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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 two carries. Maryland’s running backs --- Da’Rel Scott, Davin Meggett and Cory Jackson – had a total of 39 yards on 25 carries. And Maryland still won the game.

Coach Ralph Friedgen had issues with the run blocking for much of the game. Regarding Scott, the sophomore usually is able to use his blazing speed to run around the defense. But going east to west wasn’t accomplishing much for Scott in the first half. At halftime, Friedgen told Scott that Clemson’s defense was too fast to try to run around and that he needed to go north and south more.

“It took a while to get a feel for the defense,” said Scott, who had 39 net rushing yards on 23 carries.

Before the start of the third quarter, Scott patted Friedgen on the backside, telling the coach he was ready and that he would run more straight ahead. Scott wound up scoring the go-ahead touchdown on a one-yard run early in the fourth quarter.

All this just made me think how fortunate Maryland was to win the game. Anyone concerned how the running game looked, or is it bound to improve against Virginia?

By Eric Prisbell  |  September 29, 2008; 6:58 PM ET
Categories:  Football  
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We'll have over 200 yards rushing against UVg. But the numbers from the Clemson game really do scare me. I wasn't able to see it and I really wonder how the O-line wasn't able to give scott ANY daylight against that depleted Clemson D-line. Scott needs barely any room at all and he can make a 15 yarder out of it. What happened. He didn't even average 2 yards a pop? WTF Mate.

Posted by: 76 yards and a cloud of dust | September 29, 2008 9:49 PM | Report abuse

I'm not all that concerned. Outside of Virginia Tech and probably FSU, Clemson has the fastest defense we will face all year. MD was trying to run off-tackle a lot, which was slow to develop and allowed Clemson's players to overpursue towards the ball carrier.

In the second half, MD took advantage of the overpursuit with misdirection plays like Hey-Bey's reverse, and the play action passes to Gronkowski.

I'm confident Franklin and the staff will make the proper adjustments against similar defenses later in the year.

Posted by: Greg | September 30, 2008 7:10 AM | Report abuse

I thought the field looked a little sloppy too. The Terps seemed to be slipping a lot and weren't getting any push on the line. They looked slow. Honestly they looked the same way on the field turf at MTSU. They wearing under armor cleats? Are they craptastic?

Posted by: Lee | September 30, 2008 8:49 AM | Report abuse

the O line needs to step up, I think that is the answer to improving the running game.

Posted by: kdc | September 30, 2008 9:41 AM | Report abuse

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