Sometimes the odds makers are off but it’s very rare that they are. All week the Terps were trying to be motivated by being a 21 point underdog. Seems though, they left all their motivation in College Park. 21 points was soft as the Terps were handed one of their most lopsided losses.
The Terps were hoping for the same results as last year when they went out and dominated the Golden Bears. This year was different. The Terps didn’t seem ready. Their defense looked like Division 2 and their offense couldn’t convert when they closed in on the Cal 20 yard line.
From the start, Marylands offensive line seemed overmatched. The defensive line of the Golden Bears continually pushed back on the Terps causing Turner to rush his passes. For the first half, Turner was sacked 5 times and never looked comfortable in the pocket. For most of the first half, Scott could not get good reads and couldn’t get any good runs. Megget was even worse seemingly getting pounded as he reached the line. There wasn’t anything to combat the defensive rush such as screen passes. They needed something to keep Cal honest, but it never happened. Maryland converted on many short passes and had a few drives going, but as they crept closer to Cal’s end zone, nothing ever produced.
Maryland’s defense was bad. They were pushed all over the field in the first half, eventually trailing 31 – 6 at half. Cal’s Heisman Trophy candidate Jahvid Best torched the Terps defense for 137 yards and two touchdowns. This was only a piece, a large one at that, of Cal’s total rushing effort totaling more than 240 yards. Maryland talked all week of stepping up and making a statement against a ranked team. This year was obviously different. The Golden Bears were out for revenge from last year’s loss to the Terps . Last year, the Terps played at home and put up strong defense to stop a high scoring offense from moving the ball for the first three quarters.
Next week the Terps get a little reprieve with JMU coming to town. That’s not to say this will be a cakewalk as the Dukes have been competitive the past five years in their own division. If the Terps overlook this one, they may be in a two game hole they did not expect. This game next week will do good for the confidence of the Terps and could right the ship for the following few weeks.