Last-second field goal, turnovers topple Terps

September 19, 2009 | Luke Jones

The scoreboard at Byrd Stadium showed that Middle Tennessee State defeated Maryland, but the Terps know better.

Trying to avenge a 24-14 loss to the Blue Raiders a year ago, the Terrapins turned the ball over four times and fell 32-31 on a field goal by Alan Gendreau as time expired.

“We made so many mistakes,” head coach Ralph Friedgen said. “I thought our defense played well, but we gave up too many big plays, and that’s what we have to stop doing.”

Despite accumulating 446 yards of total offense, a Chris Turner interception and three lost fumbles turned into 16 points for Middle Tennessee State.

The Terps led 31-29 and had the ball with 4:52 remaining in the fourth quarter but could not run out the clock. A critical play on the drive was a naked bootleg call on first down from the Middle Tennessee 32. Defensive end Jamari Lattimore came through untouched to sack Turner for a 10-yard loss.

“It’s on my shoulders—not the players,” said offensive coordinator James Franklin, claiming it was a bad call in a critical situation and that the loss was the worst with which he had ever been associated in his career.

Even after the sack, Maryland managed to drive to the Blue Raiders’ 25 and had a critical fourth down with three yards to go for the game-clinching first.  Friedgen thought about going for the first down but elected to send freshman Nick Ferrara out for a 42-yard field goal attempt. When the kicker missed wide right, Middle Tennessee State got the ball back at their own 25 with 1:30 remaining on the clock.

The big play of the game-winning drive was a Dwight Dasher 35-yard completion to Chris McClover, beating Cameron Chism on the play. Chism had two interceptions in the game and was getting his first start after replacing injured senior co-captain Nolan Carroll.

“For my first game, I think I played well,” said Chism, who admitted after the game that a hamstring cramp was affecting his play in the second half.

The Maryland defense held Middle Tennessee to only 145 yards in the first half but surrendered 293 yards and 19 points in the second half, making it the third-straight game the Terps have allowed more than 400 yards of offense.  The Terps did, however, force three turnovers after not having any in their first two games.

Chism led the defense with 12 tackles while Adrian Moten and Alex Wujciak each had 11. The Terrapins sacked Dasher four times.

“I know our defense was tired,” Friedgen said. “I thought they sucked it up and got some really good stops, but they needed to have one more and we would have won.”

The star of the afternoon was Torrey Smith who caught two touchdown passes and piled up 165 receiving yards. His scoring plays came from 37 and 64 yards.

“Anytime you can throw the ball down the field and get 30- or 40- yard gains, it is going to excite the offense and give us confidence,” Smith said. “It also gives coach Franklin more flexibility as far as us being out there and trusting us to make plays.”

Da’Rel Scott rushed for 117 yards, but his two fumbles led to 10 points for the opposing offense. Scott was benched temporarily after his first fumble but was benched for the remainder of the game after fumbling late in the third quarter. Davin Meggett played the remainder of the game and finished the day with 51 yards on the ground.

“If he lays the ball on the ground, he [isn't] going to play,” Friedgen said.

The Terps (1-2) must now look ahead to next week and a matchup against Rutgers (1-1) before beginning the ACC schedule against Clemson in two weeks. Friedgen thought it was time to get tough on his younger group and even questioned how much his players were really into the game during the first half.

“If we didn’t make the mistakes, I could live with it,” he said. “I still have a lot of belief in them as people and as players. I think they are just as upset as I am. We have to figure out a way together…players, coaches, and myself—everybody.”

Check out the box score here and my running blog below.

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6:54 p.m. — Two years in a row, and this season is already looking to be a very long one.

No business losing a game like this. Lousy.

6:52 p.m. — It was elementary, as Gendreau bangs it through the uprights.

8 plays, 74 yards, 1:30

Quite frankly, Maryland didn’t deserve to win this one. Too many mistakes.

6:52 p.m. — Gendreau lines up for the kick, and Maryland will use their final timeout.

We need a miracle here.

6:51 p.m. — On 1st-and-10, McClover beats Chism for a huge pass play all the way down to the 10. 45 seconds remaining.

Kyles takes the hand-off all the way to the one.

On 2nd-and-goal, Kyles is STUFFED. MTSU is out of timeouts. They have to spike it, and they do with 2 seconds remaining.

Gendreau will try the field goal, and Maryland will take a time out to ice him.

It will be little more than an extra point with the ball on the left hash.

This is depressing.

6:47 p.m. — Well, here we go.

On first down, Dasher throws to Gee for 12 yards, moving the ball to the Blue Raiders’ 37.

Kyles picks up seven yards on the next play.

Dasher then completes to McClover with Chism covering for 11 yards.

6:46 p.m. — Ferrara tries the 42-yard field goal, and it’s no good.

6:45 p.m. — Following the timeout, Meggett picks up 12 on a short pass from Turner, setting up 3rd-and-8. Huge play here.

And we have a false start on guard Justin Lewis. Perfect.

On 3rd-and-13 from the 35, Meggett gets a huge opening and picks up 10 yards.

MTSU will use a timeout with 1:35 remaining. Maryland faces a 4th-and-2.

Do you go for it here?

6:40 p.m. — On 3rd-and-1, Meggett bulldozes forward for a first down. Once again, no sign of Scott on the field after his last fumble.

On first down from the 32, Lattimore comes around the right corner free and sacks Turner for a loss of 10 yards.

Middle Tennessee State will use a timeout with 2:37 remaining.

6:38 p.m. — On 2nd-and-11, the pass is picked off by Cameron Chism. Wiseman brought the pressure on Dasher.

The Terps take over at the MTSU 43 yard-line. Time to run some clock.

6:36 p.m. — The Blue Raiders try to run some misdirection and give it to Beyah, but the receiver only picks up four yards.

On the next play, Dasher connects with Sancho McDonald for a first down, moving the ball to their own 45.

Dasher tries to run but is driven out of bounds by Wiseman for a loss of one on first down.

6:34 p.m. — Turner rolls right but can’t find anyone, so he throws it away.

On second down, Turner is sacked by Chris McCoy, as it appears he was trying to fake a pass left, but the defensive end was already in the backfield.

On 3rd-and-14, the pass is batted down by McCoy.

It will be a 42-yard attempt for Ferrara, and the freshman kicker makes it despite a terrible snap! Kudos to the holder Travis Baltz on that one.

Maryland regains the lead 31-29 with 6:14 remaining.

6:30 p.m. — The Terps continue to move, as Smith takes a short pass and gains 14 yards. First down for Maryland, and they’re at the 21-yard line with 7:28 remaining.

We’ll have a timeout for an injured Middle Tennessee State.

With that last pass, Turner moves to fourth place all-time in passing yards at Maryland.

6:29 p.m. — On first down, Turner hits Meggett on the quick hitch, and the back takes it 13 yards to midfield.

Turner then connects to Boykins again, the Terps now at the MTSU 35 yard-line.

6:28 p.m. — Turner and the offense start at their own 26.

After throwing it away on first down, Turner’s pass to Cannon is broken up by Alex Suber.

3rd-and-10 for the Terps, and Turner finds Boykins over the middle for a first-down to the 36. Big conversion there.

6:24 p.m. — Ivey jogged/skipped off the field, so he looks like he’ll be alright.

Middle Tennessee goes for it on 4th-and-2, and Dasher throws a slant to Andrews, beating Wiseman. He breaks a tackle and will go into the end zone. Touchdown.

MTSU goes for two, and Dasher rolls right and tries to throw back to the left to Gene Delle Donne (that’s a name!), but it falls incomplete.

9:04 to go: Middle Tennessee State 29, Maryland 28

6:21 p.m. — After two running plays set up 3rd-and-2, Dasher keeps the ball but is brought down by Ivey for no gain.

Uh oh. Ivey is down on the field. We’ll have a timeout.

6:19 p.m. — Wujciak stops Dasher for a loss of one on first down, so no apparent effect from the early injury.

Wujciak almost gets to Dasher again in the backfield before the quarterback broke free. Kyles is flagged for holding, making it 2nd-and-21.

Dasher throws the deep ball to Andrews, and he’s behind Wiseman. 36 yards and a first down. Wiseman continues to look like a weak link on this defense.

6:18 p.m. — The Blue Raiders start from the 24 yard-line as Dasher runs right up the middle for six yards.

Gee then carries for only two yards before he’s stopped by Moten.

On 3rd-and-2, Jefferson takes the short pass but is stopped by Chism and Perez. They’ll measure, and it’s BARELY enough for a first down.

6:12 p.m. — Smith is unstoppable! Turner’s bomb is perfectly thrown to Smith who takes it the rest of the way for a 64-yard touchdown.

A beautiful throw over the outside shoulder on the near sideline!

Ferrara kicks the extra point, and Maryland is back up 28-23.

6:09 p.m. — On second down, Dasher throws high to an open Malcolm Beyah on the slant.

On 3rd-and-10, the Blue Raiders quarterback is sacked by Hartsfield who blitzed around the corner. Dasher held onto the ball way too long there.

Wiseman makes the fair catch at the Maryland 18, and we’ll again see Turner and the offense.  The Terps need a positive drive here, or this crowd will continue to turn against the men in red.

6:07 p.m. — Travis Baltz continues to have a lackluster day, as his punt is only 31 yards and MTSU starts at their own 47-yard line.

Dasher throws incomplete on first down with Moten covering on the play for the Terps.

Middle Tennessee will call their first timeout of the second half.

6:04 p.m. — Maryland begins at its own 16 after Kerry Boykins is called for holding on the return.

Meggett takes a short pitch but only gains one before he’s brought down by Gary Tucker.

No need to panic yet, but you have to be thinking about last season all over again. Turner then throws an incomplete pass on second down.

On 3rd-and-9, Turner works from the shotgun and completes to Meggett but only for five yards. I hear the boos again.

We’ve reached the end of the third quarter, and the Terps will have to punt.

Middle Tennessee State 23, Maryland 21

It’s hard to be a Terps fan right now.

6:00 p.m. — The call is overturned, as it’s ruled that Andrews knee was out of bounds. Huge break for the Terps there.

Gendreau attempts the 27-yard field goal, and it’s good.

With 0:48 remaining in the third quarter, Middle Tennessee State takes the lead over Maryland, 23-21.

8 plays, 28 yards, and 2:07 on the drive.

5:57 p.m. — Again, no television for this game, so we’re not seeing any replays of Andrews’ catch up here in the press box. It happened on the far sideline, so I couldn’t tell if he got a foot down in-bounds or not.

They’re taking a long time looking at this one.

5:54 p.m. — After an incompletion on second down, Dasher throws the touchdown pass to Garrett Andrews for the 11-yard touchdown against Anthony Wiseman.

The play will be reviewed, so don’t jump yet, Glenn Clark.

5:52 p.m. — MTSU is down to the Maryland 24 with a first down, and the defense needs a big stop here.

Kyles takes the carry right and eludes Moten around the corner and picks up 12 yards.

Kyles gets it again but is stopped by Travis Ivey for no gain at the 11.

5:51 p.m. — These fumbles just show a lack of focus.

Honeycutt is back in the game, and he makes the first-down catch for Middle Tennessee State.

There’s an injured player on the field, and it appears to be Alex Wujciak. Not good at all.

5:49 p.m. — Well, here we go again. Scott takes the hand-off and fumbles. Danny Carmichael forced the fumble, and the Blue Raiders recover at the Maryland 39.

5:49 p.m. — On second down, Dasher completes to Honeycutt for 11 and a first down. Dasher definitely poses a bigger threat in the passing game than what we saw last week with JMU’s Drew Dudzik.

Kyles runs on first down but is dropped by Carl Russell for a loss of two.

After an 11-yard completion, the Terps stuff Middle Tennessee on third down.

MTSU receiver Patrick Honeycutt is down on the field with an injury.

Kenny Tate fields the punt, and Gee is called for kick catch interference, giving the Terps an extra 15 yards. Maryland will take over at their 35 with 3:00 remaining in the third quarter.

5:43 p.m. — Maryland did an outstanding job containing Dasher in the first half, but the quarterback burned the defense on that last drive. Let’s hope that doesn’t become a regular occurence here in the second half.

On first down, fullback Cory Jackson gets a rare carry as the Terps begin the drive at their own 26.

Turner then throws an ill-advised swing pass to Scott for a loss of seven yards. Terrible decision to even throw that.

On 3rd-and-11, Tyler catches a pass, but only for a gain of two. The boo-birds are again being heard.

Baltz punts the ball 44 yards, and MTSU will take over at their 29. Not a good offensive series.

5:39 p.m. — On the first play of the drive, Kyles is stopped by Antwine Perez for a loss of two.

Dasher then gets away from the rush on second down and shows off his shifty running ability, gaining 26 yards all the way down to the Terps’ 20. You cannot allow Dasher to get in the open field.

Gee then takes the first down hand-off to the six, setting up 1st-and-goal.  On the next play, Gee takes it into the end zone for the score.

Gendreau makes the extra point, making the score: Maryland 21, Middle Tennessee State 20 with 6:25 remaining in the third.

5:36 p.m. — Today’s attendance is 43,167. It’s a noticeably smaller crowd than what we saw for the JMU game last week.

5:35 p.m. — Baltz’s punt is a 44-yard line drive, returned by Honeycutt for 15 yards down to the Maryland 44.

5:34 p.m. — On first down, Turner finds Galt for a gain of four. The Terps seem commited to getting the tight ends more involved in the passing game.

On 2nd-and-6, Scott runs a draw for no gain.

On third down, Turner is sacked by Lattimore as R.J. Dill is flagged for holding. The penalty will be declined and Baltz must punt.

5:32 p.m. — Tate returns the 26-yard punt eight yards to the Terps’ 17-yard line.

9:15 to go in the third quarter. Maryland leads 21-13.

5:30 p.m. — On 3rd-and-4, Dasher throws deep to Jefferson, but the receiver cannot make the diving catch inside the 10. The Blue Raiders will punt, and the drive stalls at the Maryland 35.

Maryland appeared to have too many men on the field but calls a timeout before the penalty. That would have given Middle Tennessee a first down, so it’s a huge break for the Terps.

5:26 p.m. — Dasher is hit by Wujciak before Kenny Tate wraps him up for the sack. Once again, the pressure gets to the MTSU quarterback.

On 3rd-and-16, Dasher throws to Honeycutt for 17 and a first down. Ugh.

Wujciak looked like he was trying to play leapfrog as he tried to get to the quarterback but was unsuccessful.

5:24 p.m. — The Maryland defense is back on the field, and MTSU’s Dasher runs for six on first down before passing to Honeycutt for a gain of 12 and a first down.

Dasher takes the shotgun snap and runs left for nine yards. The Terps need to keep him bottled up like they did in the first half.

A false start will move Middle Tennessee back to the Maryland 48, making it 2nd-and-6.

5:22 p.m. — Of Turner’s 152 passing yards, Smith has 101 of them. He’s the most dangerous weapon on the field for the Terps.

5:22 p.m. — On 3rd-and-10, Turner finds a wide-open Torrey Smith for a 37-yard touchdown! Huge play!

The defender wasn’t even remotely close to the speedy receiver.

Ferrara’s extra point is good. Maryland leads, 21-13, with 12:22 remaining in the third quarter.

The drive covers 5 plays, 74 yards, and 2:38. Nice start to the half.

5:18 p.m. — Scott gets his first carry since early in the second quarter and only gains two yards.

And there goes Scott for a huge gain around the right corner, all the way down to the Blue Raiders’ 37. It’s nice to see him back on the field, as he’s had much better luck against this defense than Meggett.

5:16 p.m. — The second half is underway, and Smith returns the kick to the 26-yard line.

Scott is back in the game to begin the second half.

5:15 p.m. — The second half will be getting underway shortly.

The Terps’ defense has held Middle Tennessee State to 13 rushing yards and 136 through the air—a much better effort than what we’ve seen in the first two games.

Smith has three catches for 64 yards, including a great 42-yard catch.  Turner has 115 yards through the air and has thrown in interception.

5:09 p.m. — Here are a few thoughts about the first half:

* The defense has actually played a solid game, pressuring Dasher and holding him to -3 yards on the ground.

They’ve surrendered some big plays, but it’s hard to fault Brown’s unit when the Maryland offense has turned it over three times.

* What more do I have to say about the turnovers? You must protect the football, and the Terps are doing a poor job of doing that.

* I’m pleased to see the Terps taking more shots down the field. From my perspective, the offensive line is doing a commendable job so far this afternoon.

* Scott had a sparkling 48-yard touchdown run in the first quarter but fumbled at the start of the second, setting up a Middle Tennessee touchdown.

The starting running back has not returned to the game since then but was standing on the sideline in the second quarter. No word on any injury, so you have to wonder what his status is for the second half.

Meggett has received 12 carries but has only gained 28 yards.

* Robinson has seen the field a couple times at quarterback and has received the Josh Portis treatment.

If you want to give the young quarterback some experience, fine, but haven’t we seen this act before? It certainly doesn’t help that the sophomore QB coughed up the football, either.

4:56 p.m. — Lattimore sacks Turner, and the senior quarterback fumbles, but it’s recovered by the Terps.

That’s a fitting end to an ugly first half of football. Thankfully, the Terps lead 14-13.

Back in a few to offer some stats and thoughts on the first half.

4:54 p.m. — Malcolm Beyah returns the kick all the way to the 40-yard line. The defense will try to keep MTSU off the board in the final minute of the half.

Dasher hits a wide-open McClover over the middle to the Maryland 41. He then connects to McClover again for six more yards.

The second down pass goes through the hands of Honeycutt incomplete.

On 3rd-and-4, Dasher’s passed is picked off by Cameron Chism, Carroll’s replacement in the starting lineup!

MTSU is 0-for-7 on third down, a major plus considering the Terps’ three turnovers.

4:48 p.m. — On 3rd-and-goal, Meggett breaks through for the two-yard touchdown! Just power football right there.

Ferrara makes the extra point, and the Terps go back up, 14-13.

The drive covers five plays and 19 yards.

Maryland is very fortunate to be winning this game after turning it over three times in the first half.

1:19 remaining until halftime.

4:47 p.m. — Turner hits big tight end Tommy Galt over the middle, and he takes it all the way to the 5. The Terps try to go no-huddle, but Meggett is stopped at the 2.

Meggett is tackled for no gain on second down, setting up 3rd-and-goal.

Middle Tennessee State will use their first timeout. Maryland needs to score a touchdown here.

No word on an injury for Scott, but he is standing on the sideline as Meggett continues to get the carries here in the second quarter. I’ll update you if I hear anything here in the press box.

4:44 p.m. — A fumbled exchange by the Blue Raiders is recovered by Maryland at the 19. The defense’s first turnover of the season.

This has been an UGLY football game.

4:43 p.m. — On first down, Turner goes deep and underthrows a ball but Smith brings it in for a huge gain all the way down to the MTSU 19. Great effort by Smith to go up and get that one!

After an incomplete pass, Turner tries to find Adrian Cannon in the end zone, but it’s batted away.

On 3rd-and-10, Turner hits Campbell for only five yards.

Ferrara’s attempt from 31 yards is blocked.

Seriously?

4:38 p.m. — MTSU takes over at its own 45-yard line, and Dasher’s pass is incomplete on first down.

The Blue Raiders continue to spread out in four and five-receiver sets and work from the shotgun.

On second down, Dasher is leveled as he throws incomplete. The defense is doing a much better job getting pressure this week than anything we saw in the first two games.

On 3rd-and-10, Dasher’s pass is batted down by Moten. Great defensive series there, and hopefully, things start to slow down for the struggling Terps here.

Tony Logan is back to return and takes a low punt for a nice return to the Maryland 39-yard line. Good to see the speedy return man back on the field.

4:36 p.m. — At this point, I’d even be satisfied with a punt on this drive. DON’T TURN IT OVER!

Meggett runs for four yards on first down and then picks up five yards, setting up 3rd-and-1.

Meggett is stopped short of the first by Alex Suber and Kevin Brown.

I was actually joking about the punt, but hey, at least it’s not a turnover.

4:34 p.m. — The Terps pressure Dasher as he rolls out to the right, and the Blue Raiders QB throws it away.

On 3rd-and-5 from the Maryland 25, Dasher is sacked by Deege Galt for a loss of 10 yards. HUGE play there for the Maryland defense who has to be frustrated at the complete ineptitude of the offense in the second quarter.

DeFatta pooches one that rolls to the nine-yard line, and Tate falls on it with defenders flying to the ball. Not a wise decision in my opinion, but it worked out in this case.

Maryland takes over at its own 9 with 7:06 remaining in the first half.

4:30 p.m. — Dasher throws a nine-yard completion to McClover, moving the Blue Raiders to midfield.  You have to wonder what’s going through the minds of the defensive players after ANOTHER turnover.

Kyles only picks up two yards, but it’s enough for a first down.

Dasher throws high to Tavarres Jefferson, but the receiver leaps high in the air for a gain 20 yards. Great catch.

4:28 p.m. — The Terps are definitely looking to throw down the field more than we saw in the first two games this season.

Robinson checks in at quarterback on 2nd-and-5 and keeps it…are you serious? He coughs up the ball, and MTSU has it.

The Byrd boos are very audible right now, and who can blame them? Three turnovers in three-straight possessions.

4:25 p.m. — After an offside penalty, LaQuan Williams cannot bring down the deep ball from Turner. It would have been a nice catch, but it was a catchable ball on the sideline.

On 2nd-and-5, Meggett gains five yards, but we have a flag. Another offside call on MTSU, but it’s declined after Meggett picked up the first down.

4:23 p.m. — Meggett gains only one on first down. At least the offense didn’t turn it over, so that’s a moral victory.

On 2nd-and-9, Turner gives the ball to Devonte Campbell on the end-around for a loss of two yards.

On third, Turner throws a bullet to Ronnie Tyler on the far side of the field. A big-time throw of 14 yards and a huge play for the confidence of the offense there.

4:19 p.m. — The ruling is upheld, and Alan Gendreau makes the extra point.

The Terps now trail, 13-7, with 13:06 remaining in the half.

I don’t care how talented you are. You cannot win at any level if you’re going to turn the ball over. When you couple that with the defense’s inability to force turnovers so far this season, it’s a very damning formula for Maryland.

4:16 p.m. — Desmond Gee takes the ball and throws a completion to the 2. Unbelievable.

After a penalty makes it 1st-and-goal, Dasher runs option left and is stuffed by Wujciak for no gain.

Dasher throws a touchdown to Sancho McDonald on 2nd-and-goal, but the officials will review the play.

Quite a turn of events in this one.

4:13 p.m. — After Smith takes a short kick back to the 26, Maryland takes over, and we’ll see how Turner responds after the turnover.

Scott takes the hand-off to the right, and he coughs up the football. The Blue Raiders have it, defensive end Chris McCoy has it.

The Maryland offense needs to wake up, as they’ve given MTSU the ball on the Terps’ 30.

4:12 p.m. — Despite the touchdown, the defense is doing an excellent job containing Dasher. The quarterback has only rushed for eight yards on seven carries.

4:11 p.m. — On 4th-and-inches, Dasher throws deep to McClover, but we have a flag on the play. The Terps’ A.J. Francis was offside, giving them a fresh set of downs.

Dasher then throws to McClover again down to the 4.

Dasher then keeps for a touchdown on the next play, as the defense cannot hold MTSU after the Turner interception.

However, the extra point is blocked, and the Terps still lead 7-6.

4:05 p.m. — After a seven-yard completion, Dasher keeps the ball on third down after faking the hand-off to the running back. He’s inches short of the fourth down, but MTSU will go for it from the 20.

Dasher again works out of the gun, but we’ve reached the end of the first quarter.

Maryland leads Middle Tennessee State, 7-0.

4:03 p.m. — The ruling is upheld, and the Blue Raiders take over at the Maryland 29-yard line. You simply cannot turn the ball over like that.

Dasher runs an option pass on first down but cannot connect with McClover in the end zone.

4:01 p.m. — Maryland is going no-huddle, but a false start is called on Phil Costa, backing the Terps up five yards.

On 2nd-and-10, Meggett is gobbled up in the backfield for a two-yard loss.

On 3rd-and-12, the Terps try the same play to Meggett as they did before, but the pass is picked off by safety Derrick Crumpton.  The pass was poorly thrown.

The play is being reviewed, and hopefully it’s overturned. No TV, so we’re not seeing any replays in the press box.

3:59 p.m. — Davin Meggett has checked in for his first action but only gains one yard on first down.  He’s then stuffed again, running into a wall of tacklers on the right side.

On 3rd-and-8, Turner finds Meggett out of the backfield, giving the Terps a 14-yard gain and a first down.

3:57 p.m. — After the Blue Raiders pick up the first down, Adrian Moten sacks Dasher for a loss of 15 yards. Despite the quarterback’s mobility, you also cannot allow him to just stand back there in the pocket, so it’s nice to see the early pressure.

After another Maryland timeout, Dasher tries to throw over the middle to Honeycutt. Not a good decision as the ball could have easily been picked off.

On 3rd-and-25, Dasher runs for five, ending the threat.

David DeFatta’s punt rolls out of bounds at the Maryland 8.

3:52 p.m. — Desmond Gee returns the kick to the MTSU 32-yard line.

Dasher is working out of the shotgun, and the approach is very similar to what we saw last week.

He throws a hitch for a four-yard gain and then throws a first-down completion to Chris McClover after Alex Wujciak left his man. The Terps will have to find the balance between spying Dasher and locking onto receivers.

3:50 p.m. — The drive covers three plays, 56 yards, and 1:27. The running game is really clicking early on, and the offensive line has been very solid.

3:49 p.m. — The Terps begin their second drive from their 44, and Scott gains eight yards around the right corner.

Jamarr Robinson has just checked in and hands off to Scott for no gain.

Turner comes back in on third down, and there goes Da’Rel Scott for a 48-yard touchdown running off right tackle! Beautiful blocking, and a beautiful start for the Terps!

Nick Ferrara, last week’s hero, adds the extra point, and the Terps lead, 7-0.

3:47 p.m. — The Blue Raiders are going no-huddle, so it’s a little difficult to keep up.

Anthony Wiseman blew up a bubble screen on second down for a loss, and Demetris Hartsfield ALMOST picks off the Dasher pass on fourth down.

Wiseman returns the punt, so it appears we’ll see both Tate and Wiseman back there. Tony Logan was listed as probable, and I saw him on the field during warm-ups, but it appears Friedgen will stick with Wiseman and Tate.

3:41 p.m. — Turner finds Smith on the quick hitch (haven’t seen that before, have we?) for seven yards. Scott then finds very little running room on second down and is dropped for a one-yard loss.

On 3rd-and-4, Turner throws the deep ball to Smith on the far side of the field, but it’s overthrown.

Travis Baltz punts, and it goes into the end zone for a touchback.

Middle Tennessee takes over at their own 20, as the drive sputters after a promising start.

3:38 p.m. — Scott runs for 16 yards after a HUGE hole opened up in the middle of the field. I could have run through that one.

Maryland has it on their own 47, but Turner must use the Terps’ first timeout.

I said earlier this afternoon on Section 410 on WNST 1570 AM that the key would be for Maryland to establish the running game early and jump ahead early. Much like last week with JMU, the longer the Terps leave the Blue Raiders in the game, the more likely an upset becomes.

3:37 p.m. — On first down, Chris Turner throws a 15-yard slant to Torrey Smith. Good start for the passing game there.

Da’Rel Scott is then stuffed after only a one-yard gain. Maryland will need to get the running game going. JMU stacked the box throughout the game last week.

3:36 p.m. — On 3rd-and-2, Dasher keeps the ball but is short of the first down.  The Blue Raiders will punt, so a good start for the Maryland defense.

Kenny Tate is back to return the first punt of the game and makes a four-yard return to the 15.

3:33 p.m. — The Blue Raiders will begin the opening drive at their own 28. The Terps must be aware of quarterback Dwight Dasher’s running ability.

D.D. Kyles gets the start at tailback for the Blue Raiders and picked up a first down after a seven-yard pass to Patrick Honeycutt.

3:29 p.m. — Maryland wins the toss and will defer to the second half. Middle Tennessee State will receive to begin the game.

Torrey Smith is today’s special teams captain for the Terps.

3:27 p.m. — Paul Pinegar carried the Maryland flag while Lamar Young carried the American flag as the Terps took the field.

MTSU has a much smaller representation of fans than what we saw from James Madison last week. No major surprise there.

3:26 p.m. — The Terps are about to take the field, but we have another late-arriving crowd. The student section is almost full, but the rest of the stadium is pretty sparse overall.

3:22 p.m. — As we await the start of today’s game, I’ll quickly go around the ACC:

Through three quarters, Clemson is shutting out Boston College, 19-0, and Duke is getting hammered at Kansas with that game late in the fourth quarter.

North Carolina dropped ECU, and Miami topped Georgia Tech in a convincing win on Thursday night.

3:20 p.m. — The band is out on the field as we’re 15 minutes away from kickoff. Once again, the game is only being shown on ESPN360, so many in the Baltimore area will not be able to watch unfortunately.

We just observed a moment of silence for the passing of NCAA president Myles Brand before the marching band played the Star-Spangled Banner.

3:03 p.m. — New defensive coordinator Don Brown and the defense have been beaten up over the first two games, and it’s hard to overlook over 900 total yards surrendered in two weeks.

The defense continues to adjust to Brown’s new 4-3 defensive scheme and has not forced a turnover in its first two games. Brown’s blitzing tendencies were placed on hold last week with JMU running the spread option. With the secondary banged up, you would think the Terps will try to bring the heat, but again, Dasher is a serious threat to run.

It should be an interesting matchup this afternoon.

3:01 p.m. — The Terps will again wear their red jerseys and white pants for this afternoon’s game, and the Blue Raiders wear silver helmets, white jerseys, and blue pants.

That will be my last fashion update of the afternoon.

2:59 p.m. — Just a few quick pregame notes to ponder, as we’re about 30 minutes away from kickoff.

* Dating back to the end of 2007, the Terps have won eight of their last nine home games. Of course, the one loss was last season’s bitterly disappointing 37-3 loss to Florida State last November. I hope I didn’t bring you down too much by reminding you of that one.

* This will be the fourth meeting between Maryland and MTSU, and the Terps lead the all-time series 2-1. The Terps defeated the Blue Raiders in 2000 and 2006 before dropping last season’s matchup.

* We’ve talked extensively about the inexperience of this year’s team, but the Terps’ 10 returning starters this season are the second-fewest in the Friedgen era.  Maryland had only nine returning starters heading into the 2004 season.

* With Carroll’s season-ending injury last week against JMU, it marks the second-straight year the Terps have lost their No. 1 cornerback. Midway through last season, Maryland lost Kevin Barnes against Wake Forest.

* The Terps did a far better job spreading the ball around to their receivers last week. After only three receivers made catches against Cal in the season opener, five wideouts recorded at least one grab against James Madison.

Torrey Smith led the Terrapins with eight catches, matching a career-high, while Adrian Cannon (five), Quintin McCree (four), Ronnie Tyler (three), and LaQuan Williams (one) also contributed to the passing attack.

2:41 p.m. — For those of you unable to make it to Byrd Stadium for this afternoon’s game, Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic will air a replay of the game at 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Hopefully, it will be worth it to check that out after the Ravens-Chargers game tomorrow night.

2:36 p.m. — Just a reminder that the game will only be shown on ESPN360, so be sure to follow Live from College Park on WNST.net throughout the afternoon. I’ll also be tweeting on WNST’s Twitter feed.

As always, your comments, rants, and questions are always encouraged by posting in the Comments section at the bottom of the page.

2:32 p.m. — I’m live from the press box of Byrd Stadium to watch the Maryland Terrapins (1-1) take on the Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders (1-1) out of the Sun Belt.

Last season’s 24-14 surprising loss will be fresh on the minds of Ralph Friedgen and his Terps this afternoon.

Maryland will once again be without left tackle Bruce Campbell (toe) and safety Jamari McCollough this afternoon. The Terps must also see if sophomore Cameron Chism can replace senior Nolan Carroll at cornerback, as the co-captain was lost for the season with a broken tibia last week against James Madison.

After JMU quarterback Drew Dudzik rushed for 119 yards last week, the Maryland defense will face another run-first quarterback in junior Dwight Dasher. Dasher is the Blue Raiders’ leading rusher this season, running for 193 yards in the first two games.

Middle Tennessee State will be without starting tailback Phillip Tanner this week, allowing Don Brown’s unit to focus more closely on the running ability of Dasher.

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