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The Rise and Fall of Torrey Smith

Let me preface this entire thing by saying that Torrey Smith is my favorite Terp right now, right above MVP Kicker and Cinquante Neuf. He's easily one of the most talented and straight-up best players on the team, and for the first half of the year, he was without a doubt the best - sometimes only - weapon on offense.

Unfortunately, he's taken a major hit the last five weeks in terms of..well, in terms of everything. Today was a good example - twice he came close to big plays, with one TD going right through his hands. Maryland's been losing a lot lately, and his absence from the stat sheet is a reason why.

Check out the graph to see the difference from the first six games - in which he was one of the best in the ACC and leading the country in APY - and the last five, in which he's been a little above average, if that:


Maryland's record in the first 6? An unimpressive 2-4. Last five? A horrendous 0-5. Probably no correlation, but it should be noted.

He's down in every category, hasn't scored in the past five games except for one KO return, and his total yards have fallen by more than 100 a game. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out why: increased defensive pressure. The lack of a legitimate second option, other than Adrian Cannon at times, has allowed the DBs to completely focus in on Smith. Kickers have started to kick short or away from him, too.

I'm not trying to hate on Torrey, but god, I never realized how one-dimensional our offense can be at times. Throw in a consistent Torrey, and maybe Maryland pulls out NC St., Duke, or UVA. It's a shame that Torrey isn't quite as dominant as I had originally imagined, too, but I had a Michael Crabtree on steriods image - he's more of an above-average, fringe All-ACC wide receiver with a gamechanging ability.

I'm just disappointed Maryland's lack of a second option will likely keep him from first team All-ACC status.