What a sports weekend this is shaping up to be in Baltimore/DC! The Orioles and Nationals are in the playoffs. The Ravens are playing the old Baltimore franchise, the Colts, there is a football team in Landover MD, and our beloved Terps play Ohio State.
The good folks at Buckeye Battle Cry asked me to participate in a blogger exchange. These guys are great so don't hesitate to follow them on Twitter at @The_BBC (by the way, don't be afraid to folllow me either @chicagoterp).
Here's our exchange. They answered my questions first and my answers to their questions follow:
How do you feel about realignment? I'm horribly biased but we aren't so thrilled about coming in with Rutgers. I mean it is a good school and all, but they have no tradition in any sport. We will forever be lumped in with them, and I'm not sure I like that.
Nor should you be, I don't blame you. We never looked at the recent expansion as a two-fer package deal. We saw Maryland bringing in a good school, some funky uniforms, long-term athletic excellence in basketball and lacrosse, and an upside in football and baseball. Meanwhile, we saw Rutgers as a foothold to the "New York City metro" market for BTN. You're right, they too are a good school, but as far as athletics.. we'll have to seewhat happens.
As far as the Division alignment goes, geographically it makes sense and the Division names (East, West) even make sense. Tough break for Maryland that you're in the same Division as Ohio State and Michigan State,but at least you get to play Penn State, Michigan and, yes, Rutgers, so it's not all bad for you.
We want to again welcome you to the B1G, glad that you're here.
What's the mood around the fan base with Braxton Miller out for the year? Do you still feel that a Big Ten title is a possibility?
When the topic of Braxton Miller comes up, there are two sides, those who think he will return as the Buckeye starter and those who think if JT keeps up this pace he will remain as the starting quarterback.I understand what Coach Urban said publicly in regards to Braxton and being the starting quarterback when he returns. The fans can take this as gospel if they so choose but if you’ve never heard the term "Coach Talk" then welcome to 2014.
It is my opinion as well as many others that if JT keeps up this level of play and performance, he will remain as the starting quarterback next year. To think how well JT has played and his "ceiling" being so high for improvement, breaking his confidence by sitting him after a successful year could be detrimental to his growth. Now if we know this, trust me, Urban knows this as well. It is completely understandable that with all the love the Buckeye fan base has for Braxton that this may not play out as the most popular decision but in long run I think it will be the best. Remember, JT still has to perform and improve for any of this to happen but his confidence is at an all-time high and you can see it in his play.
Looking at the Big Ten this year I am very optimistic when it comes to our chances of winning the title this year. There are a few obstacles to overcome but we are seeing growth and improvement every week. The Buckeyes must sustain that momentum heading into the Big Ten schedule as they have shown the last two games. There are certainly no guarantees that this team will make it to the BIG Championship game but "why not us" mantra seems to fit for this team, at this time.
My point is, with the loss of Braxton and then the loss to VT, almost everyone had written the Buckeyes off and they battled back into contending discussions (it helps when Penn State and That Team Up North are terrible) so again "why not us"?
What facet of the game do you think will be Ohio State's greatest strength against Maryland? Where will you be most vulnerable?
The line play on both sides of the ball will dictate the flow of the game and will be the important piece for Ohio State.Maryland has some talented players along the lines too but I think The Buckeyes win in in the trenches. The Buckeyes are still the most vulnerable in the secondary. Youth has been the theme and they are learning on the run so to speak. Covering Diggs a week after Moore will be a challenge for sure.
How did you guys lose to Virginia Tech? Was it a great game plan by Coach Beamer,a lack of execution by the Buckeyes, or did they just beat you?
Bud Foster spent months working on a game plan and his guys executed it perfectly. Up front the Buckeyes were beat by a scheme that they simply weren't prepared for, both on the field and in the coaching box/sidelines. Spending so much time preparing for Navy hurt Ohio State but their inability to make adjustments during the game was baffling. Seeing Foster's game plan and how effective it was really exposed the youth they are working with on the offensive line. But that's not an excuse, this is Ohio State, you adapt and overcome. Just didn't happen that night.
Now my answers to the BBC's questions:
- Welcome to the conference! How are you enjoying your membership so far? Did you get the fruit basket and flowers we sent? Was that a buckeye plant in there or a marijuana leaf? I still can't tell the difference. Most fans are psyched about the switch and I'm a Chicago-based Terp grad so I am loving this. No more ESPN3! In all seriousness ACC realignment took away all of our historical rivalries, so there was nothing to hold onto unless you count an annual home and home vs. Pitt. Besides, however unlikely, Maryland could now play in a Rose Bowl. Who wouldn't be behind that?
- Terrapins are 4-1, and less than a touchdown away from being 5-0. Is this the start you anticipated or is this "Wow, being in the Big Ten is great!"? I mean, 3-0 in away games is crazy good. We here in Terp-land have different expectations for our football teams. We can't recruit to be competitive annually. We're hoping for a peak every 3 or 4 years. Senior QB, Stud WRs. We knew we'd move the ball. That WVU loss really hurt, but in truth, we didn't play well enough to win. The rubber meets the road this week. If we can pull off a win, we'll be on cloud nine. Most fans thought we'd be 4-1 at this point with this team. The best news is that we've been injury free and that has killed us the last two years.
- Maryland's passing attack is rolling along, 5th in Conference, at 262 yards per game. Based on what you saw of the OSU-Cincy game, how many yards does Maryland pass for? So, here's the thing. Our 6th year senior QB, CJ Brown, is a dynamic runner who adds that dimension to the offense but he can't pass worth a lick. He's woefully inaccurate. Most of his passing yardage comes off wide receiver screens. Our backup, Caleb Rowe, played the entire second half of the Indiana game (due to a Brown wrist injury) and a series in the West Virginia game. He's much more accurate. Rowe stands in the pocket like a statue but he gets the ball into the hands of our elite wide receiving corps down field. If Rowe plays more than half the game, I think we can put 300 passing yards on you. If not, we are more balanced, with about 200 yards passing.
- Any chance you'd be interested in letting us borrow Stephon Diggs for a game in East Lansing? Pretty please? My goodness, isn't he wonderful? He's Sammy Watkins with a coaching staff and a QB who don't know how to get him the ball. Diggs is the most electric player we've had in College Park in my memory and that includes Torrey Smith, Vernon Davis, and Darrius Heyward-Bey (don't laugh at the last one). Don't sleep on Deon Long on the other side. He is also fantastic.
- CJ Brown is listed as the starter on the early depth chart- How's his wrist? Do you think Ohio State will see any of Caleb Rowe on Saturday? As evidenced by my answer above, I think we will be OK if Rowe sees action. Brown should be fine, however. He's practicing. We can't run the ball without him, and our passing attack is handcuffed with him. I'm torn. In the final analysis, I'd prefer a guy who can get the ball in the hands of our playmakers more consistently. Brown will play the whole game if he is healthy despite my protestations (unless he is totally ineffective).
- Who on Maryland's defense should worry OSU? LB Cole Farrand had 19 tackles last week and has been fantastic. Believe it or not, there are two defenders named Yannick. Yannik Ngakoue has emerged this year as a sack threat and when paired with Yannick Cudjoe-Virgil; it's the best Yannick-named linebacking tandem in college football history. Also, Will Likely is an undersized corner who will play on Sundays. He's a beast. He spurned Florida for Maryland. Hard to believe that last sentence but it is true.
- Coach Studrawa coached with Urban at Bowling Green; how will that help Maryland as the prepare for the Buckeyes visit to Baltimore? Ahem. College Park, MD is inside the DC beltway. Half of our alumni base just vomited in their mouths when they read that sentence. DC folks hate being associated with Baltimore (For the record, I'm a Baltimore guy so screw them). I don't see any special insight turning the tide here. Urban is an unbelievable coach and his style has evolved over the years. Having Studrawa on the sidelines won't change the outcome on the field.
- Crab cakes and football, is that really ALL that Maryland does? Seriously, we know about Maryland's hoops legacy, what else should we be looking forward to as the Terps join the B1G? Bear Bryant coached here before he went to Bama. We won a national championship in football in 1953 so we were relevant once (The QB on that team was named, Dick Shiner. I kid you not.). We lead the country in backup NFL QB's: Stan Gelbaugh, Neil O'Donnell, Fran Reich, Shaun Hill, Scott Zolak, and Boomer Esiason (ok Boomer was pretty good). Our student body is stocked with Long Island and New Jersey punks so the ACC hated us for our obnoxious behavior. Our most famous alumni are Connie Chung and Jim Henson. Also, Sergey Brin the founder of Google and the dude who created Oculus Rift went to MD, but those guys are nerds!
- Ok, we're curious- What uniform is Maryland wearing on Saturday? We want to be sure our team's outifts don't clash, and nothing's more embarrassing than when we show up wearing the same thing as the host... Haha. I wish I knew. I don't like our unis personally, but you know who loves them? Recruits. Those ugly things are very popular with the kids these days. Our biggest booster is Kevin Plank, founder of Under Armour and a former Terp football player, so if he can turn us into the Oregon of the East I will love him until the end of time.
Maryland officially begins life in the Big Ten tomorrow with a trip to Bloomington IN to face the Indiana Hoosiers. The Hoosiers have been Jeckyl and Hyde this year. A home loss to Bowling Green followed by a win over #18 Missouri. Which team will show up? I suppose that depends on which Terps team shows up.
Maryland's defense has looked [...] Read More »
I've made my feelings about our starting quarterback known. Thus, I fear we are in for a long day tomorrow. Randy Edsall seems intent on sacrificing the rest of the talent on the roster so he can have a mobile quarterback on the field. Caleb Rowe may not be the second coming of Scott McBrien but he was in for a handful plays and completed every [...] Read More »
Yesterday's loss looked close but it wasn't. WVU ran all over Maryland. Nearly 700 yards of total offense? What's worse than calling that "embarrassing"? Humiliating? Yeah that's it. It was humiliating. From where I sit, I didn't see a defense that was ready for the offense they faced. The Terps rushed 3 or 4 guys the entire game. It looked the [...] Read More »
Nothing says Big Ten vs Big 12 like Maryland vs. West Virginia, eh? Seriously, this venerable rivalry endures despite all the conference shifting underneath our feet and that is something to be happy about.
As for the game, the Mountaineers are always a bellwether for our Terps. A win and we are a good team. A loss and we are average. Today [...] Read More »
No excuses but I will give you a few anyway. I was in California all week and got in late last night and my parents are in town for my 40th birthday party this evening.
The good news is the Terps are up 7-0. Let's go boys.
[...] Read More »
This is going to be a year of firsts for Maryland. It starts today. Maryland will take the field as a member of the Big Ten for the first time. The Terps will play James Madison, an opponent they should roll. That is of little importance because the college football season has started and that is a reason to rejoice.
Maryland is on the upswi [...] Read More »
I was asked by an Ohio State blog to participate in a roundtable of other bloggers about the upcoming football season. Here are the results. I've reprinted my answers below for your convenience. I edited some answers in the wake of Braxton Miller going down.
Who are the returning players that will need to step up for the team to have succ [...] Read More »
Trayvon Reed's career at Maryland is over before it even begins. He was kicked off the team today. Based on the reports, it is hard to blame anyone but Trayvon for getting kicked off the basketball team.
Apparently, he punched a cop over the theft of $5 worth of candy. Let that one sink in. It is inexcusable to steal and it [...] Read More »
Folks, I'd like to introduce you to a Terp-run start-up called ShieldCo. ShieldCo makes hand-crafted iron shields for homes, offices, rec rooms, etc. You can find them here (www.shieldco.co)
Here's a bit more info straight from the owners:
ShieldCo is offering free shipping until 1AUG. code GOTERPS14.
Here are some other unique things abo [...] Read More »