Maryland-Delaware ‘Almost’ Live Blog

August 30, 2008 | Glenn Clark

7:45 It turns out the attendant must have been looking at Jordan Steffy’s thumb; because Ralph says that’s why he left the game. Ralph didn’t know when the injury occured; but said he knows Jordan “can play better than he did in the 2nd half.” It doesn’t appear as though the injury will cause a continuation in the QB competition; but rather that the Terps will watch Steffy’s throwing during the week and evaluate.

Ralph admitted that the Terps will have to throw the ball more with Josh Portis. He said that Portis called the wrong play on the 4th of his 4 running plays-you know, the one where he ended up spinning around and was taken down for a loss.

Ralph said he thought the team “got something out of this game” and reminded the media that Delaware is a good team. He was concerned with how the heat would be a factor, as most practices have come during an abnormally cooler month of August.

Ralph said that while the passing game needs to improve, they ran the ball “better than expected.” Da’Rel Scott had 197 yards; but Ralph actually thought Da’Rel was “tired” and could have broken off some of the plays where he was stopped.

Ralph was obviously pleased with the play of the defense, but said they need to tackle better. He thinks the D-Line will improve with the upcoming return of Travis Ivey.

Ralph did not seem overly concerned about Obi Egekeze’s 3 missed field goals; saying “they weren’t chip shots”. He thinks Egezeke will make those in the future.

The only other injury note Ralph spoke of was OL Jaimie Thomas; whose neck bothered him.

That will about do it for me here in College Park. I will share more about tonight’s game between now and Tuesday in an actual column. It was fun blogging for you; and I look forward to doing this in the future.

6:41 That should about do it. Da’Rel Scott with another 7 yard first down run. He’s pretty close to 200 for the day; but Chris Turner is going to the knee.

Let’s wrap it up. Terps win 14-7. Certainly more questions than answers. I’ll be back with more after Ralph talks.

6:38 Sean Schaefer had Towson driving in Annapolis; but was incomplete on a 4th and 20 play. Shun White responded by reeling off a 73 yard TD run, and Navy has a 38-13 lead. It looks like I’m not going to win this bet.

The Terps have moved to an exclusive all-run diet, and Chris Turner plunged for an important first down with 2 minutes to play.

6:33 The secondary hasn’t been the problem. Terrell Skinner intercepts Schoenhoft’s first pass attempt; and Maryland takes over inside the 40. Chris Turner remains in the game.

6:32 The Delaware contingency is MUCH louder now.

Chris Turner misses BADLY on an out route; and Maryland will be forced to give the ball back to the Hens with 3:42 to play.

Anyone getting nervous?

6:28 Dangerous territory for the Terps. Jonathon Smith plunges into the endzone for a 1 yard TD; and Delaware has cut Maryland’s lead to 14-7. Oh, and Ralph has a QB controversy again. This hasn’t looked good.

6:25 Robby Schoenhoft has been getting some things done as Delaware moves to what has been close to an all-pass attack. Terrell Skinner dropped an INT around the 30 yard line.

In the 4th, USC leads Virginia 38-7.

Maryland’s inability to get pressure on Robby Schoenhoft is REALLY costing them right now; as the Hens are on the 1 yard line after a 32 yard pass to Aaron Love. 1st down.

6:19 Chris Turner’s first drive ended the same way many others have……….with no points. He mixed in a nice toss outisde to LaQuan Williams; but could not convert a mid-range 3rd down. With 8:50 left to play, it is safe to say we will not see Ralph be emptying the bench today.

Tampa has gone ahead of the Orioles. Anyone surprised?

6:13 Jordan Steffy is not receiving any attention on the sideline. What does this say about Ralph’s comments regarding Jordan “not having to look over his shoulder….”

Back to back holding calls leave the Terps faced with 1st and 22 from their own 45. There was a spirited attempt at throwing a block mixed in by Turner.

6:10 Chris Turner enters the game to a sizeable ovation.

Note-the 49,119 people here are the largest crowd Delaware has ever played in front of.

The Rays have tied things up with the Orioles at 7 in the 6th.

6:09 Some member of the training staff attended to Jordan Steffy during Delaware’s possession. She appeared to be looking at his hand or wrist; but I cannot confirm whether it was injury or equipement related.

6:05 Steffy throws behind DHB on a short 3rd down route. Boos heard. Turner throws warmup tosses on bench. Fans cheer.

5:59 Josh Portis isn’t fooling anyone anymore. When he’s on the field; Delaware knows he’s running. James Franklin will have to do something to change that.

Only 49,119 at Byrd Stadium today. Not a good number for opening weekend; and Delaware may have even brought a larger crowd than usual.

Steffy goes underneath to Meggett for a first down; Maryland takes a 14-0 lead with them to the 4th quarter.

5:52 Running the ball continues to be a good thing for the Terps. Da’Rel Scott broke off another long run; then Davin Meggett followed it up with his first career TD run; a 13 yard scamper to the left. Maryland now has 227 yards rushing on the day and a 14-0 lead with 3:56 to play in the 3rd.

5:47 Delaware has been getting good protection up front on both running and passing plays; but Robby Schoenhoft hasn’t always made the best decisions with the ball. A nice return by Danny Oquendo will give Maryland the ball at Delaware’s 42.

USC has extended their lead over Virginia to 31-7 in the 3rd; Utah maintains a 22-10 advantage at Michigan in the 3rd. RBI’s from Ramon Hernandez and Dioner Navarro make things 7-4 Orioles in the 5th.

5:45 Navy gets a long passing TD to open up a 31-13 lead over Towson. I may owe someone at WNST a lunch after all.

Not a lot of energy from the crowd at Byrd Stadium right now; they have to think this Maryland team should have a bigger lead than they do.

5:38 Jordan Steffy won’t be booed if he keeps handing the ball off to Da’Rel Scott. Scott sets the tone for Terps on this drive; carrying them some 56 yards; he’s up to 131 on the day. Steffy is sacked and fumbles on 3rd and 8; and is then intercepted by Anthony Walters on a bad 4th and long pass. Walters should have knocked that down. Delaware takes over on their own 2. Just so you know; Chris Turner is not warming up.

5:33 Kind of a wacky play here; as Delaware went for it on 4th and about a yard from Maryland’s 20. They play appeared to be blown up in the backfield; but Jonathan Smith was able to get back to the line of scrimmage; where we fumbled. The fumble was recovered by Delaware past the first down marker; but a fumble cannot be advanced on 4th down. Therefore; the ball was marked where Smith fumbled; and Maryland takes over. Got all that?

5:24 A Brian Roberts sac fly has extended the Orioles’ lead to 6-3 in Tampa. I know its tough to be a Birds fan, but at least we know Tampa is always around to make sure we don’t finish in last, right?

Delaware opened up their bag of tricks to start the 2nd half; and had a chance to make it work. A double reverse saw Aaron Love with the ball; but his deep pass was underthrown; and intercepted by Kevin Barnes.

But on the very next play; despite no pressure; Jordan Steffy was intercepted by Erik Johnson. Delaware has the ball on Maryland’s side of midfield. There has been booing.

5:13 Maybe Ogi Egekeze should have tried to blend in with the ’83 team that was being honored on the field at halftime instead of going back to the locker room. I don’t imagine he was greeted with a particularly warm reception.

That being said, the Terps have shown signs of being fluid on offense, but MUST get the ball in the endzone more often. Some might say the score should be 16-0 right now; but it COULD have been even more than that. I expect James Franklin to continue to try to wear Delaware down with the run in the 2nd half.

Here are the numbers……
Scott has 10 rushes for 74 yards. Meggett has 3 rushes for 34 yards. DHB has 1 rush for 12 yards and a TD. Josh Portis has 2 rushes for 11 yards.

Steffy is 8-12 for 106 yards. DHB has 4 catches for 70 yards, Haroon Brown has 1 catch for 20 yards. LaQuan Williams has 1 catch for 8 yards; Ronnie Tyler has 2 catches for 8 yards.

Defensively, Alex Wujciak and Jeff Allen each lead the way with 5 tackles.

For Delaware, Robby Schoenhoft is 6-9 for 38 yards. Johnathon Smith has rushed 10 times for 33 yards.

In Annapolis, Navy added a FG before the half to take a 24-13 lead.

5:03 Can the Terps sign recently released Kicker Nick Novak? Obi Egekeze misses AGAIN; this time on a 41 yard attempt. Maryland maintains just a 7-0 lead at the half.

Meanwhile, Aubrey Huff continues to own his former team; connecting on a 3 run homer-his 30th of the season-to give the Birds a 5-3 lead over the Rays in the 3rd.

Halftime analysis coming…..

5:01 Steffy finds Ronnie Tyler for just 2 yards on 3rd and 6; Egekeze will attempt 41 yarder with just 4 seconds to play in half.

Meanwhile, Towson puts together ANOTHER good drive in Annapolis, and Schaefer finds Marcus Lee for a 4 yard TD. 21-13 Navy now.

4:57 More solid running gives the Terps a first down at their own 43; then Steffy does a nice job of getting away from pursuit to throw the ball away. With 1:40 left in the half; Steffy finds FB Haroon Brown for 20 yards on 3rd and 2.

4:53 Jon Striefsky’s 46 yard FG attempt was WELL short; and appeared to be tipped by Alex Wujciak. Maryland takes over at the 29; still ahead 7-0.

The Rich Rodreguez era at Michigan is off to a shaky start; Utah has opened up a 15-10 lead in the 2nd.

4:50-A 2 run double from B.J. Upton has given the Rays a 3-2 lead over the Orioles. They’re in the 3rd.

Delaware has put together a bit of a drive; they face 3rd and 11 from Maryland’s 29. Nolan Carroll JUST missed an interception two plays earlier.

4:45-Just as soon as good things start to happen for Towson in Annapolis; bad things follow. Sean Schaefer marched the Tigers downfield and found Casey Cegles for a 22 yard TD; but that was followed with a missed XP. Even worse; just two plays later; Navy back Shun White scampered 87 yards for his 2nd TD of the day. 21-6 Navy.

Phillip Thaxton reels off 5 yards for Delaware on 3rd and short; then Schoenhoft finds Mark Duncan for 18 yards to Maryland’s 41.

4:42-I don’t know if Maryland’s marketing department even considered spending money on a Heisman campaign for Darrius Heyward-Bey; but he certainly is proving to be the explosive playmaker this team BADLY needs. He made a SPECTACULAR leaping catch on a 36 yard play where Steffy appeared to overthrow him. On the very next play; he took a 12 yard sweep into the endzone; and Maryland has a 7-0 lead.

Quick note: the 36 yard grab was DHB’s 100th career catch in College Park; he is just the 11th Terp to haul in 100 career catches. The rushing TD was his 2nd career rush TD.

4:38-How hot is Dave Wannstedt’s seat at Pitt? Most expected this to be a turnaround season for the Panthers; but a 27-17 loss to Bowling Green in the opener will not help that. Insert your own Matt Cavanaugh joke here.

Maryland stops another Delaware drive at the 20; they will start on the good side of midfield.

4:33-The Orioles have a 2-1 lead in Tampa as Brian Roberts singled and Jay Payton homered to start the game. The Birds recalled Oscar Salazar today; sending Radhames Liz back down. Liz will be called back up on Monday when rosters expand; and will make Tuesday’s start.

4:28-Delaware does Maryland a huge favor by having PR Aaron Love call for a fair catch inside the 5 yard line. Still scoreless though as the Hens take over for their next drive at their own 3.

4:24-I was surprised by Delaware’s decision to open the 2nd quarter with a punt; but they again pinned the Terps inside the 5. Davin Meggett shows what everyone says he’s been doing all camp; running for 31 yards on the first 2 plays of the drive.

The Hoos are finally on the board; as Mikell Simpson makes things 21-7 USC. Not a good day for ACC teams in the Commonwealth.

Josh Portis’ second play from scrimmage was also a designed run; this time for 5 yards.

4:22-I have a bet with a certain WNST personality that Towson will stay within 14 of Navy today. As Sean Schaefer marched the Tigers downfield 55 yards on their first drive, I considered preparing a “Told you so” text message. Probably best I didn’t. Schaefer was intercepted on that drive, and Navy has established a 14-0 lead. You can hear that game LIVE NOW on AM 1570 WNST and WNST.net

Meanwhile, as the first quarter ends here in College Park; Delaware has put together a decent drive; but faces 4th and 1 from Maryland’s 39. It remains scoreless here.

4:12-Stuff from everywhere. Another drive sputters and Egekeze badly misses a 44 yard FG try wide left. Score remains 0-0.

Meanwhile, Ravens cuts have come down; and Gary Stills, Chad Slaughter, Allen Patrick, and Casey Bramlet are amongst the notables. David Pittman and Cory Ross have both been placed on IR. Derrick Martin was suspended one game (PRESUMABLY for his incident in Cleveland); and the Ravens say they will make an addition to the roster before the Sept. 7th opener.

4:10-We have our first Josh Portis sighting. Portis came in for one play; a designed QB rush for 6 yards. Da’Rel Scott followed that up with a 40 yard run. Jordan Steffy misses Torrey Smith badly on a short route; boos heard through crowd (unfair).

4:08-In case you weren’t watching the Fox Soccer Channel last night; Sasho Cirovsky’s Terps got a dramatic 2-1 win over UCLA in Los Angeles. The Terps trailed 1-0 with just a minute to play; but Sean Flatley tallied the equalizer, and Rodney Wallace tallied the game winner in extra time. The Terps were ranked 8th going into the game; UCLA 14th.

Meanwhile, some strong running by Da’Rel Scott has gotten the Terps two first downs up to the Delaware 26.

4:01-Maryland responds by breaking up screen pass play in backfield on next 3rd down. Delaware gets beautiful punt, coverage; Maryland starts 2nd drive on own 2 yard line.

3:59-To say the pass interference call that went against Terrell Skinner on a 3rd and long would be fair. Delaware with the ball at midfield.

3:54-Exciting start; but Terps’ first drive sputters. Steffy was 2-2 for 32 yards on his first two plays; both completions to Heyward-Bey. However, they went to Da’Rel Scott on back to back plays; and Steffy lobbed a 3rd down pass that was broken up; and Obi Egekeze saw his 48 yard FG try fall short off the right upright. Delaware takes over at the 31.

3:48-There were some uncertainties about who would start at certain positions; but here are your starters…..

OFFENSE:
QB Jordan Steffy
RB Da’Rel Scott
FB Cory Jackson
WR(x) Isaiah Williams
WR (z) Darrius Heyward-Bey
WR (fl) Danny Oquendo
TE Dan Gronkowski
LT Scott Burley
LG Jaimie Thomas
C Edwin Williams
RG Jack Griffin
RT Dane Randolph

DEFENSE:

DE Mack Frost
NT Bemi Otulaja
DT Jeremy Navarre
LEO Trey Covington
SLB Moise Fokou
MLB Alex Wujciak
WLB Dave Philistin
CB Anthony Wiseman
CB Kevin Barnes
FS Terrell Skinner
SS Jeff Allen

Delaware won the toss, elected to defer. Terps will take kick

3:40-About 5 minutes from kickoff at Byrd Stadium; Delaware will start Ohio State transfer Robby Schoenhoft at QB. The Terps are honoring their ’83 ACC Championship team today.

It will be interesting to see what the reaction will be today any time Jordan Steffy might make a mistake. One turnover will like be responded to with screams for Chris Turner from this crowd. It will also be interesting to see how the Terps use QB Josh Portis.

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