pissed that Ralph called for the punt on 4th down with 3 minutes left. Really going for the win there. Of course, Rutgers would go on to score a TD on that drive, making the score look worse than it already was, which was pretty bad. Gotta show some kind of confidence in the kids, even when they don't deserve it.
- Torrey Smith, WR - Smith's helmet will be full of stickers by the end of the year. He gets it as much for breaking the record as he does the offensive performance, which was pretty darn good in its own right.
- Adrian Moten, LB - Best player on Maryland's defense, no doubt. He was all over the field and made a few huge plays, including a sack and a few TFLs.
- Nick Ferrara, K - Okay, so he wasn't great, but neither was Townsley and I already gave Smith a helmet sticker. He made two FGs, and got back on track after a rough game last week. He has the potential to have a Novak-esque career.
- Alex Wujciak, LB - God knows I'm not giving it to anyone else on offense, though I kind of considered Ronnie Tyler for that ridiculous catch. But Wujciak's tackle on 4th and goal in the third quarter was money, and should've been a gamechanging play.