Turner said at the beginning of the season that this Maryland team is “easily a ten win team.” Well, I think its more of “if the hole keeps getting bigger, stop digging.” The Terps come away from Saturday’s rematch with Middle Tennessee State with a loss on a last second field goal by the Blue Raiders. The Terps looked to avenge last years loss only to be upset again.
I can’t fault Turner for this weeks loss, after all, he did move the offense and he did score points. Turner threw two beautiful touchdown passes to Torrey Smith (5-135-2) and both Da’Rel Scott (13-117-1) and Davin Megget (18-51-1) had a touchdown a piece. From the beginning of the game, the Terps were able to move the ball without issues. Turner used a few dink-and-dunk passes combined with a few long passes to Smith to move the passing game down the field. On the ground, Scott had good cutbacks and caught a good run for 50+ yards to get over a hundred yards for the first time this season. Meggett added 51 yards to balance out the air and ground game against the Blue Raiders.
As for the defense, they did step up and stopped the running game holding the Blue Raiders under a hundred yards total rushing. It was the passing game they had trouble with. They couldn’t stop Dwight Dasher (351-2-2) who seemed to come up with key plays putting his offense in position the score. This includes a throw deep to the Maryland’s one yard line with less than a minute to go. This sealed Maryland’s fate as Alan Gendreau came out and kicked the wining field goal.
Maryland is just not putting these games away. The defense is a little suspect, either giving up a ton of yards in passing, a ton of yards in running or both. These games they’re playing right now are supposed to be games they win before moving into the ACC schedule. This week, not only did the defense have issues stopping Middle Tennessee but also the special teams had some problems. Nick Ferrara, who was perfect so far this season, missed two key field goals with one being from short distance. That seemed to be the difference in the game and may have kept Maryland safe as the Blue Raiders were pressing at the end of the game. This is a young team, but they need to become more consistent in the next few weeks or their ACC schedule is going to be tough.