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Maryland Marred By Strange Substitution Patterns, Among Other Things

There were a lot of things to nitpick about (TURNOVERS) from the game, but on the coaching side, one thing especially stood out to me: ridiculously strange substitutions.

Exhibit A: Da'Rel Scott, an All-ACC RB, had 13 rushes for 117 yards, a 9.0 ypc average, and a touchdown. After a single fumble early in the second quarter, he is forced to sit and watch Davin Meggett take snap...after snap...after snap in his place. While Meggett and Scott do usually rotate, it's generally not for that length of time, and there's usually much more flexibility - when Scott is killing it, as he was, and Meggett is struggling, as he was, the coaches usually turn it over to Scott. It's not tough to come to the conclusion that Scott's quarter long stay on the bench was a punishment of sorts, or at least reluctance to put him back on the field for fear of another fumble.

DRS had to wait until the second half to get a second chance, coming out and leading the Terps on their second long TD drive of the game (the first being the one capped by his 48 yard TD run). But that wouldn't last long, as he would fumble the ball away again in the late 3rd quarter, and wouldn't see the field for the rest of the game.

Remember, Scott had a 9 ypc average and 117 yards. Davin Meggett, in his place, averaged 2.8 ypc, racking up 66 fewer yards despite carrying the ball five more times.

Good decision there, coaching staff.

Look, I know that fumbles hurt - a lot. But by forcing Scott to sit on the bench for a quarter after the first one, the coaches forced him to stew and think about it, which only makes it's mental effects worse. Did that lead to the second fumble? Possibly. Regardless, if Scott is on the field for the 4th quarter, I firmly believe Maryland wins this game.

Exhibit B: The Jamarr Robinson package. Chris Turner is doing well, the offense is rolling, and in comes Jamarr Robinson to take his place. Robinson takes the same role Josh Portis had last year, running his own package with about three plays in it - run right, run left, hand it off to the RB.

Just like it was with Portis, the package was ineffective and turnover-prone. It A) takes the starter out of the flow of the game, B) only works when the QB is ultra-athletic, which Robinson is not (not a negative; I'm talking Pat White here); otherwise, it does nothing and doesn't make the defense adapt to anything, and C) leads to turnovers because the QB coming in isn't in any flow whatsoever. I was half expecting a fumble from Robinson in his two plays.

If Maryland gets up by 20, okay, bring him in to get reps. If they're losing by 30, okay, give him a shot. But in a close game in the 2nd quarter? He can stay on the bench. This actually didn't even give him any experience, because he won't be running these type of sets next year.

If Franklin or Fridge really want to get a Wildcat going, put Torrey Smith back there. He was a QB in HS and is a great athlete - he's basically perfect for that type of thing. Don't put a slightly-above average athletically guy out there in the middle of drives.

Sorry, had to get those two things off my chest. Probably done for the night - grades, more analysis, and preliminary Rutgers stuff coming tomorrow.