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Do you blame the Maryland coaches for the West Virginia loss?

There has been a knee-jerk reaction by some fans to blame the Maryland coach on the hot seat for the 31-17 loss at West Virginia. I’m not saying coaches are immune from some blame, and even Coach Ralph Friedgen accepted responsibility afterward for not getting players properly prepared. But players said themselves that there comes a time when excuses wear thin and players, more mature players this season, need to execute and figure out a way to win their first road game in two years. Because of the Mountaineers’s speed at three positions, coaches preached all week about the importance of swarming the ball carrier with multiple tacklers. It didn’t happen. Because of the crowd noise, coaches preached all week about the need for the quarterback to yell at the line of scrimmage and about the possibility of using a silent count. And still we get an opening series that was nothing if not dysfunctional. The West Virginia game was perhaps the most difficult on Maryland's schedule. Did most fans really expect Maryland to win and start 3-0?

The question hovering over the entire season concerns Friedgen’s future. And there aren’t many coaches not named Dan Hawkins whose seat is as hot as Friedgen’s. But, correct me if I’m wrong, I didn’t hear the naysayers when Friedgen was brought back for a 10th season, and I certainly don’t remember hearing them when the Terrapins were fortunate enough to beat Navy in the season opener. So why now? The team is 2-1 and has actually overachieved thus far. Most, including myself, expected the Terps to start 1-2. Did anyone expect this team to win the ACC? I hope not. All along, a reasonable expectation for this team has been six or seven wins. No more. And with two winnable games ahead at home and an unpredictable ACC looming later in the fall, they are on track to at least have a chance to return to a bowl. What else did you expect at this point? There seems to be a little bit of an overreaction this early in the season. If the Terps lose either of their next two games – always possible – then it’s time to panic. But if they don’t, then the season, and most likely Friedgen’s future, will be decided in the heart of the season, during a tough stretch that includes four road games in five weeks. And that’s what we had thought all along. Too early to panic.

By Eric Prisbell  | September 21, 2010; 10:37 AM ET
Categories:  Football  
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Next: Justin Gilbert will miss rest of season with ACL tear

Comments

WVU was just the better team.

Posted by: novalifter | September 21, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

I blame our affirmative action coach in waiting, James Franklin. Is he intentional throwing games (like it seemed he did during the UVA and Rutgers games last year)?

Imagine your job is safe but your boss's job is not, and if your boss gets fired you get his job or a million bucks. AND you can directly impact whether he gets fired or not. It would be tempting, no?

It's a terrible, terrible situation for the program to be in--and just one more reason we should never hire or promote anyone based on their skin color.

Posted by: Barno1 | September 21, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

I was one of those who was in favor in bringing Fridge back, but not because he's doing a great job, but because it would have cost too much money to buy him out AND even more to keep Franklin from making things even worse.

The Maryland players did not put together the best game on Saturday, and certainly some of the blame falls on them for not listening to what the coaches have been telling them.

However, it's the coaches that are responsible for making adjustments during the game to get the most out of the players. If someone's not playing well, it's up to the coaches to get in their face to get them to step up, or bench them in favor of someone else. It's also the responsibility of the coaches to get the team in favorable situations through playcalling, personnel packages, and sideline talks. If any coach did a good job of any of those aspects of their job, I'd like someone to prove it. The gameplan did not change throughout, and the adjustments that were made made things worse. They got away fromt he strength of the offense, rushing, and relied on a QB whose strength is not throwing the ball. Then they make a QB change at the end of the half when everyone on the field is scrambling and an injury is very likely to occur.

There's just no excuse for some of the on-field decisions that have been made this season, and this team is fortunate to be 2-1. I by no means thought the Terps would win the game on Saturday, but I thought (based mostly on the poor showing by WVU against Marshall) that the Terps would at least be competitive. Instead, it was a typical Franklin-called offense with an overmatched defense, and coaches starting to find reasons why the team is unable to be successful (injuries to Gilbert and O'Brien). Only losers make excuses, and this coaching staff has had this attitude for the past 3-4 years. It's starting to get old, and while I think Fridge is a good coach, he has not surrounded himself with a staff that can rekindle the success of his first 4 years.

Posted by: Russtinator | September 21, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

how do u blame the players when they need to deal with idiot coaches who have the qb in a shot gun at the student end of the field and than try to audible. come on what are they drinkin of smokin?
I am sick of herin we did not play as well as we should and it was my coaching.
who made the decision to bring in OBRIEN AT THE END OF 2ND QTR WITH NO SET PLAN BUT TO GET KILLED.
FIRE FRIDGE AND LET FRANKLIN FINISH THAN FIRE HIM.
West coast is bs and now u have qbs that could run the option.
Please don't waste yrs with franklin cause he is not the savior.
I would rather have the Defensive Coord as head man.

It is not goin anywhere with the current 2 guys.


twhere are they

Posted by: jack51 | September 21, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Come on Prisbell, of course it is all Ralph Friedgen's part...

When you look at the legacy of University of Maryland Football you see all kinds of First Round NFL Draft Picks, Pro Football Hall of Famers, Undefeated Seasons, ACC and Southern Conference Championships, National Championships, and New Years Day Bowl Games secured by Columbus Day...

Is it so unreasonable for us to expect Freidgen to continue that proud tradition, especially since he's a part of it???

Is it so unreasonable to expect Maryland, whoever is the coach, to win every single recruiting battle, especially in the entire Mid-Atlantic region with the program's storied history???

Any coach who aims for only 7 wins, no more, and maybe a bowl game at Maryland should be fired immediately...

Posted by: CapsNut | September 21, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Jack51 - I, fortunately, missed the first half of the WVU game (the Jewish holidays keep falling on Saturdays the past few years), so I tend to have a different perspective on the game than others. But I'm assuming we did make some adjustments for the second half that led our defense to hold WVU to only a FG in the last 25 minutes of the game and that led our offense to score some and move the ball a bit better than they must have in the first half.

And Barno, you should know better than to think anyone assumes Franklin's job is actually safe.

Anyway, as much as I love Ralph, I'm one who believes that it's time for new coaches. But we're in the season now. I'm rooting for them to win, for Ralph and Franklin to do well. And we have to evaluate each game on its merits, not blame the coaches because they didn't get such-and-such recruit or because they stuck with Steffy for too long. Every win we get this year isn't going to be because the other team gave the game away.

The WVU loss was the fault of the coaches. And the players. Bottom line. Let's move on. FIU is not a cupcake.

Posted by: ICBomber | September 21, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

If he is not ultimately responsible, why are we paying him $2,000,000 per year?

Posted by: TerpfanMA | September 21, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Too many excuses for why this team performs the way they do. To say they are underperforming is too obvious. If you don't have enough offensive lineman you trust to fill in when someone is hurt thats a coaching and/or recruiting problem.

This team was not ready for Saturday for whatever reason they looked overwhelmed and over matched against a team that although good was not unbeatable. There is no excuse for their first offensive series. Their was no excuse and down right foolish to stick a QB in a no win situation as they did with Danny O'Brien at the end of the first half. The kid was not that mobile on a bad ankle and WVU knew he was there to do one thing - Pass. Open the flood gates and let the D Line swarm the QB, not smart.

I went to MD and love my school but its time, time to make changes. Right now this program is a mediocre program in a very weak football conference. Lets see what the new AD says and does but hopefully he moves the program in a new direction.

Posted by: tp99701 | September 21, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

"But I'm assuming we did make some adjustments for the second half that led our defense to hold WVU to only a FG in the last 25 minutes of the game and that led our offense to score some and move the ball a bit better than they must have in the first half."

WVU was up 28-0. The Mountaineers back off, which is why the Terps were able to get some traction offesively, not because the coached made adjustments. The defense was able to hold them to 3 points the rest of the way because WVU's offense went vanilla, and the players did start to get the feel for the modified spread, just like they did in the second half against Navy.

That really tells me that the defense was not really prepared for the game. It's clear the defense has the talent to stick with teams, but they are only able to do it when they've actually played against the real thing for a half or more. That means the coaches and scout team are not doing a very good job of getting the team prepared in practices leading up to the game.

Posted by: Russtinator | September 21, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Fridge certainly is piling up an impressive list of achievements for resume:

1) Worst record in UMD history
2) Largest point loss in opening game
3) First loss to a MEAC opponent
4) First consecutive loss to a MEAC opp
5) First coach to cut a future Heismann candidate

someone with some time on their hands should look up -10yds rushing for a game...that has got to be a UMD first and may even be a Div1 record!!!

Here is the UMD story over the last 5 years: Inexperienced Offensive Line...Inexperienced Defensive Line...Questionable Defensive Secondary...QB is a question mark....OOC schedule loaded up with weak teams (although now we are finding we are as weak as they are) in order to get 6 wins and a 2nd tier bowl game..It is undeniable that we are barely competitive at the D1 level

He has been an undeniable DISASTER for UMD Football and in a twist of irony it was only his pathetic results, resulting in dwindling ticket sales/revenue that prevented Yow from gasbaggin his fat butt last year

Posted by: TerpfanMA | September 21, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Differnt players, same coaches and same results. There is a program failure taking place right now, and it all starts with the coaches. People blaming the players probably do not follow the program very closely. If it was rare occurrence, then you could debate it and you can chalk up the response by fans to be "knee-jerk", but during the last 4-5 years, Friedgen's teams have been blown out by teams that were superior and have found ways to lose to others who were not. He occassionally got an upset a few years back but now those are generally gone. He and Franklin should have been fired last year had there been money, we just have to endure this until there is money to let them go.

Posted by: minhle1 | September 21, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

I blame both.

Posted by: SirPelleas | September 21, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

BTW, did Prisbell just claim that no one objected to Friedgen coming back? The fact that there was no money to buy him and Franklin's HCIW contract out was known about 10 months ago!

And who the heck got their hopes up after the Navy game...Navy had 500 yeards of offense and self-destructed.

Prisbell being astute Prisbell again...the guy cannot analyze himself out of a paper bag, ignores 5-6 years of Ralph's declining program AT ALL FACETS, and feels the need to tell fans to get a perspective. LOL

Posted by: minhle1 | September 21, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

ICBomber, Franklin's job is safe in that he either get's Fridge's job or he gets a million dollars. For an assistant coach, you can't beat that kind of job security.

Posted by: Barno1 | September 21, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

You have an oline that gave up 8 sacks and had MINUS 10 yadrs rushing. How can you blame the coaches, flat your your players got worked. Blame the coaches for recruiting these scrubs but come on have some accountability.
As i said before the game two different levels of talent. Your #1 rb would be third string on WV.

Posted by: Stu27 | September 21, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

of course the coaches are to blame...they recruited these players.

Posted by: gofish | September 21, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Coaches are to blame.

Neither the offense or defense were prepared well enough for this game.

1st half was an embarassment.

Hope the rest of the season is better.

GO TERPS!

Posted by: johnbecka | September 21, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

James Franklin is an awful play caller. Running the ball on 2nd and 15 is absolutely ridiculous. Hell, running the ball on 2nd and 8 or longer is a risky move.

Torrey Smith should have showed Franklin that they should go down the field more. But no. Franklin kept going back to the running game when it was shut down the whole game, and we lost because of that.

Posted by: md23terps11 | September 21, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

I have to agree with all the folks who blame the coaches, because Maryland doesn't have players smart enough to blame. Maryland doesn't have players smart enough to do their homework on their next opponent. To realize they are going up against a Nationally ranked team, in their stadium, which houses a very noisy crowd. Maryland doesn't have players smart enough to adapt to their situation, change plays and move forward.
I have to believe these kids were well prepared, they outplayed and out scored WVa in the second half. These kids have got to understand what it takes to play a full 60 minutes at home and on the road.

Posted by: jag523 | September 21, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

As bad as it was on Saturday, I can come away with one thing that I believe may save the season - the players did not give up. As to the beginning of the game where they were overwhelmed and making mistakes, I call that BAD coaching. A good coach prepares his players for every situation and has simulated the conditions his team will walk into. Correct me if I am wrong, but I haven't heard John Denver songs playing while the game is going on. Instead of John Denver they needed to fire up that high dollar Madden NFL machine they have and put Jamarr in front of it and simulate game speeds with the opponents defenses and show him the "hot" reads that he didn't evidently know on Saturday. I have noticed that about him, he takes way too long to read a defense and consequently takes way too long to get rid of the ball which in turn leads to him getting hit or taking off usually to a poor result. What happened to O'Brien on Saturday was almost cause for legal action on Franklin and the Fridge. To put that kid in with time winding down in the first half, with an offensive line that was getting beat left and right and everyone in the stadium knew what he was in the game to do, was cause for neglect or borderline accessory to assault. Another example of how this coaching staff has no clue and acts like they came from the Bush League ranks. If we win this Saturday against FIU, and I mean IF, it will put us at 3-1. We have Duke coming in the next week and that will not be easy in no stretch of your imagination. We NEED to be 4-1 heading into Clemson to have any hopes for a decent season, if not I think we need pull all of our resources together and make a change. Face it folks it takes big money to not only get rid of this staff and its "staff in waiting" but it takes big dough to get a good staff to replace them with. So unless you have a good many folks willing to fork over a good many dollars we are stuck with what we have....or worse!

Posted by: kaptainterp | September 21, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

I think franklin is a very charasmatic persona...but if he were white, would he be a D1 offensive coordinator and a heach coach in waiting based on his performance, experience, and track record?

Posted by: jdgreger@yahoo.com | September 21, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

We should deplore and repudiate racist comments against Coach Franklin. Do Barno1 and others have solid, inside info that Mr Franklin was an equal opportunity hire? It's plain and utter nonsense and we should not have to read such comments on this board.

Posted by: AncientTerp | September 21, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

I was a fan of bringing Fridge back. The guy deserves a chance to turn things around at his alma mater. He has a lot of pride and a sense of loyalty which is non-existent in college sports today.

I have heard he has gotten a lot easier on the players compared to when he first came into the position which I am not enthused about. If that is the case, then maybe it time to make a change and that might be why we're getting the "nice guy" answers from Fridge. I feel like he has been talking a big game and then coming up with excuses instead of laying into his team and letting them know to produce. It's sink or swim time and Fridge has even said that himself with his job being up in the air.

Mike Leach is out there even though there was the issue at Texas Tech though it seems like that is still up for debate. But there is also no great choice to replace Fridge out there. I'm not sold on Franklin.

One thing I do want to throw out there is that there was more to the Dan Brown hiring than just replacing Cosh. I really think he would be an option they would look at if they wanted to. He has a good relationship with the players after watching Terrapins Rising and you could see that and he was hard on them as well. And he's had success as a head coach at the FCS level playing for a national championship if not winning one. Plus, there have been some really good hires from that level recently.

Posted by: DiehardTerp | September 21, 2010 6:24 PM | Report abuse

I think franklin is a very charasmatic persona...but if he were white, would he be a D1 offensive coordinator and a heach coach in waiting based on his performance, experience, and track record?

Posted by: jdgreger@yahoo.com | September 21, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Well, we know one thing for certain: If he were white, he would not have been promoted to head coach in waiting. Debbie Yow made this explicitly clear when she said the only reason UMD administrators approved of the deal was because he was a "qualified minority." Of course, admitting the school engaged in illegal discrimination in its hiring/promotion should have led to a federal investigation and a media firestorm. But our pals at the Washington Post seem to be in favor of this kind of race-based hiring--regardless of the fact that it is illegal--and ignored the issue entirely.

Posted by: Barno1 | September 21, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

It starts at the top, and that is Ralph...Let's face it, he has never capitalized on the success he had in the 1st three years... Oh, but he wanted this, and wanted that, and got it... But has the school and the football program itself got back the investment it made to Ralph... I would have to say no.. Just look at the last 4 to six years... Numbers don't lie...

Posted by: frostanna | September 21, 2010 7:53 PM | Report abuse

Would have been interesting if the Terps fans had showed up. It was a pitiful showing for such a big school only a 3 hour away. You fans should be ashamed. You even didn't take your allotment of tickets.

Two years ago the Mountaineer faithful not only blew away the Terps, they were louder and embarrassed the home crowd.

Don't blame your players or your coach. Travel, show up, be a fan. Heck you even would have made it home by dinner time.

Posted by: poobah33 | September 21, 2010 8:27 PM | Report abuse

It doesn't matter what these posters think. Most of them don't know what they are talking about and only have a voice because of the internet. I bet most of the naysayers on this board only started following the Terps after 2001. How many of these experts are going to the game Saturday?

Posted by: garrett4 | September 21, 2010 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Friedgen and Franklin are equally pathetic. Maryland football should be classified as 1-AA.

Posted by: Theone9 | September 22, 2010 4:06 AM | Report abuse

Barno and friends,

the key word from Yow in reference to Franklin being named coach in waiting is "qualified." Does that mean that folks cannot question the logic of her decision--no? But what is does mean is that he is as qualified as other coaches for the position and it was not given to him because he was a "minority." Now, if she named you--who I assume would be grossly unqualified to be head football coach in a major conference, that would be a tragic and unfair decision and then we could claim that your race, or whatever characteristics you think define who you are, gave you some unfair advantage.

Posted by: jfromPG | September 22, 2010 7:59 AM | Report abuse

We should deplore and repudiate racist comments against Coach Franklin. Do Barno1 and others have solid, inside info that Mr Franklin was an equal opportunity hire? It's plain and utter nonsense and we should not have to read such comments on this board.

Posted by: AncientTerp | September 21, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

AncientTerp, your comments are offensive and beyond ignorant, and have no place whatsoever on these boards. I fight against racial preferences for a living and my organization contacted the school's attorneys once we got wind of Debbie Yow's ill advised comments. The school's counsel agreed that Yow's comments were irresponsible and, according to them, directed the Athletic Department not to use the same language in the future (i.e. "qualified minority") when discussing hiring and promotions.

You have some nerve calling me racist for wanting race not to play any role in employment in a state institution. I think you would be well served to read Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment before you call someone else racist for wanting skin color to play no roll in employment.

Posted by: Barno1 | September 22, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Barno and friends,

the key word from Yow in reference to Franklin being named coach in waiting is "qualified." Does that mean that folks cannot question the logic of her decision--no? But what is does mean is that he is as qualified as other coaches for the position and it was not given to him because he was a "minority." Now, if she named you--who I assume would be grossly unqualified to be head football coach in a major conference, that would be a tragic and unfair decision and then we could claim that your race, or whatever characteristics you think define who you are, gave you some unfair advantage.

Posted by: jfromPG | September 22, 2010 7:59 AM

JfromPG,

I disagree. The key words in her comments was actually this: "'It’s part of our fabric,' she said of affirmative hiring"

Here are the facts:

We know that at the University of Maryland, black applicants are given a massive degree of preference over their white, Hispanic, and Asian counterparts in admissions (there have been studies on this). We know that UMD takes race into heavy consideration in its undergrad admissions, med school, hiring, and faculty promotions. We know that 2 federal courts have struck down racially-reserved scholarships at UMD.

We also know--thanks to comments from Debbie Yow--that our public school took race into consideration in the promotion of James Franklin to head coach in waiting. From a published report on accsports.com: "Only because Franklin is a 'qualified minority,' according to Yow, did College Park administrators willingly agree to his preemptive promotion. 'It’s part of our fabric,' she said of affirmative hiring, which at Maryland included the ACC’s first black basketball assistant coach and head coach, the first African-American chancellor, and the first and only female AD."

The school's penchant for racial preferences has gotten a pass from the Washington Post, but that doesn't mean that there aren't groups and individuals out there that are very concerned by it.

Posted by: Barno1 | September 22, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

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