Lineman Thomas Calls Franklin
Maryland offensive coordinator James Franklin took a look back at the play of his offense, which saw an inspired effort by its offensive line Saturday.
One of the most memorable scenes that I can remember occurred in the final two minutes, when it appeared for a second that Maryland had completed a pass inside the UNC 1, setting up a fourth and goal from the 1. (Replay overturned the call, and Maryland kicked a 26-yard field goal.) But while the official was reviewing the play, lineman Jaimie Thomas was pounding his chest, pumping his fist and imploring Ralph Friedgen to go for it because he had so much faith in the line at the time. It would have been interesting to see what Friedgen would have done in that case.
Anyway, Franklin mentioned another telling moment. In the second half, Thomas got on the headset with Franklin and told the coordinator, “Let’s run the ball and take it at them.”
“I love when they do that,” Franklin said. “I want their input. This is their team as much or more than it is mine. I really wanted to hear their feedback.”
Franklin viewed the game as a possible good opportunity for Davin Meggett because he runs “downhill and there is not a lot of dancing. He is a big, physical kid. Sometimes we forget he is a true freshman.”
Regarding having players such as Danny Oquendo and Ronnie Tyler for third-down situations, Franklin said: “It really helps, anytime you can have a tight end or slot receiver on third down make plays for you in critical times. That’s when you are going to have to win, in the middle of the field. The o-line gave us time to get it done.”
Franklin calls plays from the box, but he gets so revved up by the end of the game “sometimes before the game is over, I’m pushing the elevator button trying to get down. I feel disconnected. I want to get down there and enjoy it with them.”
Franklin gave Virginia Tech’s defense credit for stifling Maryland on Nov. 6, but he said, “When our kids focus on the details and really play well, I think they can play with anybody.”
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