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Maryland's defense defined by stops on fourth down

The calling card for Maryland’s defense this season has been the ability to stop teams on fourth down. The unit has made critical stops throughout the season, most notably in the season-opening victory against Navy and in Saturday’s 24-21 victory at Boston College.

“It definitely defines who we are as a defense,” safety Antwine Perez said. “We prove it every week.”

With a 24-7 lead entering the fourth quarter, it did not appear as if Maryland would need to prove it Saturday, but the game turned unpredictable and tight in the final minutes. Trailing by three points with less than five minutes to play, the Eagles faced two fourth-down predicaments.

On fourth and three from the Maryland 41, cornerback Cameron Chism broke up a pass quarterback Chase Rettig intended for wide receiver Shakim Phillips.

After a failed fourth-down attempt by Maryland, the Eagles got a final chance to try to drive to tie or win the game, but again they faced a fourth-down situation. On fourth and one from the Boston College 44, running back Montel Harris plunged forward but ran into linebacker Adrian Moten and lineman Joe Vellano.

A measurement showed that he was stopped about six inches shy of a first down, and a review of the spot upheld the call on the field.

“This is a good defense in terms of execution,” defensive coordinator Don Brown said. “They know their jobs. We don’t have any cowboys on this defense. And they kept their poise.”

By Eric Prisbell  | October 23, 2010; 5:37 PM ET
Categories:  Football  
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Next: Expect no changes to Maryland's offensive line this week

Comments

Nice to see the Terps win!

However, for me the team has a lot of growing up to do.

Offensively, we went into hibernation in the second half.

And, defensively, we played too soft in the fourth to give up 2 TDs, and keep the game close. Our defense is great shutting 4th downs ... But, sooner or later out luck is going to run out.

It's disappointing to see that we don't seal the games up early when we have a chance. We led 21-7 at half time, and should have scored more than 3 points in the second half!

Posted by: mi6-007 | October 23, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

I still can't help but think- a team with a good offense will light us up.. Hope I'm wrong, but we'll see..

Posted by: frostanna | October 23, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

I don't think you can blame the defense much on that second TD.

Posted by: island1 | October 23, 2010 7:55 PM | Report abuse

Credit Don Brown's defense for yet another 'W'. Two picks and 4th down stop were the difference.

How wrong the 'experts' were in the preseason; Da'Rel Scott and Davin Meggett haven't established the run to open up the passing attack. The O-line seems able to protect O'Brien, but unable to make holes for Scott and Meggett. Play calling suggests Franklin has confidence in one but not the other.

Danny O'Brien is looking better and better.

Wake and UVa are beatable! Go Terps!!

Posted by: RITerp | October 23, 2010 9:11 PM | Report abuse

the team has a lot of growing up to do.

Offensively, we went into hibernation in the second half.

And, defensively, we played too soft in the fourth to give up 2 TDs, and keep the game close. Our defense is great shutting 4th downs ... But, sooner or later out luck is going to run out.

It's disappointing to see that we don't seal the games up early when we have a chance. We led 21-7 at half time, and should have scored more than 3 points in the second half!

Posted by: mi6-007 | October 23, 2010 5:55 PM

Barno presents...Real Men of Genius

Today we salute you, Mr. I-Don't-Enjoy-It-When-My-Team-Wins-Guy. (Mr. I-Don't-Enjoy-It-When-My-Team-Winssss-Guy!) Unlike most fans, you know that a win is not a win, unless it's by 65 points or more. While everyone around you is celebrating, you know that your team isn't winning the next 5 championships, so what's the point of even getting excited (Oh I hate my life!). So get on the blogs and demand new coaches and players after every win, and drink up an ice cold bud light as we salute you....Mr. I-Don't-Enjoy-It-When-My-Team-Wins-Guy.

Posted by: Barno1 | October 23, 2010 9:11 PM | Report abuse

Thoughts from the game:

Hey, I am happy we won and I predict a win next week also but I still dont believe this is a very good football team..as MI 6 pointed out we basically turtled in the 2nd half and some of the 1st half play calling put us needlessly in 4th down situations..fortunately against BC, they worked out for us....to put things in perspective, BS and Wake have only beaten 1 BCS team this year between them and that was Duke so while we have proven that we are at least on par with the bottom feeders of the conference, we havent shown more than that...still not a fan of the fridge and not willing to give him any props for being better than last year because he brought us last year in the first place. My opinion is that we are basically mediocre which is where we have been for most of the last 6 years..we beat 5 weak teams and lost pretty badly to 2 decent teams.....Fox Sports has us projected to go to the Eagle Bank Bowl in Wash DC which is what you get with Fridge...thats his goal...6 wins and a bowl for the resume....every few years, he will drop in a signature win but thats about it.....

Posted by: TerpfanMA | October 24, 2010 8:26 AM | Report abuse

We got the win, and we got it on the road.

I'll take it!

Hopefully, they will build on this win and make some hay out of this!

(RMOG's, keep cracking open those bud lights!)

Posted by: mabkhar | October 24, 2010 9:13 AM | Report abuse

I will take any win we can get on the road. There is something to be said about our defense generating so many turnovers this year.

It will be a long 2 weeks for the haters out there.

Posted by: garrett4 | October 24, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Barno, that was really funny! I'm with you to an extent -- winning sure beats losing. I've stuck with the Terps every Saturday from Jerry Claiborne/Randy White/Bob Avellini until now, so I've seen a lot of high times and low times.

I don't think anyone expects 65-points wins or 5 consecutive championships. What I want -- and I think fans like mi6 and TerpfanMA would probably agree -- is a return to regular Top 25 appearances, and competitiveness against quality opponents. Let's win at least some of our games against the likes of Clemson and WVU.

Claiborne and Ross did it, and Fridge did it in his first few years. Maryland can be a Top 25 program. I won't grumble about a win, but I'm not satisfied with where our football program stands.


Posted by: SmittyATL | October 24, 2010 9:33 AM | Report abuse

We should just enjoy the win for a couple of days before we get back to the real world expressed pretty well by TerpfanMA.

Let's let our positive side breathe for a little while...

Posted by: petecard | October 24, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Always amazed to see that Pete and TerpFanMA can find the negative in anything. We won! We are 5-2! But these guys always look for the negative. Gotta be tough going through life like that. Bring on Wake!

Posted by: aviscardo | October 24, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Always amazed to see that Pete and TerpFanMA can find the negative in anything. We won! We are 5-2! But these guys always look for the negative. Gotta be tough going through life like that. Bring on Wake!

Posted by: aviscardo | October 24, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Avis...we know UMD can be a good football team...personally, I have been a fan from the years of Claiborne, Ross, Krivak and all the others so I have seen very good years and very mediocre years...during our time in MD, we attended over 125 home games, traveled to several bowls, were Terrapin Club members and still get to at least 1 UMD Fball and Bball game each year...I couldnt be happier with Gary but I will tell you straight up that what Fridge puts in front of you every week is NOT a good football team...yeah, I know the what their record is, and I know they will be sent to a meaningless bowl game but this team cannot stay on the field with a decent football team and after 10 years with the Fridge, I expect more. I have seen enough mediocrity from the Fridge to lose confidence in him several years ago....dont get me wrong, I am happy that we won, but where in the heck is the Top 25 program that Fridge promised us...do you know how many weeks in the last 8 years we were ranked in the top 25? Is that too much to expect? Do you really think Fridge has trotted out a quality program during the last 5 years? And of course we will beat WF next week...I guess if you have only been a fan for 10-15 years you have nobody else to compare Fridge to other than Vanderlinden and Duffner so he looks pretty good but many of us have seen what a good program looks like and this aint it!

Peace Out!!

Posted by: TerpfanMA | October 24, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

They are probably angry with other areas of their lives such as job, wife or height. Being overly critical of a sports team gives them a sense of control that they lack in those other aspects of their lives.

Posted by: garrett4 | October 24, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

That is an interesting take garrett..so we assume that when basketball season comes around, we get new wives, jobs, and grow taller, right?

Wonder how it could be that I am happy with the Patriots and Red Sox....hmmmmmmm...do have a different wife on college football saturdays and than on pro football sundays?

Posted by: TerpfanMA | October 24, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

If we best Wake next week, I bet $10 Barno1 rushes the field.

Posted by: SirPelleas | October 24, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

No, I expect to see the exact same comments with Fridge/Ralph replaced by Gary, Mad Libs style.

Posted by: garrett4 | October 24, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

I don't believe for one second that you don't blow hot air on red sox boards after their bad season this year either.

Posted by: garrett4 | October 24, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

I make a positive comment about enjoying the win and get blasted for being negative? Can you read, aviscardo?

Posted by: petecard | October 25, 2010 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Pete,
I just read it again. Sounds negative to me. You just echoed what your boy TerpFanMA said, which was negative.
Can you read?

Posted by: aviscardo | October 25, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Well that explains it aviscardo: You can see the negative in ANYTHING!

Posted by: petecard | October 25, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

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