The Future is Bright(er)

11/7/2009 2:51:12 PM I know it’s time for hoops season and not many of you have been getting excited to watch college football on Saturday afternoons for some time. After all, it’s quite frustrating to see your team turn the ball over on the first play 3 times in one season!

To say this has not been a good football season is a supreme understatement. However, I have seen enough to think that this can be a quick fix. I’m not saying this is an ACC championship team next year, but there is enough talent on both sides of the ball to win 8+ games next year. I truly believe that.

There are playmakers on offense in Smith, Logan, and Cannon. The running back corps is deep and good as long as they learn to hold onto the freakin ball. The offensive line can’t possibly be worse next year. They have some players redshirting or coming in next year that can make it better, plus the added experience from those who had to play this season when they were not ready.

On defense, it’s been a struggle I know, but these guys have gotten much better. The first few games were rough, but now it’s just the fact that the offense’s struggles have them on the field so much it’s only natural that they would run out of gas late in games. They have playmakers of their own and Tate has had a nice last few games.

The biggest question for next year is clearly who will be QB. I think it will be interesting to watch the battle in the spring and in camp, but honestly, it’s as if we’ve played with a young QB this year because Chris Turner has been horrible. He’s shown some of the poise you would have expected from a senior at times, but his constant bad throws and game changing pick 6’s have cost this team many games. I know the offensive line has been dreadful, but he’s gotta be the calming influence back there and lead by example . He’s gotta know when to make throws and when NOT to make throws.

Now Jamarr Robinson has an arm. They did not let him throw for the first 10 plays he was in there, but he showed a good arm on 2 overthrows that could have been touchdowns. I know he’d like to have had those throws back, but he improved as the game went on and made some plays with his arm and feet. Now the kid needs time to get more experience and he should get it the rest of the way. Even if Turner’s injury is not serious, Robinson needs to play because they need to know whether this is the guy who will lead the team next year, and I was impressed with his play late in the NC State game. I know they don’t want to burn O’Brien’s redshirt, but now they may have to. Perhaps he may be the guy or it could be an incoming freshman. Who knows, but one thing I do know is that they have the playmakers that can make a QB look good and they have enough on defense to be competitive.
Hopefully another year under Don Brown can help the D going into next year.

The one thing that has been the Achilles heel for this team has been it’s stupid mistakes. They have been soooooo dumb with penalties and turnovers that we could look at the talent and think they could be an above .500 team if they just played smarter. This reckless play has a lot to do with the youth on the team, but it’s up to the coaches to harness that and get these guys to do the right things.

In every game this year except for the California game, the Terps left points on the field. They could have won any of those. That’s little consolation, but it’s something that was mostly self-inflicted. That can be fixed. They can make the plays necessary to win games. It’ll just have to be next year.

So while we now move on to basketball, I will still watch the final 3 games in hopes of seeing something positive from the young players. Then I can hope next year will be better. It’s not a coaching thing this year in my opinion, so I’m not interested in those looking to fire Fridge or bitch and moan about Franklin being the coach in waiting. These guys deserve one more year before the claws come out. Let’s see what they do to fix this problem.
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