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Maryland-FIU review - The O'Brien era begins

By Rick Nelligan

During the broadcast of the Terps-FIU game on ESPNU, commentators Rob Stone and David Pollack called this game a no-win situation for the Terps. If we won, there were no style points to be had. If we lost, the Terps would sink deeper and deeper into despair. Those who just saw the score on the bottom ticker and don’t know a lot about Terp Football wouldn’t take much notice of an ACC team beating a team from the Sun Belt Conference. I COMPLETELY disagree.

For the loyal Terps fans and the Terps program as a whole, this win is a bigger deal than it seems. FIU is a quality football team, possibly the best 0-3 team in the nation. They gave both Rutgers and Texas A&M, two teams predicted to be better than Maryland, a run for their money. Also, don’t forget that Maryland has lost to a team from the Sun Belt Conference two years in a row (Middle Tennessee State.) This win doesn’t bring us any closer to the Top 25 or an ACC Championship. However, it does mean that Maryland is still a competitive program. And as fans, it allows us to still have hope for this season, heading into our ACC schedule.

The story of the day came on offense, with redshirt freshman quarterback Danny O’Brien getting the start. Fellow fan blogger Ryan Broadwater posed the question of who should start at quarterback for the Terps this week. Well the Terrapin coaches answered, and they answered correctly.

O’Brien came in and had 18 completions on 27 attempts for 250 yards and two touchdowns. Those aren’t spectacular numbers, but considering what the FIU secondary did to the quarterbacks of Rutgers and Texas A&M, it was an outstanding day. Torrey Smith also had another exceptional day. He hauled in eight catches for 159 yards, including a 68 yard touchdown catch, even while limping to the sidelines after seemingly every Terrapin series of the second half. And then there was the group who may be the MVP’s of the day, the Terps much maligned offensive line. Despite their injuries and struggles against West Virginia last week, they only allowed two sacks and paved the way for two explosive runs by stud running backs Da’Rel Scott and Davin Meggett.

On defense the Terps did not play very well. They gave up 28 points and 472 yards.An astronomical 355 of those came through the air. FIU also drove the ball deep into Maryland territory twice but failed to capitalize, once due to an interception by Trenton Hughes, and the second after turning the ball over on downs inside the Maryland five yard line. On the bright side, the Terps run defense was stout. The unit only gave up an average of 2.9 yards per carry, and created two huge turnovers in the second half, the first of which was an interception by Adrian Moten that set up a Maryland touchdown, and the second was the interception by Hughes.

So, ladies and gentleman, this game wraps up the Terps out-of-conference schedule and brings us to the all important ACC schedule. There is definitely room for improvement for the, yet hope springs eternal in College Park after a 3-1 start, already eclipsing the two wins from last year. It’s time to take care of business, but I have confidence in Coach Friedgen and in our Terps. It’s time to show the nation that it’s time to “Fear the Turtle,” yet again! Bring on the ACC! Go Terps!

Also, check back on Wednesday for a tribute to Maryland’s Mens Basketball Coach Gary Williams as he gets inducted into the Sports Legends Museum Hall of Legends in Baltimore.

By Box Seats blogger  | September 26, 2010; 11:34 AM ET
Categories:  Rick Nelligan, Terps  | Tags:  Maryland-FIU  
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