Yessir, appears my "feeling" had something behind it (not that I'm bragging, or anything). It was definitely one of the more satisfying second halves in a long while, but that really made the first half even more disappointing. It's disappointing that it took a DHB end-around to finally get the team to care. Here's what James Franklin had to say on it:
It’s very frustrating and very exciting at the same time. Because he have a chance to be very good. Hopefully the light’s going to go on. With the two wins that we’ve had and then this one, hopefully that’s going to give us momentum.
I agree, James.
Chris Turner was absolutely phenomenal today, at least in the second half. He was a little rattled after a big hit, but he ended up bouncing back and just tearing through the secondary. He found the open guy under pressure several times today, and that's the Chris Turner that everyone was calling to get the opening day start. If he can play like this throughout the ACC season, I really think this team has a chance.
Da'Rel Scott was a bit disappointing, but he did make a few big plays. I have a feeling he's not quite 100% just yet. Torrey Smith was a stud today: he led the team with 98 all-purpose yards, including a few nice kickoff returns and that big touchdown to keep the Terps in the game.
The difference between the first and second halves is astronomical. I can't stop raving about this team, but it's important to note how bad the team was in the first half. This will come back and kill them eventually, unless they are able to fix it.
The defense was run over, and the offense couldn't execute when the defense actually made a stop or gifted them a short field. Really, Clemson's own lack of execution kept Maryland in the game.
But back to good news: the defense was great in the second half, as Clemson was only able to muster 31 rushing yards in the last two quarters. The special teams was equally great, as Obi Egekeze was able to hit two chip shots and Travis Baltz really showed his worth as a great punter.
The performance wasn't great - it left a lot to be desired, especially in the first half - but I'm contented and proud after the comeback. It looks like it'll be a good weekend.