Capital Sports Blog Uncategorized Reflections on Saturday in Baltimore

Reflections on Saturday in Baltimore

The atmosphere was there, a pro stadium, fans from opposing teams sitting next to each other, a game down to the wire and a heated rivalry.  Another close loss to Penn State.

Did the game really live up to what I thought I saw?  Probably not.  Maryland had too many turnovers and blown chances early and then again late in the game.  Penn State did not get offensive continuity or a firm hold on the game.

But the feeling was there.  It was big time.  Maryland’s offense was fun.  The Terps defensive backs could not defend a pass.  The Nittnay Lions defense did not recognize that Perry Hills was going to run instead of throw.

Several Maryland drives were into PSU territory in the 4th quarter and ended in turnovers.  I can’t label one as the killer. If I had to pick, I would take the Hills fumble that almost resulted in a scoop six for PSU.  But all, if converted, would have given Maryland the lead.  With the Terps pass defense, who knows if the lead would have held up.

On the 4th down attempts for Maryland, one was intercepted off an attempt to goad PSU into thinking it was short yardage set and trying to throw a wheel rout to the fullback.  That one was intercepted.  The effect was a punt.  It would have been worse if the PSU defender dropped the ball on purpose since it was 4th down the ball would have come back to the Terps 38.

The second 4th down attempt was on a long yardage pass to Hills left to Culmer that just was not deep enough to get the 1st down.

At the end, Penn State jumped around as though they won the national championship game when a Perry Hills sort of desperation pass was tipped and intercepted with a minute to go.  That sealed the deal on a 31-30 PSU win.

My Terrapin takeaways from Saturday are (1) Maryland can play loose and fast if necessary.  It may cause a few more turnovers at first, but I think it is a method to make the Terps competitive in the the B1G.

(2) For the most part, Maryland gave the game away early on and then again late in the game. The Terps could have had a working margin in the 1st quarter, but turned the ball over. An interception (Hills), a fumble (Hills) and a missed field goal.  Later on, Maryland failed to get touchdowns on several 1st and goal situations.

On the first and goal situations – Maryland had 4 first and goal to go from the 10 yard line.  Pretty hard to do.

(3) Penn State and Christian Hackenburg lit up the Terps defense in the air. What was thought to be the strength of the defense, the ability to defend the pass, has been a major liability this season.

(4) Maryland seemed to play everyone who was in uniform.  Even I had to go scrambling to the roster sheet to see who was in the game.  Seeing will Likely on offense and Cockerille at QB brightens the picture a bit for Terp fans.

From the dull and drab to the fun and exciting, what a difference Locksley has made already.

(5)The Terps may have played better, but heading to Iowa, Wisconsin at home and then to Michigan State is a tough road for a good team.  The Terps probably are what their record says they are, 2-5, but at the least it was fun in Baltimore on Saturday.  

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