Maryland-Clemson Live Blog

September 27, 2008 | Glenn Clark

3:30-I can’t begin to explain how monumental this was for Maryland. Ralph speaks so much about this team needing to prove what kind of team it is; and they certainly did that in the 2nd half today. But they can’t rest on that. Wake Forest might be the best team in the ACC, and they will need to be ready for a similar misdirection offense against the Deacs. This is a brutal stretch for the Terps; and as important as this win will be; it will be more important to follow it up with consistent play in the following weeks. As Drew often says; sometimes thinking you’re good can be just as important as actually being good. This team might be both right now. The defense proved their mettle in the 2nd half; and Chris Turner’s first down passes on the final drive should help him build off of what was otherwise not a very good performance. It should be an emotional trip home for the Terps; who are very much a part of the ACC Championship picture.

3:14-There’s the knee. GAME OVER. HUGE WIN FOR THE TERPS ON THE ROAD. HUGE WIN. CAN’T SAY THAT ENOUGH. What a win for Maryland. Final thoughts to come.

3:12-Holding call negates what would have been a first down run from Da’Rel Scott.

Carolina has rallied to take a 28-24 advantage over Miami in the 4th.

3:10-This game is over. With Clemson having just one timeout left; Maryland will be able to run the time off between plays. Over.


3:07-2nd and 6 for the Terps from Clemson’s 44. The 40 second play clock means Maryland doesn’t have to do THAT much.

3:06-HUGE first down pass to Williams. Maryland will look to keep running the clock down. What a time for Isaiah Williams and Chris Turner to hook up.

3:05-ANOTHER false start for the Terps. Their 5th on the day. It will be 3rd and 8 from the 42.

3:03-We might be talking about that mark for a long time. I’m not sure where the ball was when the play was blown dead; but I certainly did not think the officials could overturn that.

3:01-PLAY STANDS. Maryland ball. Need to run some time off the clock here; pass is an option. Clemson loses a timeout.

3:00-Clemson challenges the spot of the ball. It LOOKS like he got the ball past; but can you overturn this?

2:59-WRONG! Harper is just INCHES short, and Maryland takes over at the 40.

2:58-Harper APPEARS to get the first down on a falldown. We’ll need another measurement.

2:56-A checkdown pass to Spiller turns into ALMOST a first down pickup. Clemson will almost assuredly go for it on 4th and VERY short.

2:54-A Personal Foul on Xavier Dye will push things back to the Clemson 42; and will force the Tigers into 3rd and 18.

2:53-Missed tackles allow Clemson to pick up 8 on a 2nd down split screen. On 3rd and 7; Harper again goes underneath for a 1st down pass to Grisham. A good QB makes these plays; and Cullen Harper IS a good QB.

2:52-A bad snap will force Cullen Harper into a 6 yard loss. 2nd and 16 from the 34.

2:51-Alex Wujciak up to 14 tackles on the day to lead the defensive charge. Harper smartly looks underneath on 3rd and 2 for a 1st down completion to Michael Palmer.

2:50-Tigers will start from the 21.

On a side note; Congrats to my Perry Hall Gators for a huge comeback OT win at Hereford last night. Drew Forrester, I will be expecting my coffee Monday morning!

2:48-Scott punches it in for a 1 yard TD run; Maryland takes a 20-17 lead with 10:25 to play in the game. Ralph is clearly signalling something about “heart” to his players. What a difference this half has made; starting with the defense.

2:47-Turner picks up a bad snap; finds Oquendo down to the 2.

2:46-Duke now up 24-3 over Virginia. Wow have things changed in Durham under Cutcliffe. UNC gets things down to 24-21 in the 4th. Florida and Ole Miss tied at 17 in the 3rd.

Turner finds Danny Oquendo for a 1st down at the 23.

2:44-Maryland takes their 2nd timeout with 11:30 to play in the game. You get the feeling they might wish they held on to that.

2:43-Da’Rel Scott gets a huge run on 3rd and 1 to give Maryland a 1st down at Clemson’s 33.

2:41-Moten hits Harper as he throws; and Oquendo takes the punt return into Clemson territory. 1st down Maryland with a HUGE chance to break through.

2:38-Miami has extended their lead to 24-14 over UNC in the 4th.

Clemson faces a 3rd and 9, Maryland with a huge chance to get the ball right back. Spiller limping a bit again.

2:35-Chris Turner throws a pass to intended receiver-THE GROUND-and finds him well. Baltz’s punt reaches the endzone; and with 14 minutes left; Clemson will take over from their own 20.

2:34-Duke has extended their lead over Virginia to 17-3. Al Groh might be an alum; but he might not make it through the week.

2:32-Costa called for his THIRD false start; his 2nd with Josh Portis on the field. 1st and 15 following Gronkowski’s big first down catch. The 3rd quarter comes to an end with Maryland trailing 17-13; but they have the ball 2nd and 10 in Clemson territory.

2:30-A block in the back will cost Maryland ten yards of field position; they’ll start from their own 33.

2:28-Maryland gets a huge stop on 3rd and 9; and Clemson will be forced to punt again.

2:26-Clemson gets a short first down conversion on 3rd and 3; they continue their drive from their own 18.

2:24-Turner is batted down on 3rd down, and Maryland is forced to punt. Clemson will take over on their own 6; the Maryland defense could have used a longer drive to rest; the Terps could have used the points to really change the momentum.

2:20-CJ Spiller has just cramps. He will return. Turner finds Gronkowski for a gain of 15 on 1st down.

2:15-A pass interference call on Moten gives Clemson the ball at the 35; but a strange run play gets Maryland a stop in the backfield and gives Clemson a 2nd and 17 from the 28. CJ Spiller is hurt after the play.

Duke leads Virginia 10-3 in the 3rd. David Cutcliffe is making a statement.
Miami leads UNC 17-14 in the 3rd.
Boston College leads URI 21-0 in the 2nd.
Florida has opened their lead over Ole Miss to 17-7 at the half.

Dean Muhtadi gets a sack on 2nd down and Clemson will face 3rd and about 25. A screen will get them just 12. Clemson will be forced to punt.

2:10-A 3rd down stop and a punt to the endzone sets things up well for the Terps. DHB then gets 75 yards on a double reverse; and Chris Turner flips to a wide open Torrey Smith for a 6 yard TD. Just like that, Maryland is back in the game; trailing 17-13 with 8:34 to play in the 3rd. BUT; the defense didn’t get much time to rest.

2:04-The Maryland defense fails again on 3rd down; as Harper finds Kelly for 17 into Maryland territory. This drive could be a killer.

2:01-A hold negates what would have been a 55 yard TD run by CJ Spiller. Maryland will get a 2nd chance to get Clemson off the field on 3rd down.

1:55-Turner throws the ball away on 3rd and 17. So much for an important drive! Turner continues his erratic throws, the O-Line with another false start, and an interesting decision to run outside despite their first half failures. Thankfully Travis Baltz nets 53 on his punt. If this is going to turn around, it might have to start with a MAJOR play on defense. (Like the one Harrell and Moten combined for in the first half?)

1:53-Maryland will start with the ball at the 20. Ralph says they haven’t played worse. He’s probably right; with the exception of the MTSU game. Scott goes outside on first down for a loss. Maybe running the ball up the middle might be a better idea!

1:45-Also, we never got a good look at the Da’Rel Scott run that was ruled down inside the 1 at the end of the first half. I honestly thought he might have broken the plane there. Maryland didn’t need to challenge that because they were going to get the ball at the one inch line; but the ensuing false start made that spot very key.

1:40-Maryland needed to establish the run and control Time of Possession. They’ve done neither. They needed to get their LB’s in the backfield to neutralize Clemson’s powerful misdirection running attack; they haven’t done that either. Their first drive will be VERY important to establishing how the 2nd half will go.

1:31-Clemson takes a 17-6 advantage to the half.

Elsewhere; Duke and Virginia tied at 3 at the half. Ohio State up 19-3 over Minnesota at the half. Florida up just 10-7 over Ole Miss in the 2nd. Miami up 17-7 over Carolina at the half. BC and Rhode Island scoreless in the 1st.

Back with more shortly.

1:30-After a failed screen pass on 1st down; Maryland takes a surprising timeout. They’d be just as well to go to the half here.

1:27-A Jamari McCullough INT works the same way as a punt, and Maryland gets the stop they needed.

1:25-A hold call negates what would have been a HUGE return for CJ Spiller. Clemson will start with the ball 1st down from their own 37.

1:23-The only silver lining here is that if Maryland can somehow make a stop on this Clemson possession; they will start with the ball in the 2nd half; and will have another chance to determine the pace of the game with an extended drive. But that HAS to start with a defensive stop here.

1:20-Turner continues his erratic passing by overthrowing DHB on 1st down. Da’Rel Scott is BARELY able to stay out of the endzone on 2nd down; and Turner’s screen to Da’Rel Scott is stopped short on 3rd down. Terps will be forced to punt with 1:43 to play in the half; and Clemson ready to take another crack at a tired Maryland defense.

1:17-Ed, I noticed that. It appeared as though his helmet actually might have gone to Turner’s side, so it could be said that he technically didn’t LEAD with his helmet. It did look like a dangerous hit though.

Maryland gets SOME pressure on 3rd down, and Harper throws the ball away. Clemson will be forced to punt; and the punt goes out of bounds inside the 5.

1:15-Steve Martin said “Why would Clemson throw?” That’s the understatement of the day. A lack of pressure on the QB in the past is a good reason to think the Terps wouldn’t be able to get LB’s in the backfield to slow down a multi-faceted rushing attack.

1:13-And naturally the Terps would respond by losing 3 yards. Another punt is forthcoming, and a depleted defense will be forced to spend more time on the field. Clemson will take over on their own 40 with the chance to break Maryland’s spirit before the half.

1:09-And just like that; Maryland’s 2 Field Goals become irrelevant. Clemson guts Maryland’s run defense again; and James Davis with a 38 yard TD to extend Clemson’s lead to 17-6. Why was anyone concerned about Clemson’s O-Line? Maryland has to respond with a time controlling drive and slow this game down.

1:02-Egekeze connects from just beyond 30 yards; Maryland gets within 10-6. Field goals will not continue to cut it however.

1:01-ANOTHER false start pushes Maryland back to a 3rd and 8 from the 13. Turner hit as he’s thrown; and the Terps will be forced to try another FG.

12:59-CRAZY pass play to convert a 3rd and 8. Turner overthrows Ronnie Tyler; the ball bounces off Torrey Smith’s back; and Tyler ends up making a diving catch. Unreal.

12:56-A Da’Rel Scott ten yard is negated by a holding penalty; Maryland will now have a 1st and 15 from the 35.

12:54-Jared Harrell bats down a backwards pass and Adrian Moten recovers it before going out of bounds. HUGE play by both; and great recognition to recover. Maryland will take the ball on Clemson’s side of the field.

12:51-Miami has a 14-0 lead over Carolina in the 2nd quarter……maybe they are for real. And Virginia has a 3-0 lead over Duke in the 2nd as well.

12:49-Chris Turner tries to thread a pass to Williams; but the ball gets there too soon. Egekeze gets a 23 yard FG; but CERTAINLY a disappointing way for this drive to end. 10-3 Clemson.

12:47-Maryland with an INEXCUSABLE False start; pushing them back to the 6.

12:45-Da’Rel Scott marked down inside the 1; and the first quarter comes to an end with Maryland trailing 10-0 but knocking on the door. Expect a Scott leap on the next play.

12:44-Clemson takes a timeout with :12 to play in the 1st quarter. Spiller’s muffed punt has certainly helped turn the momentum; and a Maryland score here would be even bigger.

12:42-Portis goes to an outside run (with a pass threat) to get a first down inside the 10.

12:39-Turner underthrows DHB on a gutsy deep ball call on 3rd and 2. Turner has frequently underthrown long balls.

MARYLAND GETS A HUGE BREAK when Andrew Schmitt recovers a muffed punt; giving the Terps a 1st and 10 at Clemson’s 19.

12:35-CJ Spiller gets to the outside for a 35 yard TD run. Maryland CANNOT afford to miss any tackles given Clemson’s running attack. Also, there will be plenty of scoring in this game; so Maryland needs to respond now and not let the Tigers run and hide.

12:32-Mike, while they have used Portis in a couple of pass plays this season; it is very clear when they use him that it is almost certainly a run. James Franklin is trying to mix that up; but they would need to keep him on the field for more than 1 play on a few more occasions.

Harper goes to Jacoby Ford and Aaron Kelly on back to back pass plays to get the ball into Maryland territory.

12:30-Clemson immediately back to the run to get the first down up at the 17. Terps have to get into the backfield.

12:25-Turner unable to find DHB on a 3rd and 9 play after a Josh Portis run finds just 1 yard. Terps will punt and down the ball inside the 5.

12:23-Da’Rel Scott with a HUGE scamper on a 3rd down swing pass gets Maryland to the other side of the 50. Huge play to extend the drive.

12:18-Teams like West Virginia and Wake Forest have had great success with the misdirection run in recent years; so its not surprising to see Clemson succeed with it early. Maryland is fortunate to hold the Tigers to a FG on the first drive; 3-0 Clemson with 10 minutes to play.

12:16-The spread running attack continues to befuddle the Terps; and Clemson has a first down at the MD 17.

12:12-James Davis opens things up on Clemson’s first drive with back to back first down runs. Maryland MUST keep their RBs contained. Tigers already past midfield.