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Terps Scoring too Fast?

Here is how quickly things have changed for Maryland’s offense: The Terps scored 14 points in each of their first two games. After scoring 51 points in their fourth game, Coach Ralph Friedgen said he would have preferred that his team have some longer, time-consuming drives before scoring. He was only half-kidding.

The good thing about scoring fast is that it will usually keep your team in the game on the scoreboard. The only bad thing, if it is a bad thing, is it means your defense will be on the field more and have little time to rest.

Eastern Michigan had the ball for 35:45 on Saturday. What’s more, EMU ran 79 offensive plays, 20 more than Maryland did.

“You want to keep our defense off the field,” receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey said. “But my mind-set is, Let’s score on every drive and let’s score on the first play. Might as well defeat their emotions early. That’s my take on it.”

Maryland had 13 offensive drives, and the Terps scored on nine of them. Pretty darn good. In the words of Wesley Snipes in “White Men Can’t Jump”: “It’s too easy!” (FYI, this link is worth it.)

Only two of Maryland’s drives lasted more than three minutes (both concluded with touchdowns). The longest drive was a 4:57 march in the first quarter that was capped with Morgan Green’s one-yard run.

“They couldn’t stop our offense, so it was our job to get the ball in their hands as much as possible,” defensive tackle Jeremy Navarre said. “The defense was on the field a lot; imagine if we had stepped it up a little bit more then the offense could have gotten the ball more. It could have been much worse than it was.”

The fact that the defense has been fatigued because the offense is scoring so fast, that has to play into the struggles of the pass defense, right? Or is the pass defense just weak?

By Eric Prisbell  |  September 22, 2008; 9:43 AM ET
Categories:  Football  
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Next: QB Unrest at Clemson

Comments

The pass defense is just weak. We are far from having a good pass rush so that doesn't help but our scheming doesn't do anything to help the down linemen. In the first half against EMU, we rushed three with a linebacker coming on about on every second or third play. We do absolutely nothing to confuse the blockers. We just line up and go straight ahead. There are no stunts, no faking a blitz from one position and then blitzing from another and even when we send a linebacker, he rushes straight ahead like the down linemen do. So basically we are easy to block. (Note: Against Cal we mixed up the rush much more and got five sacks.) Add to the basic vanilla rush package a secondary that plays semiprevent with their drops and you can see why the D is on the field so long. There is something basically wrong with the way Cosh runs the D and the way Solazzo tries to get the job done with the D line. If they are not much more aggresive against Clemson, Turner and company may need to score even faster and more often to win.

Posted by: Paco in Ajijic | September 22, 2008 10:14 AM | Report abuse

The D is on the field so long because it is designed in such a way that it allows the offense to move the ball consistently up and down the field. We don't force the tempo, we don't go all out to try to create pressure, we let them dictate what they want to do, and we try to "get ahead of the chains" as genius Chris Cosh would say.

Posted by: J | September 22, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Maybe the blitz packages aren't used against a garbage team you go up 17-0 on in the first quarter. You know save a little something of what you're going to do for the next week. Run the vanilla D like a pro team does in the pre-season. The optimist in me likes to think we'll be seeing the Cal defensive scheme in ACC games not the Deleware/MTSU/EMU one.

Posted by: Lee | September 22, 2008 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Cosh must go.

Posted by: Mariolucasforthree | September 22, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Maybe the blitz packages aren't used against a garbage team you go up 17-0 on in the first quarter. You know save a little something of what you're going to do for the next week. Run the vanilla D like a pro team does in the pre-season. The optimist in me likes to think we'll be seeing the Cal defensive scheme in ACC games not the Deleware/MTSU/EMU one.

Posted by: Lee | September 22, 2008 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Paco nailed it!
Cannot understand why "Ralphieboy" doesn't see it.
An interesting stat that deserves some research...how many first downs has CC's defensive scheme yielded in 3rd and 8+ yard situations against both "garbage" and "non-garbage teams in the last 3 years?
Maybe more interesting how many in 3rd and 15+ yard situations...?

Posted by: RD-EC | September 22, 2008 12:23 PM | Report abuse

I dont watch carefully enough to criticize the coaching, but I have noticed over the past few years the D has given up first-downs on third-and-long - MANY times.

Posted by: CSH | September 22, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse

That interception in the endzone was huge. EMU scores there and it's a totally different feel to the game.

Any time someone wants to complain about an offense scoring "too quickly", I say that all a defense has to do to get off the field is hold the other team to a 3-and-out. What really kills a D is when the offense goes 3-and-out or gives up a turnover quickly, and the D has to go back out with no points on the board.

Posted by: Jack57 | September 22, 2008 4:15 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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