10 Things We Learned From Cal v. Maryland

9/6/2009 10:54:18 AM

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1.  The O-line is going to struggle all year.

Chris Turner had no time to pass. Plain and simple.

2.  The Defense is disorganized.

How many times did you see Cal receivers running ahead of our CBs?  If the safeties are blitzing and we don't have the CBs to play man-to-man; then the defensive strategy needs to change.  I still believe that blitzing is key to success in college football; I just wonder if our DBs are able to adjust when we blitz.

3.  Da'Rel Scott is consistent and reliable.

He's our best player and should play on Sundays one day.  Coach Franklin needs to dispense with the subtlety and make Scott the focal point of the offense.

4.  Red-zone execution continues to be a major problem.

Some sequences were simply mind boggling.  Down 14-0 in the first quarter and facing 1st and goal from inside the 5 yard line;  the Terps had Meggett in the backfield instead of Da'Rel Scott? Can someone explain that?  Why would the Terps choose to use their smaller backup during the most important sequence of the game to that point?  I understand that they wanted Meggett in for a few series and that was his turn; but Scott is one of the best backs in the NCAA.  This from a team that struggled mightly in the red zone last year. That move was inexplicable and inexusable.

5.  Offensive play calling is erratic and the coaches will panic and abandon the game plan at the first sign of trouble.

The Terps ran all over Cal last year.  I understand that we got behind early and our O-line is different from a year ago; but stick with our best weapons.  Da'Rel Scott was successful; but the coaches panicked and went away from the run.  I didn't see the Terps run on 1st and 2nd down back-to-back at any point in the first half.  I'm sure it happened; but that should be our bread and butter.  Use the run to set up the pass.  We let the defense dictate our play.  That is never a good way to win games.

6.  Apparently, the delayed QB sneak is our top 3rd down offensive play (they ran it for three consecutive 3rd downs in a row at one point)

Chris Turner is one of the slower QBs we have ever had.  If we can't protect him on third down, then figure out another way.

7. There are no leaders on the defensive side of the ball.

What else would explain the blown plays?  Most of the big plays occurred because certain players didn't realize they were supposed to blitz.  No one was able to settle the unit down.

8. The WRs have enough talent to get open. Turner doesn't have the arm strength to get it to them.

Cannon looks to be a rising star.  Too bad he his QB has me longing for a QB with Chad Pennington's arm strength.

9.  Miscues (penalties and turnovers) can't be overcome.  The  Terps will not win with mistakes.  The margin for error is just not there.

This is true of almost any team but I honestly don't see this team beating any conference opponents in games where the Terps have a negative turnover margin.  The same is true of the penalties.  Any game where we commit the lion's share; we are sunk. This team is not talented to overcome the mistakes.

10.  Maryland is a basketball school.

Not that there was any doubt.
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