This game is scary. Can you imagine if this is the effort the team gave against Clemson or Florida State? Yikes. This may be a painful year.
Anyway, because every sports blog must somehow rate their team's performance, I'm doing a grading system. Off we go...
Quarterbacks – This game has raised quite a lot of fears at this position for me. Jordan Steffy confirmed, to me at least, that he’s not good enough to start for an ACC team at quarterback: two picks, a couple sacks that were his fault, a bunch of underthrown balls, etc. I think (well, hope) Fridge agrees with me; he did take out Steffy in the second half. But the scary thing is, Turner really didn’t fare much better. Now, people will say that Turner is a gamer and will turn it on when we play a “real” team, but Maryland almost lost this game, and a big reason was quarterback play. Josh Portis, shockingly, played the best of any QB, and he had only four or five plays out there. Unless one of the three (yes, Portis is now a legit contender) can separate themselves, it’ll be a very long year. Grade: D+
Running Backs – Whereas QB scared me, the running backs soothed me. Da’Rel Scott had a hell of a game. He’s a legit running back, far better than the combo of Ball and Lattimore. If Scott plays at the level he did yesterday all year, he’ll be on the all-conference team at the end of the season. Davin Meggett also impressed me. Forget that he’s a two-star true freshman getting playing time in the first game – he did very well when he had the ball in his hands. Meggett needs some experience, but by the time ACC football rolls around, I expect the Meggett and Scott combo to be right behind the Davis/Spiller combo of Clemson. Grade: A
Wide Receivers – Hard to judge, due to the bad performance of the QBs. Heyward-Bey had a great first half, but did nothing in the second (that wasn’t particularly his fault). LaQuan Williams had a few grabs, as did Ronnie Tyler. Really, no one stood out. A wholly average game from this group. Grade: C+
Offensive Line – Overall, a good job. A few holding calls that were unnecessary that really hurt some drives, but that was really the only flaw. They opened up a ton of holes for Scott and Meggett, everyone on the line really excelled there. They could be blamed for a few sacks, but those were as much the QB’s fault as the line’s. It wasn’t a great game from this group, but it was good enough. Grade: B
Overall Offense Grade: C+
Defensive Line – Decent game from the defensive line. Nothing really spectacular, just like the rest of the defense. We may run into some problems against teams like Clemson – teams that really like to run the ball and are really good at it. Getting pressure on the QB was a problem at times as well. That said, the line was never dominated fully, so they don't really deserve a bad grade. A very average performance. Grade: C+
Linebackers – Did not impress me as much as I thought they would’ve. Wujciak got around, but Philistin missed a few big tackles. Other than that, the group was pretty quiet. For the group that was supposed to be the strongest part of the team, I was slightly disappointed. Grade: C+
Defensive Backs – Better than the rest of the defense. No one got beat horribly. They held Delaware to just 128 yards passing. Both Barnes and Skinner had interceptions. Really, Skinner impressed me. He had a few mental lapses that come with starting in his first game, but he played much better than I expected. I used to be on Antwine Perez’s horse, but I fully support Skinner after this game. Grade: A-
Overall Defense: B+
Player of the Game: Da'Rel Scott - Pretty easy decision. He dominated from the start and might be the best player on the team not named Heyward-Bey.
Overall Team Grade: C
Just two scores against Delaware? Come on guys. Other teams beat their week one opponents handily; look at Oklahoma, LSU, even Miami. Maryland, alas, doesn't. Hopefully this is like almost every other Fridge team - slow start, good finish. If not, we're in for an extremely long season.