I don't want to dwell on it. You probably don't want to dwell on it. All I want to do is go to sleep. But I'm going to go over the positives, because I want to feel good. Then, because I'm a masochist, I'll go over the negatives, too.
It's clear to me that Maryland is better than the score indicated. The first few drives weren't major disasters, and actually gave me some hope. Then a 84 yard touchdown from Jahvid Best and a Torrey Smith fumble basically ended the game. Maryland lost all emotion, and it was clear they were just going through the motions, trying to get home as soon as possible. Of course, that just compounds upon itself and makes it worse. If Best is contained on that run, or Smith holds on to the ball, who knows what happens?
The most important development of the night was Nick Ferrara's job kicking. It was flawless - 2 for 2 - and solidified his job. Having a solid kicker all year could be huge.
In terms of good players, Davin Meggett and Da'Rel Scott showed some of what made people love them last year. Only now and again, but they were there. Anthony Wiseman made a lot of mistakes, but consistently bounced back well and had a few key pass breakups. Terrell Skinnner had a couple of nice hits, and one big pass breakup. Masengo Kabongo looked okay in limited time. Lansford Watson had some very good plays, too.
There were flashes of what we all though Don Brown's defense would be. Like Meggett and Scott, it wasn't consistent, but Riley was pressured a few times with that blitzing scheme.
Pretty sure that's it. On the negative side...well, I can't list everything, but here's some of the choice bad things.
The offensive line wasn't a complete, unmitigated, Titanic-level disaster, but they've got a very long way to go until they can even be called average. Paul Pinegar got beaten badly a few times, Justin Lewis blocked a LB into Chris Turner, and there were a ridiculous amount of penalties. That's not even including just general breakdowns: it seems like every 3rd down and every time Maryland got any momentum, Cal had a sack. Completely unacceptable.
The run blocking was almost as bad. Holes were few and far between, and neither Da'Rel Scott nor Davin Meggett had anything to work with most of the game. Near the end, the line started to pull together and open some holes, but it was far too late.
I know I just mentioned this, but the penalties need to be mentioned again. There were way too many to be competitive, both on the line and on the defense.
On a similar note, Maryland hurt themselves a lot. Both Torrey Smith and Chris Turner had key fumbles, and that - like the penalties - can't happen once they get to ACC play.
The defense was gashed. As one Twitterer so eloquently put it, "You could drive an 18-wheeler through Maryland's front seven". And he was right. Jahvid Best and Shane Vereen both had big runs, and when they didn't break a homerun, they were picking up five to seven yards with consistency.
Then Cal's passing game - supposedly the weak point of the Golden Bears - saw success, too. Corners were beaten with ease, and the ridiculous talent at safety was basically invisible. Nolan Carroll, who was supposed to have a break out season, and still may, was beaten badly a few times, and got pushed around by weak blockers.
Coaching - both offensively and defensively - wasn't much better. I can't remember how many times Maryland ran a QB draw on 3rd and long, and they failed consistently. Neither the offense nor the defense adapted to the whupping Cal was handing them, and that gets placed on James Franklin, Don Brown, and Ralph Friedgen. Even worse, Jamarr Robinson, Gary Douglas, and Kevin Dorsey didn't see the field with any amount of meaningful playing time. I'm not sure if the coaches thought there was a chance to come back with 3 minutes while down by 39, but they were determined to keep in Turner and Scott.
That about sums it up. Some positivity and more analysis coming tomorrow.