5:10 Here are my final thoughts from today’s win.
The first thing everyone is going to think about after the game is how this team continues to be up and down from week to week. We all know how they performed against Clemson in the 2nd half; and we all know how they forgot to get off the bus just one week later in Charlottesville. But there are two picture things working here….
One-It is EXTREMELY difficult to win on the road in this league. The turmoil in Clemson aside; winning games away from home is JUST not easy. And that isn’t a new thing. It is always difficult to win on the road in most leagues; especially leagues where (almost) every school plays in their own building-like the ACC. (Winning on the road in the Big East at a place like Pitt isn’t quite as tough because Pitt plays off campus. Same for South Florida. Miami plays at an off-campus stadium as well; but Miami is not on Maryland‘s schedule this season.) When Maryland travels to Virginia Tech and Boston College later this season; they might well suffer big losses again. Changing momentum on the road is almost impossible. In fact, the Terps BADLY needed halftime to come at Clemson just so they didn’t drown. Unfortunately; the big lead, an already disappointing season, and a team that just really isn’t that good all helped the Tigers unravel after the half. That won’t always happen on the road. Wake Forest got to the half today in front of a less than packed crowd but still couldn’t crawl out. Winning on the road just isn’t that easy. Maryland has done their part thus far by remaining undefeated at home.
Two-This team NEEDS to get leadership from their own players. Ralph is an old school guy; and while he is a very good coach; these are new school young men. These are guys with iPods, these are guys with iPhones, these are guys who know how to update their Facebook pages from the locker room. These aren’t guys who think the same way Ralph does. And Chris Turner-for his many positives-is NOT going to be the leader that many starting QB’s will be. He’s just not that type of kid. But there are plenty of players on the team who CAN be leaders. What happened during the bye with the players only meeting is VERY important to this team being a good team. If those players can maintain that ownership; then they CAN be a good team. They have home run hitters, they have speed, they have depth, and they are smart. The only thing they aren’t is even keel. If this week was the start of a more disciplined, more intelligent team; they are still VERY MUCH a part of the ACC title picture. If this was no more than just one more week on a roller coaster season, this team is still VERY MUCH alive for the Meineke Car Care Bowl.
Either way, it was pretty good today. They still need more pressure, and Da’Rel has to hold on to the ball; but this was pretty good.
That’s it for me. Talk to you Monday. Go Ravens tomorrow.