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Maryland 35, Cal 27 - Grades

Quarterback - Much better than the past few weeks. Chris Turner was absolutely great - he's a gamer, but he needs to show up againist lesser teams, like Eastern Michigan next week. There were times last week where I was certain he'd make a bad throw, but he made a great one. I remember one play where a linebacker came in on a blitz pretty much untouched on a third down. Turner let the ball go at the last second possible and found a receiver five yards past the first down marker on a perfect throw. He needs more of that. Grade: A

Running Back - Again, the running backs stood out. Da'Rel Scott was unstoppableDavin Meggett

until his injury in the third quarter. Then in came Davin Meggett. Meggett was actually better than Scott, averaging 6.3 yards per carry. The Terps ended up with 183 yards rushing on 37 carries, minus the QB runs/sacks. Compare that to the MTSU game, where there were only 13 carries by a RB. The more UMD runs, the better the chance they have. These RBs will certainly challenge Davis/Spiller for best in the ACC. Corey Jackson was also great yesterday, with a lot of big blocks. Grade: A

Wide Receivers - The wide receivers continuie the trend. Darrius Heyward-Bey was pretty quiet, but did have a TD. The tight ends, actually, were the ones who stood out. Lansford Watson is a great weapon who should be used more. Dan Gronkowski is at least as good as Joey Haynos was last year. No wide receiver was spectacular, buit there weren't any terrible drops, so not a bad day on that front. Grade: B

Offensive Line - As good as the running backs were, they can't do anythiing if there are no holes. The offensive line was awesome in that regard. They manhandled the Cal defensive line in the running game, and there were holes that I could've run through. In the passing game, they weren't as stellar. There were a few times when they let Cal get into the backfield quickly or untouched. Turner was sacked a little too much for my tastes. But overall, a very good job from the OL, particularly Jamie Thomas and Edwin Williams. Grade: B+

Overall Offense Grade: A

Defensive Line - Finally, sacks! There was pressure on Riley all game long. ThereD-Line
were very few plays when Riley was able to set up and have time to find a man. Whiile the linebackers had a lot to do with it, Jeremey Navarre and Dean Muhtadi found themselves in the backfield all game long. They had some problems making as many sacks as they should've (Muhtadi alone missed two or three) but at least we've finally got some. And that's not talking at all about the running game. They funneled everything to the inside and made all the tackles. Grade: A


Linebackers - Dave Philistin is officially awesome. He was all over the field, especially against the run. Alex Wujciak wasn't as good, but still solid. Moises Fokou was one of the driving forces of the great pass rush - he had the first two sacks of the game. Adrien Moten was surprisingly quiet, but he made no glaring mistakes. They, like the rest of the defense, kind of fell apart in the fourth quarter, but they did a good enough of a job to not need to be great in the 4th. Grade: B+

Secondary - The secondary was terrible in the fourth quarter. They couldn't cover to save their lives. Tight ends, wide outs, running backs - everyone burned them. Kevin Riley, a QB who's struggled the first two games, torched them. But with all that said, they were good enough. I don't know how many times I'm going to say this - they were bend, not break, all game long (until the fourth). That's going to come back to bite them, but it didn't today. Grade: B

Overall Defense Grade: A-

Coaching - Well, I thought they did absolutely great for the first three quarters. And the offense, all four quarters. But Chris Cosh, when he went to the prevent, nearly lost this game. James Franklin did great, and Ralph was fine. But someone needs to override Cosh when he switches to a prevent in the fourth. Grade: B+