Maryland Bowl Eligible After Win Over NC State

October 25, 2008 | Glenn Clark

8:30-I talked a lot about how important it was for Maryland to rally on the road and steal a win at a Clemson team that still had a chance at the time to be pretty good. But after watching today’s game; this win is even bigger.

Maryland DID NOT play down to the level of the opponent today. They simply were forced to answer the call when their weaker opponent put together a VERY good game.

And for quite possibly the first time all season; Maryland won a game in which their opponent played what might be their best football of the season.

NC State wanted badly to win this game today. They knew they had improved in recent weeks; they remembered the drubbing they suffered at the hands of the Terps in Raleigh last year; and they wanted to extract revenge. Maryland took every shot NC State offered and countered with one of their own.

Da’Rel Scott ran like a man possessed. Davin Meggett ran like a man who is too green to know that he is in a pressure situation. Chris Turner remained calm and didn’t make mistakes. The Tight Ends and Wide Receivers made a number of plays; with Dan Gronkowski leading the way. The Offensive Line kept Chris Turner’s jersey clean despite one of the sloppiest fields I’ve ever seen.

The Defensive Line FINALLY made a play at what might have been the crux of the season. The Linebackers battled injuries to keep making tackles. The secondary broke up passes in one on one situations. The Special Teams set career records for field goals; successfully covered 50+ yard punts, and eventually won the game. Heck, the punter even managed to squib kick a kickoff into the endzone running 6 seconds off the clock.

And they did all of this despite TERRIBLE field conditions; a crowd that didn’t entirely make it into the stadium; and a team that played their best football of the season.

This was a character win; despite what many people will see when they look at the score.

This team SHOULD win 8 games with two games left at home. I now fully believe that they are a GOOD team; and that they really WANT to be a good team. They have four good teams left on their schedule; and they should be prepared for each one of them.

They have a chance to win out and play for an ACC title. They really do. They have a chance to win 3 games and play for an ACC title.

The point is, proving they can win a game like this means that this team is a GOOD football team; not just an up and down team.

Talk to you Monday. Go Ravens!

-G

8:20-Both Defensive Lineman Jeremy Navarre and Tight End Dan Gronkowski think that getting bowl eligible is meaningful; but they both know there are bigger goals. However, freshman running back Davin Meggett said “he has never been bowl eligible before”, so it didn’t feel much different to him. Navarre said he was “getting real frustrated” with the speed and escapability of NC State QB Russell Wilson; but that he took some of that frustration out on the sack on NC State’s “last” possession. (NC State DID get the ball back with 2 seconds left; technically meaning it wasn’t the last possession.) Meggett said that when Da’Rel Scott came off the field with an injury, Scott told him to “keep it going, no let off”.

8:14-Quarterback Chris Turner says that having two running backs who can both perform “helps (his) well being.” He said that when Da’Rel Scott came off the field with an injury on the final drive, he yelled back “something motivational”, although he couldn’t make out exactly what was said. Bruce Campbell was the most vocal player in the huddle heading into the final drive according to Turner; who admitted that Campbell’s fellow linemen Jaimie Thomas and Edwin Williams were also “pretty vocal.” Turner also gave indirect credit to his lineman by admitting “I didn’t get hit a lot” during the game.

Turner said that both he and DHB thought the 2nd down pass to the endzone was a touchdown; but the refs didn’t see it the same way. Following the incompletion, Turner thought a screen was “probably a better option” than throwing the ball downfield for a first down; although he was surprised screens had worked so well given the weather.

Overall, Turner thought that winning a tight game like this was “huge”, as sometimes his team has “gotta find a way to win.” He also said that in order to avoid a letdown; the team “played (their) game”, the defense “came up with huge stops”, and that “rankings don’t mean much” because NC State is a good team.

7:59-Ralph Friedgen opened his post-game press conference by crediting NC State for their level of play. He said this game was a “heck of a football game”, and a “big win for (the Terps)……one of the crucial wins on the season.” He said he was “very proud of (his) team”, they “showed character….especially on the the last drive and overcoming penalties.” He quipped that the team’s “destiny is in (their) hands”, but that their next game-at Virginia Tech-is a “heck of a challenge.”

Ralph said he knew going in that “this was gonna have to be a high scoring game” for the Terps to win. He admitted that although it wasn’t pretty, the Terps “found a way.” He said he told the team in the locker room after the game that “if you’re gonna win a championship, you gotta win games like this.” He was satisfied that the team did not suffer a letdown against a perceived lesser opponent, but thought the Terps were “capable of playing better than (they) did”, however they “played good enough to win.” Speaking about NC State, Ralph quipped “they’ve got a chance to be pretty good.”

Ralph appeared to get a bit emotional when speaking about Da’Rel Scott. He said Scott is “maturing on almost a daily basis” and he is “very proud of” Da’Rel and the progress he has made. He said Da’Rel came to Maryland as a track guy and that durability was a question, but that Da’Rel has “kinda turned into a tough guy.”

Ralph spoke in depth regarding the final drive of the game. After Chris Turner’s pass to DHB in the endzone was ruled incomplete; Ralph said he told Offensive Coordinator James Franklin to “get something inside the 30″ to set Obi Egekeze up for a FG attempt to take the lead. They called a double screen; which Ralph said he wanted to go to a running back (which happened to be Davin Meggett). Ralph had told Franklin “if this one don’t work; you better get ready for something on 4th down”; as the Terps were not going to try such a lengthy FG attempt. Clearly, the play worked for over 30 yards down to the 4 yard line. After the play; Ralph said that Franklin and RB coach John Donovan wanted to run another play; but the Head Coach “didn’t want to take a chance” given the conditions; so he had Chris Turner run to the middle of the field, then called a timeout-which he said maybe he should have saved in case of trouble on the FG snap.

Ralph said that before Egekeze came onto the field to try the eventual game winner he pulled his kicker aside and told him “it’s an extra point Obi; you’ve kicked 150 of these in a row.” Egekeze’s kick was true; making him 2/3 on the day. Ralph said he felt some vindication for sticking with Obi after his 0/5 start to the season; but admitted that he was frustrated with the kicker earlier in the week when Obi told him he had a pulled muscle and couldn’t kick. Ralph stuck with Obi today; and it even paid off with Egekeze delivering a 47 yarder earlier; a new career long.

Ralph didn’t harp much on the field conditions; saying he thought the field was “playable.” He admitted that the footballs “got real wet” and were hard to snap and catch; but he had the team practice with wet footballs earlier in the week.

There were three injuries in today’s game; Dave Philistin with a shoulder that Ralph says is similar to the injury Ronnie Tyler suffered earlier this season. Tyler didn’t even miss a game with that injury; but Ralph admitted that Tyler “isn’t a linebacker”. Moise Fokou was banged up a couple times during the game but returned; and Da’Rel Scott of course was hurt on the final drive; but the extent of his injury is not yet known.

Overall; Ralph was clearly pleased with the fact that the team “had the guts to hang in there when things were tough.” He mentioned bowl eligibility in the locker room after the game; but reminded the team that there are 9 teams in the ACC with 4 wins or more. He said he was proud that the team has now reverted to looking at just one game at a time. Ralph also thanked the students in attendance at today’s game for sticking around despite the tough weather conditions; saying the students were “real troopers.”

6:32-They drew up a schoolyard play; but it falls incomplete. Maryland is bowl eligible with a 27-24 victory. Ralph now has a week and a half to prepare for Frank Beamer and the Hokies. I’ll be back with more after postgame.

6:31-The squib kick from Baltz bounces all the way to the endzone; and there will be just 2 seconds left here for Russell Wilson.

6:29-It won’t look pretty. But it SHOULD be a WIN. Egekeze is true from 20; and Maryland will take a 27-24 lead with 6 seconds to play. What a play call and execution on the screen pass to Meggett. Baltz will kick off here instead of Egekeze.

6:28-Illegal participation called against NC State, but declined. They’ll now start calling their timeouts. Egekeze will get the chance to think about this one.

6:26-Turner runs the ball to the middle of the field; and Maryland will settle for a short FG attempt. NC State doesn’t bother to burn their timeouts, and this will be a 22 yard try for Egekeze.

6:24-Play upheld; and what a response! Turner finds Meggett in the flat; who turns upfield for THIRTY yards and a first down at the 5. Maryland will call their 2nd timeout; and will have the ball first and goal from the 4. They will now have the opportunity to force NC State to use all of their timeouts; and maybe punch it in.

6:22-Turner takes ANOTHER shot downfield to DHB; and it APPEARED to be a 35 yard TD: but was ruled incomplete. They will take another look at this; I don’t think they will see enough to overturn it; but some in the press box think it was a TD catch.

6:19-Turner takes a shot downfield to DHB; but the ball is up for grabs and not hauled down. Turner responds by manning up for a BIG gain downfield; 19 yards to DHB and a first down to the 35. That’s DHB’s 121st career catch; he’s now 4th all-time in Maryland history. The Terps follow that by trying to go back to the ground; but Meggett goes nowhere and the Terps are forced to spend a timeout. 43 seconds to play and the Terps have the ball on NC State’s 35. Sorry this one isn’t on TV. Maybe you should have come down here.

6:18-The Terps go back to the ground for a change of pace; but a hold will push them back to their own 46. Just 1 minute to play here.

6:17-Two plays later; Turner goes to the air for a first down to Gronkowski down to the NC State 46. Egekeze will try to shake off a prior miss as he begins warming up.

6:16-Davin Meggett picks up a first down on the next two rushes, and Maryland is up to the 36. With the clock ticking, Maryland will have to think about going to the air pretty soon.

6:13-23 carries, 163 yards, 1 TD and zero fumbles today for Da’Rel Scott; who is STILL down. Ralph Friedgen clearly laughed last week when he was questioned by a reporter on whether he considered making a switch at RB following Scott’s 3 fumbles. Scott doesn’t go off the field quickly; he instead takes some time to fire up his team and the crowd after being helped up. He is holding his arm VERY awkwardly however.

6:11-Following a first down hold; Scott bounces right back for a big gain and gives Maryland a manageable 2nd and 2; which he’ll pick up. Maryland will look to get some more yards running the ball before they even attempt a pass here and risk anything. Scott remains on the ground after the play; as he took a big hit.

6:07-And just when they needed it; Jeremy Navarre comes up with the biggest defensive play of the game; getting Russell Wilson into the ground for a loss of 12 before he could throw the ball away. Maryland forces State to punt; and the Terps will take over from their own 8 with 4:50 to play. Chris Turner needs to come up with a valiant drive here; as the Wolfpack clearly are not rattled.

6:06-This is an absolutely CRITICAL juncture for the Terps; who could be staring their ACC Championship hopes in the eye. State faces a 3rd and 10 from the 28.

6:05-If he had half an eternity earlier; he had the REST of the eternity this time. Wilson has about 30 seconds, and manages to scramble his way to the Maryland 28 for a first down. That play was demoralizing, and brought out some boo birds in the crowd.

6:02-A strong run from Andre Brown gets NC State 17 yards and a 1st down across midfield to the Maryland 45. They want to try to get a score and take time off the clock clearly.

6:01-Florida State has moved ahead of Virginia Tech 17-13 in the 3rd. Virginia maintains a 17-14 advantage at Georgia Tech in the 3rd, and Navy leads SMU 34-7 in the 4th.

6:00-Just 45,000 in attendance for Homecoming today. Clearly the weather affected the walkup crowd; but it is disappointing that they weren’t able to sell more tickets in advance to such a big game.

5:59-That went south QUICKLY. Instead of a TD; the Terps were faced with 3rd and long, and a screen pass just wasn’t there. Egekeze; who had made ten in a row; then missed a tough FG wide right in TERRIBLE conditions. Maryland had a BIG chance to put pressure on the pack; but were unable to take advantage.

5:55-It WOULD have been another TD for Da’Rel Scott; but a hold will bring things back to the 22. Rain picking up here as the Terps face 3rd and 18 from the 22. A fade will be in order.

5:53-Da’Rel Scott is back in action; and the Terps are back in business. Three carries later; the Terps are down at the 14 and have the chance to go back ahead.

5:49-ANOTHER muffed punt return; this time by Graham; and it was recovered inside the 1. It appeared as though Spencer didn’t have control of the return until he was in the endzone; which would have been a safety. This is all nullified though; as NC State was charged with a personal foul before the kick; which will give Maryland new life; 15 yards, and a first down at NC State’s 36. They need to cash this in.

5:48-Morgan State had a better fate than Towson, as the Bears got another 100 yard performance from Devan James and forced 4 turnovers en route to a 20-3 Homecoming victory over Delaware State.

5:47-Turner sacked by Willis on 3rd down; and Maryland will be forced to punt to open the 4th quarter. Fans here are clearly on edge; and not particularly into the game.

5:45-The Terps give DHB his 3rd touch of the game on an end around; but this time it costs them 2 yards. Hopefully it will keep NC State honest and give them a chance for a big play in the 4th.

5:44-The Terps and Pack trade penalties, and the Terps have a first down at their own 43. Da’Rel Scott follows that up with ANOTHER nice run, this one for 13 yards and a first down to NC State’s 44.

5:42-I gave Towson too much credit unfortunately. You heard it hear on WNST.net and AM 1570; as the Tigers fell 42-14 to New Hampshire earlier today. I had picked 33-17 Tigers; as I thought they had learned from their recent winning ways.

5:41-Scott finds nothing on first down, and DHB can’t haul in a pass to the outside from Turner; and Maryland is immediately faced with a 3rd and 11. But Da’Rel Scott does a NICE job of taking a screen and turning it into a 17 yard gain. Good mix to get this offense back on track.

5:38-Jamari McCullough gets into the backfield and the Terps are FINALLY in the sack column; a loss of 8 on 3rd down that will force the Pack to punt. Maryland starts at their own 21.

5:36-Chase Bullock breaks up a first down pass attempt from Wilson, but Wilson has ALL DAY to throw on 2nd down; and finds Jarvis Williams for a first down up to the 40. Maryland will HAVE to get some sort of pressure on Wilson; who seems to have enough time to read a book, shave, and call his mom on every play.

5:33-NC State snuffs out a 3rd down swing pass attempt in the flat; and Baltz is forced to punt. The Wolfpack will start with the ball at their own 26. Maryland NEEDS to get into State’s backfield and get their hands on Russell Wilson; who has continued to make plays throughout the game.

5:31-Maryland starts their drive from their 31 and gets the benefit of an offsides call on NC State to move to the 36. Nothing doing on 1st or 2nd down; and Maryland will be faced with a 3rd and 6 from their own 35.

5:30-Navy starts the 2nd half with a 27-0 advantage over SMU. So much for my 42-41 projection. Virginia leads Georgia Tech 17-14 in the 3rd down in Atlanta.

5:28-Dave Philistin has injured his shoulder and will not return. Hopefully his shoulder injury is not as significant as Kevin Barnes’ was; but this is not a good sign for the Terps.

5:26-Wilson with the NICE fade to Davis for a 7 yard TD strike; they’ll take another look at it, but it definitely seemed like if nothing else, he had the room to get his feet down. Wilson has REALLY been growing week to week. The play will stand, and it is now 24-24 with 7:38 to play in the 3rd. This is a game of trading punches; and someone is going to make a mistake that will allow the other team a body blow.

5:21-Wilson steps up BIG on 3rd and 9 and runs for 27 to the Maryland 32. Those are the types of plays that will leave Ralph and Chris Cosh FUMING; and could be the difference in Maryland busting this open or allowing the Pack to keep things close.

5:20-Wilson fumbles the snap on first and ten from the 39; but the Pack will recover after a loss of just 4. Still nothing in the Sack department for the Terps.

5:18-Bruce Posner points out a number on the stat sheet that I didn’t even notice at first. Alex Wujciak had 12 first half tackles. That’s incredible.

5:16-Scott continues his strong running by finding 24 yards and the endzone; putting him past the century mark for the day. This will be the difference in the 2nd half if Maryland is going to put the Pack away……they will HAVE to get strong running from Da’Rel Scott mixed with pickups from Meggett.

5:14-1st catch, 2nd touch for DHB today goes for 9 yards up to the NC State 38. Turner follows that up with a SIGNIFICANT underthrow to DHB downfield in double coverage; but he’s bailed out by an interference call that will get the Terps to the 23.

5:13-Virginia Tech is back ahead of Florida State; 13-10 at the half.

5:12-Da’Rel Scott is off to a good start in the 2nd half; as two rushes later he’s taken the Terps from their own 33 to NC State’s 48.

5:10-As Thyrl mentioned; Time of Possession is ABSOLUTELY a factor here. NC State has held the ball for 22 minutes; effectively mixing the run and pass; and ESPECIALLY effective using the rollout. The conditions remain TERRIBLE, and the crowd is getting smaller as we go. NC State will have their chances. Make no mistake though; this game is not “another letdown” as many fans will look at it. NC State is a continuously improving team, and both teams are playing pretty good football today.

4:51-Tune into AM 1570 or click “Listen Live” above you; as I will be joining Thyrl Nelson in moments to break down the 1st half.

4:50-Maryland’s decision APPEARED to work when NC State was forced to RUSH their kicker on the field after a 15 yard pass play; but Czajkowski was true from 28 yards to end the half. Things are tied at 17 at the intermission.

4:48-NC State with the curious decision to spike on 1st down. I know they have no timeouts; but that leaves them with just two plays to try to come up with something. Maryland makes a curious decision to accept a pass interference call on 3rd down and push State back to the 26 when they could have forced them to try the kick.

4:45-Wilson had Graham open in the endzone; but overthrew him. State faces a 3rd and 9 from their own 25. The Pack deliver; as Wilson gets time and finds Hill for 14 to the 11 with 37 seconds to play.

4:44-The game in Annapolis is certainly not as close as I thought it might be; as Navy jumped out to a 20-0 advantage in the 1st quarter; and maintains that advantage in the 2nd.

4:43-Faced with a 4th and 3 from the 32; NC State decides to go for it. Good choice. Wilson swings to Eugene off a no-huddle play; they get a first down to the 26 with about a minute to play in the half.

4:41-A correction on a score I had mentioned earlier; ESPN.com incorrectly had the FSU-Virginia Tech score as 7-3 FSU on their scoreboard; but the FSU TD had actually made the game 10-7 in favor of Virginia Tech; who had built an early lead. Florida State has since added a 50 yard FG from Graham Gano and things are now tied at 10 in the 2nd.

4:40-Another good play in downfield pass defense from a 1 on 1 defender. Fokou breaks up a pass intended for Eugene that would have gone for about 20 yards. Wilson continues to have plenty of time to throw the ball; and fumbles on 2nd down; but recovers his own fumble for a loss of 1. 3rd and 11 now for the Pack.

4:38-Without Kevin Barnes; NC State takes a shot downfield; but Anthony Wiseman breaks up the pass intended for Spencer. NC State gets a 1 yard run on the next play; but then finds ten yards on a dump for a first down at Maryland’s 40.

4:37-The field conditions strike again; as Oquendo can’t corral the punt at the 45, and NC State picks up the fumble at their own 49; giving them new life.

4:35-Wilson had a shot at finding Spencer up around their 20; but he couldn’t climb the ladder. It wouldn’t have mattered anyway; as Spencer had run out of bounds previously.

4:33-Maryland bails out State by jumping into the neutral zone on first down; but NC State gives those yards right back on first down. State faces a 3rd and 6 from their own 5; not exactly the place you’d want to do anything risky; not even their effective rollout.

4:31-Turner BADLY overthrows Torrey Smith, and the Terps will be 3 and out here. HUGE punt from Travis Baltz nets 54 yards and Cory Jackson downs it at the 1; forcing NC State to take over DEEP in their own territory with a SLOPPY field.

4:28-NC State appeared to be moving the ball pretty well; but a holding penalty hurt them; and they never got back on track after facing a first and 20. Maryland starts their drive from their own 43 following a NC State punt.

4:23-Here’s how the early ACC results affect the Terps. Boston College and Wake each fall to 2-2 in conference play; so with a win the Terps would be a game clear of both in the Atlantic Division. Maryland and Florida are currently tied; with the Noles going ahead of Virginia Tech in the 2nd quarter; and Maryland of course leading here in the 2nd as well. Maryland’s advantage over Wake would be more like 1 and a half games should they win; as the Terps hold the win over Wake already. Florida State heads to College Park in November; Maryland wraps up their season with a trip to BC.

4:21-Things REALLY starting to get sloppy in the rain. Graham muffs the kickoff, recovers, but only gets to the 14; where the Pack will start their next drive.

4:18-Meggett finishes one play later; plunging in for a 1 yd TD run to put the Terps back ahead. I am CONTINUOUSLY impressed by what Meggett brings to the table; and the future he might well have here in College Park. 17-14 Maryland with 10:21 to play in the half. Now the Pack get the chance to play from behind; which is exactly what you want a young QB to do.

4:17-Turner finds Gronkowski for 8 yards to the 12 for a first down on a nice rollout play. Turner may have dropped too far back on the rollout to still have been a threat to run; but he did a nice job of touching the ball to Gronkowski. Davin Meggett follows that up with a STRONG run to the 1 yard line. First down.

4:15-AND JUST LIKE THAT! Brown fumbles; and McCullough covers it up at the 24. Maryland gets that big play defensively they needed; and they have a chance to swing momentum back here. (Edit from GMC: The Forced Fumble was originally creditted to Antwine Perez, but later creditted to Skinner.)

4:12-Turner is forced to throw the ball away on 3rd and 10 in the face of pressure. Egekeze follows up by setting a new career long FG with a 47 yarder. I was surprised to see they’d trust Egekeze from 47 given the conditions; but he was true and had some to spare. Remember when this guy was fighting for his job? Hard to believe now! 14-10 NC State with 11:57 to play in the half. Maryland NEEDS to make a play on defense to get momentum back on their side.

4:11-What was already an underwhelming home field advantage is hurt even more by the number of ponchos seen throughout the crowd; with red only prevalent in the student section. Yellow and orange ponchos are seen throughout the rest of the stadium.

4:09-Da’Rel Scott gets things into motion right away; with a NIFTY 39 yard run on first down to the State 30 yard line. This happened even after State had jumped offsides; which I believe Kenny Mayne would report as cheating.

4:08-Torrey Smith with a decent 16 yard return; Maryland will take over from their own 31, once again playing from behind. Hard to establish control of the game when you’re playing catchup.

4:05-Wilson runs ANOTHER successful rollout; and finds Jarvis Williams wide open in the back of the endzone. It is POURING in College Park right now; which is helping to make things wacky. 14:05 to play in the half; 14-7 NC State.

4:04-Chase Bullock with a nice play to break up what would have been a TD pass in the endzone from Wilson to Hill. NC State will be faced with a 3rd and goal from their own 4.

4:03-I’m not kidding about how difficult it is to win on the road in the ACC. Miami handed Wake their 2nd straight defeat 16-10 today at Dolphins Stadium.

4:02-NC State will have a first and goal from the 7 to start the 2nd quarter; but the first quarter will come to a close with the score tied at 7. Maryland’s defense could use a big play (a sack maybe?) to start feeling good about itself.

4:00-Wilson gets half an eternity to throw; and finds Eugene inside the 20 after the Maryland defenders had broken in to try to help contain Wilson. NC State again marching inside the 20.

3:58-NC State has done a good job early of getting into VERY manageable 3rd down situations. On 3rd and 3 from the 45; Wilson finds Hill on a rollout for 8 yards and a first down across midfield.

3:58-We’re back to even as Turner gets GREAT protection on 3rd down and finds Dan Gronkowski open and lets him fall into the endzone. 7-7 with 4 to play in the first. State back to work across the 30 to start their next possession.

3:51-Turner with a lazy fake pitch; but makes up for it by finding Lee-Odai for 19 yards down to the 20. Terps need to match with a TD here to eliminate State’s momentum. A FG or failing to score would allow their momentum to stretch.

3:49-Da’Rel Scott gets ten on a solid delayed run; then DHB follows up by picking up 17 on a delayed reverse. Terps inside State’s 40.

3:45-Jordan Steffy dressed today; presumably would be available in an ABSOLUTE emergency situation. Torrey Smith unfortunately bumps into his own man; and he’s down at the 34. Maryland will take over playing from behind.

3:41-Jeremy Navarre and Nolan Carroll keep Wilson out of the endzone on a delayed scramble; but State has the ball on the 1; and Brown has no problem leaping in for a TD. Bruce Posner’s thoughts: “Good deferral; wasn’t it?” I couldn’t agree more. Just like that-with 7:12 to play in the first; NC State has a 7-0 lead and a TON of confidence. Maybe getting your offense on the field first is a better idea.

3:39-Wilson continues his controlled passing attack by finding Brown for 8 yards to the 9. On 3rd down; Wilson takes himself for 4 yards and a 1st down at the 5. Pack knocking on the door now.

3:38-Boston College followed up their impressive primetime win over Virginia Tech last week by getting PUMMELED 45-21 at Carolina today. Winning on the road in the ACC is JUST NOT EASY.

3:37-Pack faced with 3rd and VERY short at the 19 and Brown stays on his feet to get a first down at the 17. Pack operating with a first down in the red zone.

3:36-Wilson finds Bryan down to the 28 for a pickup of 15. Terps bending early and giving the Pack confidence. Not much pressure; and the rollout continues to be effective as Wilson gets another 8 on a scramble down inside the 20. Nice pop from Wujciak at the end though.

3:35-Wolfpack mix run and pass to get two early first downs across midfield. Wilson looked good on a first play rollout pass.

3:33-Terps defer the toss and NC State starts with the ball. Controlled passing and running the ball will be the story today with a wet field. The Terps’ decision to continuously defer (Ralph said his players screwed that up last week) is puzzling, as this team seems to play better when they take the ball first an establish an early advantage. It certainly drives WJFK’s Bruce Posner (who sits next to me) crazy.

3:31-ESPN360 Today; so most of you will be forced to follow along with me. Weather has kept the crowd from being particularly impressive; which will certainly frustrate Ralph. Hopefully there are still many filing in from the tailgating area.

3:23-Some quick thoughts from today’s Basketball scrimmage first. The stats say that Landon Milbourne (24 pts.), Greivis Vasquez (23 pts), and Cliff Tucker (26 pts) lead the way; but they didn’t impress me most; with maybe the expection of Tucker. I thought Eric Hayes really did a nice job of leading the offense for the Red team; who won 80-66. Hayes did a nice job of finding his own shot; which is key as this is not a particularly good shooting team. Hayes was 4/6 from beyond the arc; but that included a big shot right before the intermission break as time dwindled. I also REALLY liked what Sean Mosley brought to the table. The kid is smart and has great instincts. He will take it to the whole on occassion, but he also stepped back for a baseline three during a key 12-0 in the first half. And Adrian Bowie also impressed me. He was just 3/8 from beyond the arc and had only 11 points; but he seemed to battle well with Eric Hayes. Dino Gregory has 12 boards; which is good because SOMEONE has to play down low.

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