I just have to get this out of the way, this is going to be a long season for the Terps. The Terps avoided an 0 – 2 start for the season, but it was the way they avoided the 0–2 mark that concerns me. The Terps did hang around and were able to make a few plays in the end to get the win they needed.
Yesterday the Terps won 38 – 35 on an overtime field goal by true freshman Nick Ferrara. This was a lucky one though as the Terps cost themselves the lead after a few turnovers, one in particular, a fumbled punt for the second game in a row. After the fumble, momentum seemed to shift to the Dukes. For much of the first half though, the Terps were able to move the ball with short passes and runs by both Scott and Turner. Scott didn’t eclipse the century mark in yards and he seemed to be a non-factor towards the end of the game. Megget was even worse, ending with 11 yards and seemed to be stuffed behind the line more times than not. Not sure what coach Friedgen needs to do, but Maryland needs to get a running game going if they want to compete with the remaining teams on their schedule.
The defense for the second week in a row was bad. The Terps gave up close to 300 yards rushing and this was supposed to be a redefined defense under coach Don Brown. I can understand the defense is young only returning 4 starters, but these guys have got to get their heads in the game. There were missed assignments and no containment on JMU’s rushing game. There was something else missing, this team has yet to create a turnover against their opponents. Turnovers are pivitol and might help this defense build some confidence.
The Dukes are a division 2 team, but they have great coaching and have been in post-season play for the past few years. This was a team Maryland was supposed to beat, but not overlook and it felt like they overlooked the Dukes. Next week the Terps play Middle Tennessee, a team that dominated the Terps last year. The one thing they have going for them is there kicker. Ferrara is a true freshman, but he looks confident out there and he is perfect on the season so far. Maybe some of his confidence will rub off on the defense.