Maryland vs. Cal Bears Preview

9/3/2009 7:02:28 PM

Image by throwinrocks! via Flickr

The college football season is upon us.  There are tons of great matchups this weekend.  No less than four games this weekend feature Top 25 teams squaring off against each other.  The marquee contest pits two Top 10 teams, Alabama and Va Tech; but there are some great intersectional battles too. #11 Georgia hosts #13 Oklahoma State and of course, the Terps visit #12 California.

No one is giving Maryland a chance in this game.  Oddsmakers have Cal laying 20+ points. It is no doubt a tall task to fly 3000 miles across the country and win in a hostile environment, but I think that folks are underestimating the Terps

After all, the Terps won this game last year.  Sure Darrius Heyward-Bey is gone, but anyone who followed this team last year knows how hard it was for the Terps to get him the ball. Maryland is returning many starters including their senior QB (Turner) and one of the best rushing corps in the country (Scott and Meggett).

Besides, the Terps won last year by running the ball down Cal's throat.  It was the Da'Rel Scott show.  Has that much changed in 12 months? Perhaps pundits are pointing to the fact that the Terps faltered in the second half and saw their big first half lead almost wilt away.  While concerning, we must not forget that Maryland's defense last year was a "read and react" defense.  Read and react is a nice way of saying "prevent defense".  Well, we all know that a prevent defense only prevents  you from winning.  I believe that the Terps will be much better in the more aggressive scheme.

The Terps should have no fear.  We've beaten the Bears before and I think we can beat them again.  I only bet on sports when I am in Vegas, however I think the Terps are a lock to cover and good bet to pull off the upset.  Cal is no powerhouse.  Maybe they have more talent on paper; but the program does not have a history that towers over an opponent like the Terps. After all, the most significant moment Cal football history involves the Stanford band.

One last thing to consider.  Our QB is coming home to CA.  He has requested 70+ tickets for family and friends.  If Chris Turner has demonstrated one talent in his tenure at Maryland; it's been his knack for coming up big in big games.  Is there a better moment that his first start in home state?
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