After Maryland’s Pathetic Loss to Duke, Time For Ralph to Move on From Chris Turner Era

October 24, 2009 | Glenn Clark

Maryland was pathetic in their 17-13 loss to Duke on Saturday.

The play-calling was pathetic. The play-execution was pathetic. They rotated being pathetic offensively, defensively, and on special teams.

It was an embarrassing loss for a team that has made a season out of embarrassment.

They’re just not good enough.

And with the loss, it is time for Ralph Friedgen to let go of his trust in and respect for Senior QB Chris Turner and begin to look at the future.

Being 2-6 this season (1-3 ACC) is NOT Chris Turner’s fault alone. Moreover, if we were putting together a Drew Forrester “percentage pie” to assign blame for why this team has been so bad this season, Turner would probably get less than half of the pie. Not because he’s been good this season (he hasn’t), but because there are MANY more areas of blame. The defense was bad early in the season. The offensive line has been bad THROUGHOUT the season. Da’Rel Scott and Davin Meggett have been much too “fumble-y” for talented Running Backs.

However, those are areas where the current players NEED to play. The defense is young and has improved vastly. The offensive line is young, and the veterans are actual NFL prospects (Phil Costa and Bruce Campbell). Da’Rel Scott (junior) and Davin Meggett (sophomore) will each be back next season. Quarterback is the only position where this team isn’t building for the future of building a player for his own football future.

Chris Turner is not going to be a professional football player. The next 4 games will not help get him ready for the NFL Draft. They will not make him a better option for the CFL. Chris just isn’t good enough to play professionally. While Ralph Friedgen may feel as though he “owes it” to Chris to continue to play him, it will do nothing for either party other than help the QB’s pride. Chris has carved his place in Maryland’s record books, and he will always be remembered as the quarterback who helped the Terps to some VERY big wins (@Rutgers, Boston College, Cal, North Carolina, etc.). But the Terps don’t need a big game winner anymore. Hopes of an EagleBank Bowl trip have about as much life in them as Y.A. Tittle did on The Comcast Morning Show Friday.

The first question to be asked will be “What do Jamarr Robinson and Danny O’Brien have to gain by facing NC State, Virginia Tech, Florida State and Boston College? The only possible answer is that the quarterbacks will at least have game experience before taking the field in September. One of these guys is going to HAVE to play. This isn’t the same as sticking a QB in to be a sacrificial lamb. One of them HAS to play, and the offensive line will not suddenly be WORLDS better next season. Robinson would presumably be the better choice given the fact that this is his 3rd year in the system, he can’t get a redshirt year, and he is a bit more mobile.

The Terps will play Fork Union in a JV game this week. These games are known as chances for head coaches to learn about what they have for the future. My suggestion is that this coaching staff-which has had no problem going with younger players (like Caleb Porzel) at other positions now add quarterback to the list of positions they take time to evaluate.



4:36-Scratch that. What a disaster. Duke can run out the rest of the clock after a Tony Logan muff. 17-13 Devils. I’ll put the finishing thoughts on this one in a minute.

4:35-Hey now! A big defensive play! Duke has to punt! Maryland gets one more chance! Good luck Chris!

4:34-Duke faces 3rd and 18 after a holding call. I’m sorry I’m not updating much, I guess I just have a feeling about how this story will end…..

4:28-I just poked over to to see if John Turner had any thoughts on the 4th quarter. Nothing that I’ve seen so far.

I thought we were going to see Jamarr Robinson in this game?

4:24-A first down on a penalty is still a first down.

An interception is NOT a first down. Vincent Ray intercepts Chris Turner, and Duke takes over with 4:09 to play in the game.

Chris Turner is not exactly re-writing his legacy…..

4:19-Great play by Jared Harrell, and Duke forced to punt. Maryland will take over at their own 21. 5:03 to play, I say this is 4 down territory. But few care about what I say.

4:12-Maryland forced to punt, and Duke will take over from their own 40 with under 7 minutes to play in the game. Not sure why Maryland has insisted on trying to run when it has done basically nothing for them.

4:10-Big pass interference call drawn by LaQuan Williams. Maryland gets a first down at the 14. I would probably be throwing more on this drive.

Drew-maybe just react accordingly?

4:06-I can’t tell if it was a fumble or not. I guess they can’t overturn it.

4:03-With under 10 minutes to play, Thad Lewis took off for the goal line-and HUGE DEFENSIVE PLAY! MARYLAND BALL! Wow, I didn’t even see the fumble. What a big play.

3:58-And a great screen play to Jay Hollingsworth. Argh.

3:57-Conner Vernon goes over 100 yards receiving, and Thad Lewis had plenty of time to throw the ball. Frustrating.

3:54-Nice play by Vince Oghobaase to knock down that pass, and Maryland will be forced to punt. Of course…….

3:50-BIG throw by Chris Turner and BIG catch by Adrian Cannon for a first down. Maryland is actually moving the ball….

3:49-And instead of a 10 yard gain for Porzel, the Terps go backwards due to a holding call. 2 plays later, it’s 3rd and long again. Think they have another Davin Meggett screen in them?

3:47-Hey now! A 3 and out from the Maryland defense, and they’ll take over at their own 34. Tony Foster with a nice spceial teams play for Duke.

3:43-Chris Turner now has 6.284 career passing yards. He surpasses Boomer Esiason on the all-time career passing yards list in Maryland history, now 2nd all-time just behind Scott Milanovich. (Thanks ESPN360!) Also, Maryland scored their first TD since the 4th quarter against the Demon Deacons.

3:41-And I spoke too soon. Davin Meggett breaks off a 67 yard TD score on 3rd and long; and they cut the lead to 17-13. Thank God.

3:40-This is not an offense. This is nothing.

3:36-Great catch by Danny Parker on the 2 yard TD pass by Thad Lewis. I have to keep watching because????? 17-6 Duke.

3:29-The 360 guys are pretty certain Conner Vernon pushed off there. Don’t know that it matters.

3:28-At least they’ve been able to get some sacks in recent weeks. There’s a nice one from Ben Pooler.

3:26-Deege Galt is down; but was able to get back up and leave the field under his own power. Maybe just had the wind knocked out of him.

3:23-Big downfield pass from Thad Lewis to Johnny Williams. Would like to see the team wearing white make some nice downfield passes.

3:20-Caleb Porzel is best used in a Ray Rice type of role. James Franklin needs to continue to do a better job of getting Porzel the ball in space. He cannot expect Porzel to be successful with the same plays Da’Rel Scott is successful with.

3:12-Hey, the 2nd half started. That’s neat. Chris Turner was 0/1 in the 2nd quarter. That isn’t good. Porzel 11 rushes for 21 yards? He actually has had some good runs, too. Genyk thinks Tom Brattan was probably pretty angry at halftime. I bet he’s right.

2:47-Snyderwine field goal made it 10-6 Duke. Maryland has to find their way into the end zone at some point.

2:38-It has been a long time since this team has scored a TD. 4th quarter against Wake.

Duke faces 3rd and 5. PLEASE GET THEM OFF THE FIELD!

2:34-Duke with a screen for 35 on 3rd and 5. Do I have to keep doing this?

2:29-Terps again get nothing going and are forced to settle for a 40 yard FG from Ferrara. 7-6 Duke.

2:26-Pass intended for Conner Vernon intercepted by Cam Chism, who I think has shown serious signs of being a future star for this team. If the Devils are going to continue to force the ball through the air, the Terps MUST force turnovers.

2:22-Probably the right decision to have Chris Turner run there, and a GREAT special teams play by Trenton Hughes.

2:21-I’m happy to see Ralph play Porzel, but that doesn’t mean he should ONLY play Porzel, right? Davin Meggett and Morgan Green DID make the trip. Terps face 3rd and 14….

2:20-Bruce Campbell described as “answering the bell.” At least someone is….

2:18-FINALLY a big defensive play, as the Terps recover a fumble and take over at their own 28.

Some solid running from Caleb Porzel thus far. I’ve said before that they need to call him Caleb “Touches” Porzel.

RJ Dill started at Right Tackle today? Maybe Fridge should wander around campus one day looking for a big guy…..

2:16-Can I take this time to remind everyone that they care so much about football in Durham that they actually use Wallace Wade Stadium as a parking lot for Cameron Indoor Stadium?

2:14-Bubble screen to Austin Kelly gets Devils inside the 40 as the 1st quarter comes to a close. It might as well.

2:10-Antwine Perez is going to have to be taken off the field via stretcher. More bad news for Terps’ defense.

2:06-Thaddeus Lewis is a HELL of an athlete. Terps must be careful to not let him get things going on the ground, either.

It’s raining in Durham. I don’t feel bad for anyone there after the nightmare we had at Byrd Stadium last week.

There’s a big throw to Donovan Varner. Of course there is. And Antwine Perez is down. Good news all around.

2:03-Chris Turner can’t find Adrian Cannon in the endzone, and the Terps are forced to settle for a Nick Ferrara field goal to make things 7-3 Duke. Good to see Ferrara make his first kick after missing his last 2 against the Cavaliers in the rain. Ferrara should benefit from having Travis Baltz able to punt again this week, as that should allow him to approve on kickoffs.

2:00-Very successful passing drive here. Completions to Adrian Cannon, Kevin Dorsey, Porzel, and Torrey Smith have the Terps inside the 10. The “Wild Turtle” play by Torrey Smith got nothing.

1:52-Solid defensive play by Adrian Moten, but not a play later Lewis finds Brandon King on a slant, and he takes it in to give Duke an early 7-0 lead. Christ.

1:50-Duke wasn’t afraid to go right back to Donovan Varner, and they have the ball to Maryland’s 30. David Cutcliffe’s Devils aren’t going to be afraid to throw the ball today; so they Maryland defense is going to need to force some turnovers.

1:49-Great play by Cam Chism to force Duke into a 3rd and 7. Donovan Varner must be HURTING.

1:47-The Terps would be more than willing to let Thad Lewis throw the ball into triple coverage all day.

1:45-Some commercials today on ESPN360. Weird.

1:43-Terps have REALLY struggled on 4th down conversions. Porzel (who is SMALL) stopped well short on 4th and 1 by Vincent Ray, and Duke takes over.

1:41-Terps went to Porzel for their first 4 offensive plays of the game, including a 15 yard reception from Chris Turner on 3rd down. Terps worked their way to the Devils’ 40, where Turner’s pass to Ronnie Tyler left them a yard short.

I’d go for it here.

1:39-Don Brown’s defense with a big 3 and out against a fairly powerful Duke offense. Thaddeus Lewis had plenty of time to throw, though.

Nice punt return by Tony Logan, and Caleb Porzel is your first back into the game. The team is playing without both Da’Rel Scott and Gary Douglas. Think Davin Meggett’s fumbles are the reason Ralph Friedgen and James Franklin started the freshman?

1:22-Luke Jones is in College Park today for the Maryland basketball scrimmage, so I am here on my couch to keep you company as the Terrapins battle Duke in Durham. The Terps come into the game 2-5 (1-2 ACC) after back to back losses to Wake Forest and Virginia. The Devils come into the game 3-3 (1-1) ACC off a bye week following a 49-28 win over NC State.

The game can be seen live on ESPN360 with Bob Weekley and Jeff Genyk on the call.