Maryland had a fourth quarter lead and nearly pulled off their first win ever in Doak Campbell Stadium, but they were unable to squash a fourth-quarter comeback as E.J. Manuel led a last minute TD drive and FSU topped the Terps, 29-26.
Plenty of good things happened for Maryland. Da'Rel Scott looked great in his first game back, Davin Meggett scored two TDs and looked like the Meggett of old, and Jamarr Robinson threw his first passing TD in his career. In the end, Maryland's defense, which made a few big plays, was the killer, as they gave up two 40+ yard runs, more than 350 yards of total offense, and couldn't come up with a stop on FSU's final game-winning drive.
On the good side, the offense was actually pretty effective. There were plenty of missed opportunities, but considering the recent performances, I was pleasantly surprised. I'm sure most of it had to do with FSU's porous, slightly better than NCSt-level defense, but I was still encouraged. The offensive line had its usual moments of mediocrity and occasional terribleness, but they also had a few times when they gave Scott and Meggett holes and Robinson time. Robinson was actually very impressive and efficient - he connected on his short throws, was 19-23 (not counting the doomed final possession), and threw his first TD of his career.
On top of that, Scott was great, and Meggett was even better. I was very impressed with both of them, and this was what we thought Maryland's running backs would be like when the season started.
Also, to be fair, Maryland's defense did make three interceptions. Those were nice.
On the bad side, the defense was absolutely horrendous outside of that. FSU put up more than 375 yards, and I wasn't even sure Maryland's defense was on the field during that final drive. They had great field position, granted, but it was still completely unacceptable. Most of the game was like that - outside of the three interceptions, FSU punted just twice.
You know the drill: some more thoughts tonight, some good, some bad, and grades tomorrow morning.
I'll leave you with this: this loss will be extremely hard for most fans, donors, and probably administration to swallow. I'd be surprised if this didn't cause some repercussions, especially with the buyout talks possibly already begun.