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Friedgen on Final Seven Minutes vs. Cal

I asked Ralph Friedgen about the final seven minutes of the Cal game, when the Golden Bears suddenly found the holes in Maryland’s defense and scored three touchdowns to narrow the gap to eight points. QB Kevin Riley threw for 239 yards in the fourth quarter alone. Was the problem mostly fatigue or were there other breakdowns?

“They were running really two patterns and we had covered the pattern all day. That’s what I told our players last night. For three quarters, the sacks we got were probably coverage sacks. And then we kind of lost it. We had a couple linebackers not do their responsibility that they had done for three quarters. We had a corner roll up outside and our linebacker is pushing to his zone, and they ran a little post behind him for big yardage.

“We had a couple other things. It was third and 16, the quarterback scrambles and Alex Wujciak comes up to stop the scramble and they throw the ball in behind him. He is a pretty instinctive football player, but let the quarterback come up to the line of scrimmage before you try to play him. He will learn from that. Overall, I think we played very well on defense until the last seven minutes. Here was a team averaging 52 points a game, that was averaging over 300 yards rushing. They rushed 23 times for 38 yards. They weren’t throwing it very well until the end. Part of it was fatigue and part was that we have to be mentally tougher and more disciplined and play our schemes and not just panic.”

By Eric Prisbell  |  September 17, 2008; 3:20 PM ET
Categories:  Football  
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Comments

The last seven minutes were just so completely different than the rest of the game that I thought for sure that the Terps went to a "prevent the loss" type of game plan. They showed none of the drive on either offense or defense for that last period.

I'm still not convinced that the coaches didn't "back off" during the fourth quarter.

Posted by: John | September 17, 2008 3:36 PM | Report abuse

It sounds like he is saying they were running the same defense at the end of the game we were running earlier, and it was just poor execution?

I'm not sure I buy this. It looked like prevent defense to me.

Posted by: Scott | September 17, 2008 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Looked like prevent to me too. That said I like Fridge staying on top of his players about closing games out. A prevent defense played propoerly shouldnt give up the big gains the terps were giving up...

Posted by: Lee | September 17, 2008 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Sure look like prevent down here in Mexico. IMO what changed the most was the lack of pass rush which definitely looked like prevent with only three rushers and everyone else taking a deeper drop. Sending at least four on every play can make up for some of the coverage breakdowns because the QB has to make decisions faster with the time to read the D taken away.

Posted by: Paco in Ajijic | September 17, 2008 6:41 PM | Report abuse

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