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Turner on the Fourth Down Play

One of the most important plays in Maryland’s victory over James Madison occurred with 5 minutes, 46 seconds remaining, when the Terrapins faced a fourth and four from the James Madison 47.

Trailing 35-28, Maryland did not want to give the ball back to the Dukes, who could milk the clock and potentially put the game out of reach. So on third down, Maryland Coach Ralph Friedgen told offensive coordinator James Franklin that he had two downs to get the first down.

After an incomplete pass on third down, the call was to go back to a play that had worked earlier in the game. Quarterback Chris Turner knew that the Dukes did a good job at closing the middle of the field up, so the plan was to get the ball to wide receiver Ronnie Tyler in space.

“I tried to get the ball out in front for him,” Turner said. “And when Ronnie has a little bit of space, he is going to make people miss.”

Tyler’s 20-yard completion gave the Terrapins new life and set the stage for the next play, a 27-yard touchdown reception by wide receiver Adrian Cannon that tied the game at 35.

“At that point of the game,” Turner said of the fourth-down conversion, “it was a big play.”

By Eric Prisbell  |  September 14, 2009; 3:07 PM ET
Categories:  Football  
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I mean, it obviously worked out, but I always wonder about passing on third when you're in two-down territory. Why not run and then see where you are?

Then again, Franklin and Fridge make the big bucks, and I'm sitting here goofing off at work, so maybe I should just keep my thoughts to myself.

Posted by: pipkin42 | September 14, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

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