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Maryland Scrimmage Roundup: Defensive Dominance; Tate, Porzel Shine

I wasn't at the scrimmage, but I did read ever scrimmage report I could find. See, that's how much I love you guys. Here's the recap, so you don't have to do the same. If you want to, though, Pat Stevens and Terrapins Insider have or will have a lot on the scrimmage, or you could check out the official recap.

  • The Defense Won: Yes, the defense was overwhelming. The offense still couldn't pick up the myriad blitz packages, and it brought the ball to a grinding halt or, worse, put it in reverse.
  • It Might Not've Been the Best Indicator Anyway: Chris Turner sat almost every snap. So did Phil Costa. Da'Rel Scott only had a few touches. For the most part, this was the second-team offense.
  • Kenny Tate Dominated: Barring some disaster, I'd be surprised if Kenny Tate isn't first team all-ACC by his junior year. Absurdly talented with great athleticism and surprisingly comfortable on defense, he has all the tools to be a huge playmaker this year. He'll be at any number of positions - safety, linebacker, a hybrid rover-like spot - and will probably dominate most of them. He had five tackles, two for loss, plus a sack and an interception. Might've been the best player yesterday.
  • Freshmen Running Backs Impress: Caleb Porzel had every yard on the first scoring drive on 5 carries for 48 yards, including a 44 yarder to the 6. He would later leave the game with an MCL sprain, and is expected to be out for a few days, but he may be this year's Davin Meggett, only higher ranked. Meanwhile, D.J. Adams was no slouch, adding six carries for 24 yards.
  • Freshmen Quarterbacks Didn't: It wasn't a big surprise, but it was still a small disappointment. C.J. Brown was 4 for 13 for 32 yards with a pick. Danny O'Brien didn't fare much better, going 3 for 5 for just seven yards with an interception. Jamarr Robinson, meanwhile, probably locked up his spot.
  • Kickers Are Still Undecided: Mike Barbour took slight lead in the competition, but couldn't put it away. He was 4-6, with a long of 47. Nick Wallace wasn't far behind; even though he went 2-4, both of his misses were from 45+ yards. True frosh Nick Ferrara - still my bet to win the spot - missed his only FG, from 47 yards out.
  • Some Surprise Contributors on Defense: I have to admit, there were a lot of guys that I was shocked to see made significant contributions. Obum Akunyili - whom you may remember from last season's Terrapins Rising - had two sacks on the day. So did DE competitor Derek Drummond. Brandon Jackson-Mills, a redshirt junior who's impact has been minimal so far, had three tackles and an interception. Eric Franklin, a true freshman safety who wasn't highly ranked, had an interception and a sack. Avery Murray and Darin Drakeford, both true freshmen linebackers competing to see time, had 5 and 3 tackles, respectively, and both had a sack. While each of these guys may have improved from last year, Don Brown's new scheme has to have something to do with this, too.