One thing that is great about the offseason in any sport is that it allows you the opportunity to dream and fantasize about a variety of topics before the regular season gets under way. In EA Sports' NCAA Football 2013, they've given fans the opportunity to make some of those fantasies into a virtual reality by allowing you to use any former Heisman Trophy winner on your favorite team. This is a nice feature for Maryland fans because, well, we've never had a Heisman trophy winner and after the 2-10 disaster that was last season, it would be fun to think about what life would be like if we had a Heisman trophy winner on our team. The closest we've gotten to that was Maryland's attempt to have LaMont Jordan as a Heisman candidate in 2000.
As a result of this new feature, I decided to think about what it would have been like if RG3 had gone to Maryland, rather than Baylor. There is no logic behind this, I've just always wanted an awesome dual-threat quarterback at Maryland and he definitely fits the bill. The question then becomes what past Maryland team would you want RG3 on? I thought about this for a while and came up with a number of options: the 2001-02 Orange Bowl team, the 2002-03 Peach Bowl Team, and the 2003-04 Gator Bowl team all come to mind. But those teams all had great seasons without RG3. I want to put him on a team that under achieved but was still talented and desperately needed a quarterback. Oh, hello 2004 Maryland team.
If you remember back to the 2004 season, Maryland was coming off an unprecedented back to back to back 10+ win seasons. Lots of people and fans were talking about Friedgen and Maryland football, something that Maryland fans weren't used to. The program was getting a lot of respect nationally and despite losing arguably their best player in Scott McBrien to graduation, Maryland still began the season ranked #20/22. They even climbed as high as #19 before the wheels of the season began to fall off.
The Terps had a great defense in 2004. The only really bad game the defense had was the 55-6 massacre that occurred in Blacksburg against Virginia Tech in the 2nd to last game of the season. I remember that game well because a few friends and I took a last minute road trip down there to see that game, convinced that Maryland would shock the Hokies and stay in bowl contention. Instead, we endured a looooong drive home after one of the worst performances I've seen. But I digress. Aside from that game, the most points Maryland's defense allowed was 22. What they really needed was a solid quarterback. While I'm sure Joel Statham was a great guy, he wasn't a good quarterback. Had he been a good quarterback, Maryland probably would have won 10 regular season games and and at least gone to a good bowl game. Instead, they finished 5-6. But what if we had RG3 under center that year...
Here is how the 2004 season shook out. Thanks to Terrapinstats.com for this chart
|09/04/2004||Northern Illinois||W||23||20||College Park, MD||recap|
|09/11/2004||Temple||W||45||22||College Park, MD||recap|
|09/18/2004||West Virginia||L||16||19||Morgantown, WV||recap|
|10/09/2004||Georgia Tech||L||7||20||College Park, MD||recap|
|10/16/2004||North Carolina St.||L||3||13||College Park, MD||recap|
|10/30/2004||Florida St.||W||20||17||College Park, MD||recap|
|11/18/2004||Virginia Tech||L||6||55||Blacksburg, VA||recap|
|11/27/2004||Wake Forest||W||13||7||College Park, MD|
For every game aside from the Virginia Tech game, Maryland was definitely within striking distance. They lost those five games by an average of nine points and two they lost by just three points. Now imagine if rather than Statham, we had RG3. First off, the excitement surrounding the season would have been insane. Maryland probably would have been a top 10 team. That team, which as I mentioned before was great defensively with Foxworth, Barnes, D'Qwell Jackson, among others, also had Vernon Davis, Steve Suter, and Joey Haynos. Not imagine RG3 running the show, teamed up with Lance Ball, Josh Allen & Keon Lattimore in the backfield. I'm drooling thinking about how much better we could have utilized Vernon Davis with RG3 and how we would have had a 4th consecutive 10+ win season, perhaps winning the ACC and making another trip to the Orange Bowl. Hell, with RG3, maybe we beat Tech in Blacksburg and are playing for a national title.
If it was up to you, which Heisman winner would you want on Maryland and which team would you put them on?
This post was sponsored by EA Sports NCAA Football 13. Check out the video for the game below.
EA SPORTS NCAA Football 13 TV: "Son" (via EASPORTS)