Hate to make you all relive it, but it's a weekly thing, y'know? Recap is here.
The pass-rush, particularly from Keith Bowers and Marcus Whitfield. It's actually been one of Maryland's bright spots for several weeks now, back from when they had more sacks against Notre Dame than the Irish had conceded all year. They got another four on Mike Glennon on Saturday, and often got pressure on him when they didn't actually bring him down. All this despite consistently rushing only three or four. I mention Bowers and Whitfield because they were often in the backfield, but much of it also had to do with Joe Vellano, Andre Monroe, and A.J. Francis, who got a lot of penetration up the middle. That causes problems.
Kevin Dorsey. I don't remember any big drops, and he looked like his old self, with three catches, a touchdown, and a big 59-yard reception. Still think he has late-round NFL potential.
Dexter McDougle. Was tested much more today and was a part of the defensive break-down, but also broke up two downfield passes with good coverage and had the 66-yard scoop-and-score, which Maryland has consistently bumbled away all year. He got beaten once badly and another time in an intermediate route, so he isn't there yet, but I do think he has the potential to be Maryland's next Josh Wilson/Kevin Barnes type.
D.J. Adams. Three carries, one of which went 33 yards and another of which gave the Terrapins a first-down on a third-and-short. And then promptly returned to the doghouse. Why doesn't he play more?
And that's everyone.
C.J. Brown. By its very nature, a game like this - where a team plays out of his mind (in a good way) and then out of its mind (in a bad way) - will have lots of people in the "hold" category. Brown is one of those guys. His first half was as well as he's played at any time this year - he threw 9-13 with two rushing touchdowns, withstanding N.C. State's attempt to pressure him and finding the open receiver more often than not. And he was as good on the ground as he's ever been, going for over 100 yards if you take out the sacks and looking quick and elusive.
Of course, the second half was disastrous by comparison, with a 3-10 mark and two interceptions. Part of that has to do with Crowton's playcalling (stop even giving him the option of going deep, and keep going to the zone-read, for God's sake). But it also showcased that he struggles with pressure and is prone to making the occasional bad decisions. I also have some questions about his ability to calm down a huddle - when things went bad, the sort-of snowballed, and while I'm not at all in the huddle, you'd think that some quarterbacks would be able to perhaps work against that. All speculation, so take it for what it's worth (not too much).
I've always been driving the Brown bandwagon, but even I have some serious worries about trying to make him a starting quarterback. I still love his talent and athleticism, but Saturday didn't do too much to change my thoughts.
Davin Meggett. I'm more sad to see Meggett leave than any other senior. He had his flaws - bouncing everything outside, for instance - but always had heart and fight. He showcased that on Saturday with even more hard running, consistently breaking tackles and fighting for yards. Problem is, that same effort got him in a little trouble, too, fumbling away a critical ball that set up N.C. State at the Maryland 26 and gave them a touchdown.
Unfortunately, when you're a senior, you have to know better than that. I love the guy and respect the huge effort he gave, including the big 46-yard touchdown, but an experienced player just can't do that.
A.J. Hendy. Took an interception back to the house, showcasing some of his athleticism and play-making ability I love so much. But he also got caught in coverage too much for my liking. He'll get better. Still think he's a future star.
Demetrius Hartsfield. Ended up with 18 tackles, but only 11 of those were solo and he was beaten a fair amount in coverage. It's not exactly his game.
Michael Tart. The walk-on kicker replaced Nick Ferrara after his injury and was more or less decent. His four punts averaged 34 yards, which isn't good, and he did miss one of his three extra points, but hey, c'mon: he's a back-up, walk-on kicker who's basically never played and certainly wasn't ready. What did you expect?
Justus Pickett. Five carries. Negative five yards.
Quintin McCree. On Maryland's final possession, he had a first down by about three yards. Then, trying to extend the play, reversed his field ... and went backwards. And was then tackled. Giving up the first down for a 2nd and 3. Maryland got the first down on the next play, but that's just silly.
Trenton Hughes. Not only did he consistently get beaten down the field, he also pitched in with a pass interference and a roughing the passer.
Team discipline. Let's see here: Marcus Whitfield had a roughing the passer that put the Wuffies in the Maryland red zone and led to a touchdown. Hughes had a pass interference on a third-and-ten that extended their drive and led to their first touchdown of the comeback. He also had a roughing the passer that - yes, you guessed it - extended the N.C. State drive and led to a touchdown. A kick-catch interference by Tim Downs gave N.C. State the ball at the 43 and led to a touchdown.
These are serious, important penalties, and there are no excuses.
The Tony Logan Wildcat. One play, botched snap, negative-five yards. A) Why trot that out? B) If you're going to trot that out, why wait until now to do it?
Run blocking and the ground game in the second half. I'm so used to blaming Gary Crowton for Maryland's offensive struggles, but really, he didn't force Brown to throw it that much, if at all. Brown should be throwing it about 23 times, especially when the team is trailing. So that's some progress. But if you're a run-based offense, you have to be able to run block. Maryland failed miserably there, particularly in the second half. Davin Meggett had the huge run early in the third quarter. Other than that, the running backs had a 1.67 ypc average in the second half. Tough to win games when you base your offense on the running game and the running game can't produce.
Time of possession (partially by way of Gary Crowton). Two defensive touchdowns makes it pretty tough to break even in the TOP category, but 25-35 is still a pretty poor split. It drops Maryland to 119th nationally in time of possession, meaning the defense has been on the field for more time than any other D in the country, save Oregon. (And more plays than any save Texas A&M and Tulsa.) One of those teams has a boatload of defensive talent and depth. The other does not. Which is a big reason why designing a quick-strike offense made no sense.
Pass coverage. There were consistent, regular breakdowns in coverage all day long, especially during the comeback. The example I like the best: on a 4th-and-12 that could've ended the entire comeback (based on the momentum), Maryland rushed three. They still got pressure on Mike Glennon, who was forced to escape the pocket. And he found an open man for about 13 yards. People hated on Bradford for only rushing three, but they still got to Glennon and forced him to make a bad throw. When your eight can't cover their five, that's a serious problem.
Randy Edsall. If there was any way for him to lose ground after this season, he found the perfect way to do it.
And not just beacuse his coordinators failed. Or because his players failed to execute or committed silly penalties (which, by the way, is partially on him).
Mostly because, when stuff went wrong, more stuff went wrong. It snowballed. Maryland is a team with no confidence or self-belief, something that's painfully obvious at this point. (I used this example before, but a freshman CB who's being redshirted tweeted "How did I know this would happen?" after the comeback. That is a systematic problem.) And when the snowball came rolling down the hill, Edsall didn't, or couldn't, get in the way.
I don't know if he's just a terrible motivator. Or if the team isn't "buying in" to whatever it is that they're selling him. But for whatever reason he's not getting through and he isn't able to motivate them, calm them down when they get antsy, or ... well, do anything mental to help these guys out. When something this big happens, it showcases a serious problem in the coaching staff in getting the attention of their guys and getting the train back on the rails.
It also doesn't exactly bode well for the future.
- Davin Meggett, RB. Helmet Stickers focuses on the positives more than the negatives, and Meggett not only ran like it was the last game of his life (it might've been), he had the big touchdown, too.
- Joe Vellano, DT. Because, once again, he caused problems in the middle of the line.
- Kevin Dorsey, WR. Looked like his old self. Hopefully that's still him next year.
- Dexter McDougle, CB. Showcased some of the potential I love so much to be an ACC-level #1.