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Terrapins Insider: September 28, 2008 - October 4, 2008

Ten Things We Learned

Here are 10 things we learned from tonight's 31-0 Virginia victory: 1) Maryland can win or lose any game left on the schedule. 2) Injuries in the secondary are having a significant impact on the defense. 3) Leadership is a...

By Eric Prisbell  |  October 4, 2008; 11:58 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
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Friedgen: I am Not Reaching Players

Just got back from the Maryland locker room. Ralph Friedgen, frankly, seemed out of answers. He said he is not reaching the players. He said they lacked focus. You know how it is, they have been through this before, like...

By Eric Prisbell  |  October 4, 2008; 10:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (17)
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Poll: Is This Game Over?

Wow. 21-0. Maryland has made one of the nation's worst offenses look good. poll by twiigs.com...

By Eric Prisbell  |  October 4, 2008; 8:26 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (32)
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14-0 Cavaliers, Here We Go Again?

Virginia QB Marc Verica just ran it in from five yards out to give the Cavaliers a stunning 14-0 lead. It's still early, but no one quite saw this coming. So far, Virginia has a 51-yard touchdown pass and a...

By Eric Prisbell  |  October 4, 2008; 7:53 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
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Virginia Finally Throws a TD Pass

This was the fear for the Terps, that U-Va. would gain some confidence by scoring early. QB Marc Verica's 51-yard touchdown pass to Kevin Ogletree (Anthony Wiseman was unable to tackle him before he crossed the goal line) gives the...

By Eric Prisbell  |  October 4, 2008; 7:33 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
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Lackluster Start

What does everyone make of this so far? Maryland is having trouble moving the ball. Virginia had a 10-play drive but only got to the Maryland 43. Let me remind everyone that Virginia ranks last nationally in scoring offense, averaging...

By Eric Prisbell  |  October 4, 2008; 7:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
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Poll: Who is Maryland's Most Important Player tonight?

Maryland could use big games out of a number of players, but who is the most important player tonight for the Terps? poll by twiigs.com...

By Eric Prisbell  |  October 4, 2008; 6:57 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
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Lots of Empty Seats

Fans are still filing into Scott Stadium, but the upper deck behind the end zone is pretty much empty. Twelve minutes until kickoff. The easy prediction tonight is a blowout for Maryland. But I have polled a good number of...

By Eric Prisbell  |  October 4, 2008; 6:51 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
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Live from Scott Stadium Press Box

You are looking LIVE at the Scott Stadium open press box. Seemed pretty empty on the drive to the stadium. We'll see if fans turn out for what could be the last stand for Al Groh's Cavaliers this season. Zach...

By Eric Prisbell  |  October 4, 2008; 5:39 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
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Five Questions for Terps-U-Va.

Before I hit the road for Charlottesville, here are five key questions for tonight’s game: 1) Can Maryland put together a complete game? The Terps played well for three quarters against Cal. They played well, or well enough, in the...

By Eric Prisbell  |  October 4, 2008; 9:49 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
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A Lesson in Trash Talking

Saturday night’s game in Charlottesville is supposed to be the next chapter in an intense rivalry. That may be the case, but there has been hardly any true trash talking all week. Maryland and U-Va. players fall woefully short in...

By Eric Prisbell  |  October 3, 2008; 7:04 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
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Penn State, Virginia Wanted Scott

I have more extra stuff that never made it into my Da’Rel Scott feature from last week. When I went up to Scott’s hometown in Conshohocken, Pa., I also met with his former high school coaches. They told me how...

By Eric Prisbell  |  October 3, 2008; 4:39 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
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Gronkowski a Semifinalist for Draddy Trophy

This slipped through the cracks in my e-mail inbox yesterday, but Maryland senior tight end Dan Gronkowski has been named a semifinalist for the Draddy Trophy, college football's most prestigious academic honor. The rest of the news release: Gronkowski is...

By Eric Prisbell  |  October 3, 2008; 3:09 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
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Scott Stadium at Night

Okay, we know Virginia is probably the second worst team from a BCS conference right now (The Cuse has to be the worst, right?). But this is still a night game at Scott Stadium, and Virginia has won five straight...

By Eric Prisbell  |  October 3, 2008; 12:23 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
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Official Prediction Thread

This is the official predictions thread, so I want everyone to let ‘em fly here so we can see who is on the mark tomorrow night. The game is on ESPNU tomorrow night, but I encourage everyone to stop by...

By Eric Prisbell  |  October 3, 2008; 10:56 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (17)
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Most Memorable Maryland-Virginia Games

We debated earlier in the week just how big a rivalry Maryland-Virginia really is, and on the eve of the game it occurs to me that one of the key ingredients to any respectable rivalry, apart from mutual animosity, is...

By Matthew Rennie  |  October 3, 2008; 9:03 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (23)
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Poll: How Hot is Groh's Seat?

Check out Zach Berman's story today about the state of the Virginia program. Virginia Coach Al Groh is talking about 100-hour work weeks ... Groh is under contract for three more seasons after this season. Despite winning nine games last...

By Eric Prisbell  |  October 3, 2008; 7:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
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Former Terp Novak Talks Obi, Kicking

I talked to current Kansas City Chiefs kicker and former Maryland kicker Nick Novak on the phone for a while about Obi Egekeze and kicking in general for my story that ran today. Check out my piece on Egekeze's turnaround....

By Eric Prisbell  |  October 3, 2008; 6:51 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
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U-Va. Injury Report

Here is the official injury report for Virginia: University of Virginia Football Injury Report Game 4 vs. Maryland Issued: Thursday, Oct. 2 This report is compiled by the University of Virginia Sports Medicine staff under the direction of Dr. David...

By Eric Prisbell  |  October 2, 2008; 10:04 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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U-Va. Injury Report: LG is Out, 17-year-old will Play

Our U-Va. and Virginia Tech beat writer, Zach Berman, is somewhere in the state of Virginia at this moment, but through the magic of the Internet he has passed along this tidbit from Virginia's injury report: "Just got Virginia's injury...

By Eric Prisbell  |  October 2, 2008; 8:18 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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Injury Report: Carroll Out; Scott Fine

Here is Maryland's official injury report for the U-Va. game. Again, Nolan Carroll is out and Da'Rel Scott is fine and ready to go. Maryland Injury Report – 10-02-08 (Virginia game) Out for Season: Kevin Dorsey (foot) Dominique Herald (knee)...

By Eric Prisbell  |  October 2, 2008; 8:14 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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Sign Ban Lifted at Scott Stadium

Big news bulletin for Saturday's game: Virginia has rescinded a ban on signs at its football games, calling the policy a distraction. Athletic Director Craig Littlepage says in a statement released by the school that the football team needs support....

By Matthew Rennie  |  October 2, 2008; 7:12 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
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Scott Getting Tougher

When I wrote my lengthy feature on Da’Rel Scott, one thing that his former high school coaches kept telling me was how he has always battled nagging injuries. It goes back to at least when he was in nine grade....

By Eric Prisbell  |  October 2, 2008; 6:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
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The Play: Fake 39 Z Reverse Right

A few readers have asked me to post the link to the YouTube clip of Darrius Heyward-Bey's 76-yard reverse. So here it is. Enjoy....

By Eric Prisbell  |  October 2, 2008; 4:18 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
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Poll: Palin, Biden and Football

Time to be a little creative because I'm really fired up for this debate tonight. The Sarah Palin-Joe Biden matchup tonight most resembles what college football matchup Saturday? Take this question any direction you wish. And feel free to explain...

By Eric Prisbell  |  October 2, 2008; 2:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (18)
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Friedgen to O-line: Produce or Sit

We go through this each week: The offensive line was supposed to be one of the ACC’s strongest. But it has been nothing if not inconsistent. The Terps were fortunate to win last week even though the line made several...

By Eric Prisbell  |  October 2, 2008; 1:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
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Perez at Linebacker

One player to keep an eye on Saturday is Maryland safety Antwine Perez, who is now expected to play backup to Moise Fokou at outside linebacker because Adrian Moten is sidelined for at least a month with torn ligaments in...

By Eric Prisbell  |  October 2, 2008; 12:06 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
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Thursday Practices? Not So Good

Today is Thursday, and Maryland typically does not practice well on Thursdays. Coach Ralph Friedgen is getting fed up with that habit. For the season’s first month, Friedgen has had players go light on Thursday in hopes of avoiding injury...

By Eric Prisbell  |  October 2, 2008; 10:51 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
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Terps 'Money' on Turnovers

Maryland has made the most of turnovers the past two games. Against Eastern Michigan, Adrian Moten and Jamari McCollough each made interceptions in the first half that were converted into scores. The Terps also scored a fied goal set up...

By Eric Prisbell  |  October 2, 2008; 9:10 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
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Poll: Why Only 12 Catches for Heyward-Bey?

I will have tidbits all day today, but check out my story that ran today on Darrius Heyward-Bey’s opportunities with the ball. It has definitely been a situation of quality over quantity. What I found interesting was that Heyward-Bey has...

By Eric Prisbell  |  October 2, 2008; 6:10 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
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Terps JV Game is On

True to his word, Ralph Friedgen is planning to hold the JV game on Monday. I think it is still slated for Byrd Stadium, but I'll have to get final word on that. Friedgen is not sure whether to make...

By Eric Prisbell  |  October 1, 2008; 8:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
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Groh on Heyward-Bey

I have a story running in tomorrow’s paper about whether Maryland is getting the ball to Darrius Heyward-Bey enough. There are some interesting statistics, but I’ll save them for the story and we can discuss them here tomorrow. But our...

By Eric Prisbell  |  October 1, 2008; 5:26 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
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Steffy Honored

Maryland QB Jordan Steffy has received national recognition. Here is the press release: WACO, Texas – University of Maryland senior quarterback Jordan Steffy has been selected to the 2008 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team in recognition of his tireless community...

By Eric Prisbell  |  October 1, 2008; 4:53 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
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Don't Fire Al Groh Dot Com

Creating Web sites dedicated to encouraging the firing of the struggling head coach at your favorite school is so 2001. Now we have people creating sites dedicated to encouraging the retention of struggling coaches at opposing schools. Consider this site,...

By Eric Prisbell  |  October 1, 2008; 4:16 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
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Quick Injury Update

Maryland offensive coordinator James Franklin said running back Da'Rel Scott is about 80 percent this week. Scott, who had 23 carries against Clemson, is still nursing a sore shoulder and is listed as questionable this week. Tight end Dan Gronkowski...

By Eric Prisbell  |  October 1, 2008; 2:22 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
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Injury Report Questions

I talked to Ralph Friedgen yesterday about the ACC’s injury report policy, which asks teams to disclose a list of injuries after Thursday’s practice. From a reporter’s standpoint, I’m fairly interested in this policy. But I’m not sure how interesting...

By Eric Prisbell  |  October 1, 2008; 12:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
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Friedgen: We Need More Offensive Leadership

Ralph Friedgen just finished up his teleconference on the ACC call. He said once again that he needs more leadership on the offensive side. Who does everyone think needs to step up there? Darrius Heyward-Bey? Chris Turner? Edwin Williams? Da’Rel...

By Eric Prisbell  |  October 1, 2008; 12:11 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
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Groh on ACC Teleconference

Just finished with Al Groh’s teleconference. He praised Maryland, saying the Terrapins have two quality wins (two more than Virginia has). And he said Maryland has one of the most exciting players in college football, an apparent reference to Darrius...

By Eric Prisbell  |  October 1, 2008; 11:07 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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Poll: Are Message Boards Good for College Sports?

Message boards have changed the college sports landscape for coaches, players and reporters. I could write a thesis about my experience with them over the past decade, but I’ll save that for another time. Maryland Coach Ralph Friedgen says he...

By Eric Prisbell  |  October 1, 2008; 9:23 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
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Groh-ing Pains at U-Va.

I guess if you've just kicked your starting quarterback out of school and then gone on to lose to Duke coming out of your bye week, you know it's coming. And if you're Virginia Coach Al Groh, this ain't your...

By Matthew Rennie  |  October 1, 2008; 8:42 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
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More on Terps-U-Va. Rivalry

Everyone always hypes up this rivalry the week of the Maryland-Virginia game, and I have done the same in the past. I have had my doubts about the intensity of this rivalry, but it was clear from talking to players...

By Eric Prisbell  |  September 30, 2008; 8:46 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
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Injury Update: Moten Out 4-5 Weeks

Biggest news from Coach Ralph Friedgen's luncheon: Linebacker Adrian Moten will miss 4-5 weeks after having surgery to repair torn ligaments in his wrist. This is a consequential injury for the Terps, as Moten had played particularly well in the...

By Matthew Rennie  |  September 30, 2008; 2:19 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
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Terps vs. Cavs: One Up, One Down

Ralph Friedgen and Al Groh began their current tenures in 2001. Each coach has gone to five bowl games. Friedgen holds a decided edge in winning percentage (60-32, including this season, compared to Groh's 52-40 record), but over the past...

By Matthew Rennie  |  September 30, 2008; 12:06 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
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Punting: A Friedgen Tradition

Eric posted yesterday evening about Travis Baltz being named the ACC co-special teams player of the week. Baltz's performance so far this season is an overlooked but encouraging development for Maryland. He currently ranks 13th in the country with 44.25...

By Matthew Rennie  |  September 30, 2008; 10:36 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
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Virginia or MTSU: Which Would Hurt Worse?

Things I probably should have realized by now considering we try to cover this program: Through the first month of the season, Virginia has the worst scoring offense in the country. Not the ACC, mind you. The country. 119th in...

By Matthew Rennie  |  September 30, 2008; 9:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
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In ACC, Plenty of Hot Seats to go Around

Maryland helped put one coach on the hot seat last week. Clemson Coach Tommy Bowden is not ready to panic, even though his fan base is. One columnist says it is Tampa or bust for Bowden. And this week the...

By Eric Prisbell  |  September 30, 2008; 8:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
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Maryland's Running Game Questions

I was wondering what everyone thought of the running game against Clemson. Take away one play, Darrius Heyward-Bey’s 76-yard reverse, and Maryland only gained 47 yards on the ground. Then consider that backup quarterback Josh Portis gained 10 yards on...

By Eric Prisbell  |  September 29, 2008; 6:58 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
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Terps Punter Gets ACC Honor

Maryland punter Travis Baltz was named ACC co-special teams player of the week. Baltz shared the honor with Florida State's Michael Ray Garvin, who returned a kickoff for a touchdown in Saturday's win over Colorado. Baltz punted seven times for...

By Eric Prisbell  |  September 29, 2008; 3:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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The Terps' Gridiron Rival

When it's basketball season, there's little question whom the Terps and their fans most want to beat. During my eight years in this job, we've probably written at least three stories on this topic without much resolution. Part of the...

By Matthew Rennie  |  September 29, 2008; 1:22 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
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Sizing Up the Competition's Competition

File this one under the Getting WAY Ahead of Ourselves Dept., but I was looking at that Clemson-Wake game a week from Thursday and wondering whom Terps fans should be rooting for. So that got me to looking at the...

By Matthew Rennie  |  September 29, 2008; 11:20 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
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Terps Ranked? Not So Fast

I know Matt is a little ill today, and his stance in his previous post reflects that. I’m a little sick as well, so maybe I didn’t read it correctly, but let’s be serious. Ranked? My reason why Maryland should...

By Eric Prisbell  |  September 29, 2008; 10:48 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
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College Football Polls, and Other Societal Flaws

Well, I was all set to provide a dissenting opinion to Eric on how Maryland belonged in the top 25, but after looking more closely, I'm not sure which ranked team you can argue the Terps are decidedly better than....

By Matthew Rennie  |  September 29, 2008; 9:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
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Poll: What Happens Saturday?

I understand Virginia scored three points against Duke and that the Maryland-U-Va. Game looks like a total mismatch. But I expect the Cavaliers to put up quite a fight Saturday and was wondering how everyone else feels. Only check one...

By Eric Prisbell  |  September 29, 2008; 7:59 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
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Friedgen's Sunday Chat

A few quick hitters from Sunday's talk with Coach Ralph Friedgen: The team emerged from the Clemson game pretty healthy. Kenny Tate hurt his elbow but returned to the game. Adrian Moten (wrist) played 25 plays, and Travis Ivey also...

By Eric Prisbell  |  September 28, 2008; 4:47 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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Terps are No. 26

I'm at the Raleigh airport ready to head back once I catch Ralph Friedgen's interview in 20 minutes. For what it's worth, Maryland is 26th in the Associated Press Top 25 poll this week, getting 46 votes. I'm a little...

By Eric Prisbell  |  September 28, 2008; 4:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
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Terps Senior Leadership

I touched upon this in my story, but senior defensive lineman Jeremy Navarre is not usually a vocal person. In fact, he never before had done what he did at halftime yesterday. Clemson had amassed 195 rushing yards at halftime...

By Eric Prisbell  |  September 28, 2008; 3:34 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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Getting Heyward-Bey the Ball

Player after player and coach after coach called Darrius Heyward-Bey’s 76-yard reverse a key turning point in the game. It silenced the crowd and gave a Clemson team pause after otherwise dominating the game. But the big play overshadowed the...

By Eric Prisbell  |  September 28, 2008; 1:29 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
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Another Strong Game by Turner

I have been thinking about the game quarterback Chris Turner played, and one play popped in my mind --- Maryland’s first offensive snap. Turner nearly threw an interception that might have been returned for a touchdown. It looked like perhaps...

By Eric Prisbell  |  September 28, 2008; 11:32 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
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Just Clemson Being Clemson

Oh, Clemson. What can be said? The Tigers captured the essence of the Tommy Bowden era in one 60-minute sorry episode yesterday. As Bowden said best: “We self-imploded.” Forget for a moment that the team “did not show up” for...

By Eric Prisbell  |  September 28, 2008; 11:25 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
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Poll: How can U-Va. beat Maryland?

Just finished my buffet breakfast here at the Marriott in Greenville, S.C., so that put me in the mood for another buffet style poll. Choose as many answers as you wish. Pick none, pick all of ‘em, pick some of...

By Eric Prisbell  |  September 28, 2008; 9:49 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
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Who Wants Friedgen Gone Now?

After the Terrapins suffered the worst defeat of Ralph Friedgen’s tenure at MTSU, many critics angrily shouted for Friedgen to be fired. Former Terp LaMont Jordan made a call for a change. We’re still in September, and we have quite...

By Eric Prisbell  |  September 28, 2008; 9:23 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
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Terps-Clemson Notes

Here are some notes provided by Maryland's media relations department. (The short headlines were written by school officials, not me.) Good Company: With its win over Clemson on Saturday, Maryland is now 4-1 for the first time since the ACC...

By Eric Prisbell  |  September 28, 2008; 7:44 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
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Ten Things We Learned

Sorry this took me so long, but I got lost amid the chaos on campus and then grabbed some dinner. 1) Fans can call Chris Cosh a goat and a hero in the same game. 2) No team can snatch...

By Eric Prisbell  |  September 28, 2008; 12:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
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