If you're new to the game, this is the more detailed recap. A grade for all of Maryland's positions for yesterday's 17-14 win over Navy with some time to think things over, plus four helmet stickers - essentially the best players on offense, defense, and special teams, plus one wild card.
Onwards and upwards:
QB: If Maryland had a flaw today, this was it. Jamarr Robinson had his moments for sure, including rushes of 17, 27, and 28 that made Scott McBrien look slow. But he also was entirely unable to throw the ball or read defenses; he went 2-5 for just 11 yards, his first throw was an interception, and both of his completions were short, relatively easy throws. Oh, and I just used the phrase "both of his completions," which should tell you all you need to know. He was frazzled in the pocket, seemed to look to run first, and wasn't at all encouraging.
Then again, Maryland certainly failed to give him a lot of room to play with. He did only attempt five passes, after all, and that's a mighty small sample size to make any sort of definitive statement. Still, when called upon he played poorly against a defense that really wasn't imposing and was in the 80s in pass defense last year. Maryland was able to get by on that today, but won't be able to in the future. He's a hell of a runner, but looked very one-dimensional today - and it's the wrong dimension. More on him, and Danny O'Brien, later today. C-
RB: Navy's defense is small and not particularly athletic, so I had thought Maryland's running backs would enjoy big days, and they sure did. Davin Meggett busted a 67-yarder on his second carry and followed that up with a touchdown a few plays later. Meggett really was the star; in addition to that 67-yard scamper, he had a 22-yarder in the fourth quarter that got Maryland into FG range. He only had eight carries, but went for 105 yards and had a few very timely carries.
Da'Rel Scott was nearly as good, but sat out most of the second half for reasons unknown. Mike Patrick mentioned that he had a cast on his arm, but then he was in on the next play, and hey, it's Mike Patrick: I wouldn't believe it. Still, he looked very sharp on the first drive and seems to be back: he averaged 5.8 yards per carry on his ten attempts. Even Haroon Brown at FB laid some killer blocks. You really can't ask for much more. A-
WR: What can you grade? Torrey Smith had one catch plus a backwards pass, Adrian Cannon had one. Matt Furstenburg dropped a ball. The tight ends did a good enough job of blocking and avoided any big mistakes, which is a pretty big achievement considering the top three options are out.
And...that's about it. Inc.
OL: Let's get this out of the way: Navy's defensive line is small. Like about 40 pounds smaller than Maryland's offensive line small. And that's a situation that Maryland probably won't be in again.
But you have to grade what you see, and what I saw was pretty good. Not outstanding, but miles better than last year. Maryland ran all over the field, and penalties were kept under control. The only problem was that, when Jamarr Robinson did try to throw, he was pressured occasionally. But even when he was sacked, he had an opportunity to either scramble or get the ball away. They aren't there yet, but it's an improvement. For now, no gripes. B-
DL: Joe Vellano would like to introduce himself to Maryland fans. He is, in a word, legit.
Vellano was much-ballyhooed for his surprising spring performance, and he proved on the field that he's for real. He made two huge sacks, had a big tackle for loss, and racked up an unbelievable (for the position) ten tackles. He even chased down Dobbs from behind once
Past that, they were very average. Navy had their way with the defense, but better teams than Maryland have failed to stop the Midshipmen. Bradley Johnson saw the field quite a bit at defensive end across from Drew Gloster, and looked okay in his debut; he was, at the very least, active and around the ball. Elsewhere, there wasn't a lot to go on; it's tough to judge any defense on being able to stop the triple-option. But for Vellano, the performance was (mostly) positive. C+
LB: Again, it's so difficult to give a grade at all on this because Navy is so different than anything else Maryland will face this year. Alex Wujciak had an unbelievable eighteen total tackles, but almost all of them were assists; the numbers are impressive, but he really looked out of place trying to run with the quick Navy backs.
Demetrius Hartsfield had his moments. It looked like he missed an assignment or two and should've recovered a fumble that resulted in a Navy TD, but he had his moments that looked great, too. I thought he was a player to watch, and with the spotlight on him, he was good enough.
And by the way, Wujciak might not be the best LB in this group: Adrian Moten was an absolute star today. He had the Superman tackle that was literally jaw-dropping and probably the best play of the game, but he was all-around very good. Seriously, he was all over the field. Very good performance from the senior captain. B
DB: This win was forged from a few great individual performances; Kenny Tate's might've been the biggest. Remember that big hullabaloo about those red zone stops? Well, you can chalk up two stops inside the one yard line to Tate himself. He forced a fumble on Dobbs inside the one on the first, and then made the game-saving tackle on the fourth-and-goal for the second. Oh, and he had nine solo tackles. Remember when people were wondering when he'd be a star? That's now.
After that, what can you really judge on? Navy attempted ten passes, most of them of the short variety. Cameron Chism had a nice breakup, I suppose. The run support was average, but again, the rushing attack is so different that I'm not really surprised about that. On a poor note, Dexter McDougle was burnt by Gee Gee Greene once. But the sample size was too small to make any rash judgements. B
ST: Only one negative here: the kickoff return coverage was below-average; Navy routinely started their drives around the 35. Other than that, not much more you could've asked for.
First off, Travis Baltz may steal the MVP Kicker title from Nick Ferrara. Maryland's punter not only unleashed three monster punts that averaged 53 yards/punt, including a 61-yarder; he also played double-duty, filling in for the injured Ferrara at kicker. Oh, and he only hit the game-winning field goal there.
Tony Logan wasn't a bad punt returner, either. He only got one shot, but nearly broke it for a touchdown. And with that, the search for the dynamic punt returner may have been answered. A-
Coaching: Remember when I said that Jamarr Robinson might've been Maryland's only real weak spot? Well, I forgot about the coaches.
First off, what's the deal with putting in Danny O'Brien for one play? I can understand putting him in to replace Jamarr Robinson for good, or just leaving Robinson in the game, but what's with sticking him for one play when you're already in scoring position, then pulling him for good? The decision is just too weird for justification. Apparently, it was premeditated, and that just makes it worse; giving him "game experience" at that point is just beyond explanation with Morgan State, of all teams, on the docket next week.
And what was with the playcalling? Considering this was something we talked about a lot lately, James Franklin's really not doing much to solidfy that whole "head coach in waiting" thing. The playcalling was terribly uninspired, and oscillated between dumb and predictable. The call to pass in the second quarter is questionable, and the call for a draw play on 3rd and ten is even worse. He certainly doesn't have fan support at this point.
Oh, and the time management: on the fourth-and-goal at the end of the game, Ralph Friedgen let the play-clock roll all the way down to :05 before calling his timeout. That means there were 20 fewer seconds on the clock for Maryland to play with, had Navy scored. With Torrey Smith on the team, the Terps would've had a good shot to get the ball around the 40, and having 1:10 is a lot better than having :50. D+
- Davin Meggett, RB - Who else you gonna give it to on the offense? Getting 105 yards on 8 carries is no easy feat; plus, it was his 22-yard run that set up the game-winning field goal.
- Kenny Tate, S - A forced fumble inside the one and the game-winning tackle? Seriously, this goes without saying.
- Travis Baltz, P - A 61-yard punt and a game-winning field goal. 'Nuff said.
Adrian Moten, OLB - Massive, massive tackle inside the one, plus a few jarring hits later in the game. Just beats out Joe Vellano for the final sticker.