Crab Bowl: One Major step forward for Maryland! one major step backwards for Navy?
34 seconds left. All Navy had to do is cross the goal line that was inches away. It was all over. After watching the season Maryland had last year, scoring this touchdown should have been easy. However, Kenny Tate, the Maryland safety, who is as big as a linebacker, did the unthinkable and stopped Navy’s Quarterback Ricky Dobbs at the goal line, to preserve the 17-14 victory on Labor Day Monday at M&T Bank Stadium.
Why unthinkable? Because Dobbs is the man who, last year, broke the single season college football record for most rushing touchdowns by a quarterback with 27. Dobbs ran one in for a touchdown in the 3rd Quarter. But the Maryland defense really stepped up when they had to. Give them credit. Especially after you realize that they were on the field for over 39 minutes.
Maryland was lucky. But sometimes, it’s better to be lucky instead of good. The Terps were up early 14-0 in the 1st quarter. But then, the old Terrapins began to reappear. Maryland was outgained by more than 200 yards, and gave up over 400 yards rushing to the Midshipmen. That’s unbelievable. Maryland could not stop the run.
The game was sloppy also. Bad penalties and multiple turnovers marred the game. But, in the end, watching the Maryland team come together for that goal-line stance was amazing. They got the job done. And, in the process, managed to win their first game since October 3, 2009. One more win, and they will match their win total from a year ago, when they went 2-10 (the first double-digit loss season ever for Maryland).
But what about Navy? Navy was a touchdown favorite. They finished last year with a 10-4 record, and beat Missouri to win the Texas Bowl on New Year’s Eve. They had all of the momentum (and high expectations) going into this game. Now, Coach Ken Niumatalolo and company have to figure out a way to fix all of the problems before they face Georgia Southern on September 11th. Maybe next time, if they find themselves in that situation again at the goal line, they will go for the tie instead on the win. Better to take your chances in overtime, than to wonder “What if?”.
Next for Maryland Coach Ralph Friedgen and the team, the Morgan State Bears on September 11th. Let’s hope Maryland rides the wave from this victory and takes this upcoming game seriously. Otherwise, Morgan State could be this year’s Middle Tennessee State for the Terps.