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The First Two Games in One Word

Maryland is 1-1. But everyone sees the first two weeks of the season differently. For some, there is more reason for optimism. For others, there is more reason for concern. Is the glass half-empty, half-full, or is the glass already shattered? What’s your one word to describe the first two weeks of Maryland’s season?

By Eric Prisbell  |  September 15, 2009; 9:33 AM ET
Categories:  Football  
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I was choosing between Mediocre and Lackluster.

I think that we all knew coming into the year that there would be a lot of ups and downs until we find out what our team's strengths are.

On defense, it's still hard to tell what we have due to who we've played. Cal has a great offense so I wasn't too worried about how we looked against them. At times we played good defense against JMU (especially the last 1/2 of the 4th quarter after the qb's td run), but we looked awful at other times, mainly due to missed tackles.

Offensively the play calling needs to adjust to our strengths, which is throwing the ball. Against JMU we moved the ball right down the field the first drive by throwing the ball. Once we got a lead we went right back to the run, run, pass approach which did not work. In the past we used the 2 TE set quite a bit, but we had an experienced OL that could run block. That is not the case right now. When Turner has been back in the shotgun with 4 wide, he has had enough time to throw even when blitzed. Last game, receivers dropped two sure TD passes on quick slants (Tyler and Megget). Once we went back to this spread set in the 4th quarter after we fell behind, we were able to move the ball again. It also opened up space to run as well.

I was also disappointed that we didn't throw a single deep ball until the 2nd half. JMU had single coverage on the outside most of the game and we didn't do anything to try to exploit that. Once we did we got a few Pass Interference calls and almost caught a few deep balls.

I realize that Franklin and Freidgen want to be a power rushing team, but until the OL improves, our strength is going 4 wide out of the gun and airing it out.

Posted by: eric34 | September 15, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Is there anyway to report unsightly advertisements to WaPo....this car on the right has been driving me crazy all day (no pun intended).

Posted by: fushezzi | September 15, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

The word many were probably looking for was SORRY!

Posted by: oknow1 | September 15, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm, at this time I'm seeing a glass half-empty. I can't predict the terps to beat MTSU after squeaking by a Div I-AA school (and after MTSU beat us last year).

One word to describe the first two weeks? Foreboding: 1) It was a another reminder of UMD's odds to become a national contender and 2) How much the team needs to improve.

On a positive note, ESPN has Maryland's 2010 BB class ranked at #13.

Posted by: SirPelleas | September 15, 2009 3:01 PM | Report abuse

I'll say middlin' to low average. It's still early in the season, so I expect some improvement over the next couple of weeks.

Still, both the Cal and JMU games really exposed our weaknesses on defense. Many times the call has been to blitz more, but that has also led to them getting burned on big plays, like Best's running and the JMU QB who ran 70 yds for a TD last week.

I agree with eric34. I know Fridge wants to establish the running game and play smashmouth football. But right now the OL needs to get more experience before they try that. Our biggest strength on offense right now is passing; it's time to turn the receivers loose.

And, for crying out loud, stop turning the ball over!

Posted by: ecglotfelty | September 15, 2009 5:15 PM | Report abuse

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