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Live from College Park: Maryland beats JMU in OT, 38-35

Posted on 12 September 2009 by Luke Jones

11:07 p.m. — The Terps (1-1) will now face Middle Tennessee State next Saturday and will attempt to extract some revenge after the FCS school upset them a year ago.

Kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.

You can check out the final box score of tonight’s game right here.

11:04 p.m. — The big play of the first half was Torrey Smith’s 81-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, but apparently two teammates inadvertently opened a running lane for him on the big play.

Smith said two members of the return team ran into each other, and it actually created a path through which he could run.

When asked about the offense’s morale after Turner through the “pick-6,” Smith mentioned how most members of the offense came together on the sideline.

“We’ve been here before,” he said.  “We can come back and tie it up.”

11:01 p.m. — Freshman Nick Ferrara may still be adjusting to life as a freshman in College Park, but he’s the big man on campus tonight after hitting the game-winning 26-yard field goal in overtime.

Ferrara said it was his first game-winning kick, including high school.  When the game went into overtime, he thought to himself, “This is my time.”

His head coach apparently knew it would happen before the Terps even took the field tonight.  Friedgen claims he had a dream last night that the Terps would kick a field goal in overtime on a third-down play—and that’s exactly what happened.

Ferrara knew James Madison would try to ice him on the overtime kick and credits his head coach for keeping him loose when he attempted to jog over to the Maryland sideline.

“[He told me] ‘Hey, Nick, get back out there. You’re fine.'”

10:58 p.m. — Defensive coordinator Don Brown admitted the difficulty in preparing for a triple-option team like James Madison, especially after playing such an explosive offense last week.  The option forced Brown to move away from his blitzing preferences, as players must play specific assignments in the option game.

After allowing over 500 yards last week against Cal, the Terps surrendered 417 yards of offense tonight with 268 coming on the ground.

Brown said his players are still adjusting to his new defensive system but took full accountability for the defense’s performance in the first two games.

Despite the rough evening, the defensive coordinator was pleased with how the defense “raised” its intensity late in the fourth quarter and in overtime.

“In the overtime, I thought we were extremely decisive,” he said.  “It’s something to build on.”

10:51 p.m. — Friedgen was pleased with the performance of his quarterback despite throwing an interception returned for a touchdown that put the Terrapins behind late in the third quarter.

“Chris has always been at his best in the toughest times and I think he came through for us big-time tonight,” he said.

Turner expressed a desire to get the running game going more consistently.  The Terps rushed for 132 yards on 32 carries against James Madison.

10:49 p.m. — When asked his thoughts on the team after getting blown out last week and barely beating a FCS school at home, Friedgen cited how inexperienced the team is and how it will take time for younger players to feel comfortable at this level.

“I do think we’re getting better,” he said.  “It’s just a question of how fast [we do it].”

10:45 p.m. — Friedgen expressed satisfaction—and relief—about tonight’s overtime victory.

“I’m very proud of the way our players hung in there and fought,” he said after the game.

The head coach expressed a need for the defense to attack more and not be as cautious when blitzing.  Friedgen also wants the number of penalties to decrease.  The Terps were penalized five times for 50 yards, one of them a personal foul penalty late in the fourth quarter.

10:41 p.m. — The Terps will feel relieved after pulling out the 38-35 overtime victory over James Madison, but the news is not so good for starting cornerback and co-captain Nolan Carroll.

Ralph Friedgen told the media Carroll suffered a broken tibia and is likely done for the year.

“I feel very bad for Nolan, because he was playing so well,” Friedgen said.

Carroll is a highly-respected member of the team, and you can tell by talking to his teammates.  In fact, Alex Wujciak and Chris Turner were both unaware of Carroll’s fate and were visibly shaken when told by the media.

9:31 p.m. — You have to tip your hat to James Madison today, as the Dukes gave the Terps everything they could handle today.

For Maryland, it’s a nice win but certainly not the convincing performance you wanted to see over a FCS school.

9:29 p.m. — Ferrara hits the 26-yard field goal, and the Terrapins win!

Final score: Maryland 38, James Madison 35

What a great moment for the true freshman.

9:28 p.m. — Turner fakes the handoff and keeps for a gain of 6.  2nd-and-4 from the 7-yard line.

He then takes the handoff and moves to the middle of the field for the field goal.  It will be a 26-yard field goal attempt.

James Madison takes a timeout to freeze the true freshman Ferrara.

9:27 p.m. — Maryland begins at the 25, as Scott carries for five yards down to the 20.  Maryland only needs a field goal to win, keep in mind.

Scott runs for seven yards, and a first down at the 13.

9:26 p.m. — On third down, Dudzik is hit while he throws, and the pass falls incomplete.

Wright will attempt a 41-yard field goal, and it is NO GOOD!

Maryland will go on offense with a chance to win.

9:24 p.m. — On first down, the Maryland defense bottles up Dudzik after only a gain of one. Dudzik then lines up in the shotgun and runs option left where he’s wrapped up by Wujciak for no gain.

9:22 p.m. — Maryland wins the toss and will elect to play defense first.  JMU elects to defend the east end zone—away from the Maryland student section.

Each team will receiver a possession starting at the 25-yard line with an opportunity to score.

9:20 p.m. — JMU has an astonishing 265 yards on the ground.  Unbelievable.  And they’ve been penalized 11 times for 105 yards tonight.

9:19 p.m. — We’ve reached the end of regulation with Maryland and James Madison locked up at 35 apiece.

Hard to believe the Terps have put themselves in this position with a terrible second half of football.

9:18 p.m. — After a four-yard completion to Corwin Acker, Sullivan is stopped short of the first down on 3rd-and-6.

Madison will use its final timeout with 22 seconds remaining.  The Dukes will contemplate going for it but decide to punt.

Goff’s punt rolls down to the 4.  With 0:12 remaining on the clock, we’re going to see some extra football barring a miracle play.

9:14 p.m. — On 3rd-and-2, Sullivan busts one for 18 yards and a first down.

With 38 seconds on the clock, JMU clocks the ball.  The ball is on the Maryland 49.

9:12 p.m. — On 2nd-and-2, Dudzik’s pass is nearly picked off by Wiseman.

For the second time tonight, we have a late timeout negating a play.  Sullivan had been stopped on 3rd-and-2, but Maryland called a timeout before the snap.

Not sure what’s going on with the crew here.

9:10 p.m. — On first down, Dudzik carries for a gain of eight.  The Dukes will use a timeout with 0:50 remaining on the clock.

9:08 p.m. — On 3rd-and-9, Turner throws the slant to a wide-open Tyler, bu the sophomore drops it.

Baltz must punt drives it to the 11, but the Terps are called for interference–a 15-yard penalty.  JMU will have it at their own 26 with 58 seconds to go.

9:08 p.m. — Smith catches another short pass, but the Terps are flagged for a personal foul.  Unbelievable.

Now 2nd-and-21, Turner completes one to Smith for a gain of 12, setting up third down.

9:06 p.m. — The Terps begin the drive at their own 34-yard line.  The first-down pass is caught for a loss of five as the defender came up quickly to make the tackle.

After another incompletion, Turner hits Scott out of the backfield for an 18-yard gain and a first down.  The crowd gives a roar as we have less than two minutes remaining!

9:02 p.m. — On 3rd-and-16 from the JMU 41, Dudzik throws downfield right into the arms of Cameron Chism, but the defensive back drops the sure interception.

A much-needed stop there for the Terps with 2:54 remaining in the fourth quarter.

9:01 p.m. — Madison apparently calls timeout before throwing an incomplete pass on 3rd-and-16.  The Terps’ faithful are not happy.

9:00 p.m. — On 2nd-and-19, Sullivan is stopped after only a three-yard gain.

A huge third-down play here for the Dukes.

8:58 p.m. — Long takes the kickoff and returns it all the way to the JMU 47.  The kick coverage has been pretty poor throughout the evening.

The Dukes are obviously sticking with Dudzik at QB, and he hands to Sullivan for no gain.  Wujciak in on the stop.

Dudzik hands to Sullivan running right for a huge gain, but a penalty will thankfully negate the long run into Maryland territory.

8:54 p.m. — The drive covers 8 plays, 78 yards, and 2:53.

8:53 p.m. — On fourth down, Turner hits Tyler on the square out for 26 yards.  Huge play!

And, an even bigger play!  Turner hits Cannon for the 27-yard touchdown.  A tremendous throw by Turner.

With 5:09 remaining, Ferrara’s extra point ties the game at 35.

8:52 p.m. — Smith catches another short pass and gains 6 yards.  I’d still love to see Turner pump and throw deep to Smith.

On second down, Turner throws incomplete to Furstenburg.

On 3rd-and-4, Turner’s pass to Scott is deflected by D.J. Bryant.  The Terps will go for it.

8:50 p.m. — Turner runs for a first down and then carries again for four yards.

On 2nd-and-6, Turner hits Tyler on the slant for for 11 yards and a first down at the Terps’ 47.

8:48 p.m. — Let’s see how the Terps respond after Carroll is carted off the field.

Goff’s punt is fielded by Wiseman, and he’s dropped immediately at the Maryland 22-yard line.

8:02 remaining in the game, and Maryland trails by 7.

8:46 p.m. — Not a good sign for the Terps, as they’re bringing the cart out onto the field.  Carroll is a defensive captain for the Terps and a player they cannot afford to lose.

8:45 p.m. — After the punt, Francis stuffs the ball carrier Sullivan for no gain.  On second down, Sullivan is stopped by Moten and Wujciak after a gain of three. On 3rd-and-7, Sullivan carries again.  He’s short of the first down, thankfully.

Carroll is down on the field for the Terps.

8:41 p.m. — Maryland will start at their own 31-yard line.  Let’s see if the offense can answer again.

Turner gets good protection and tries to connect with Smith on the bomb, but the ball is overthrown.  On second down, Turner throws a hitch to McCree for nine yards.  Cannon did a great job blocking his man all the way into the Terps’ sideline.

On 3rd-and-1, Tyler Bowen is called for a false start.  That simply cannot happen.

Backed up five yards, Turner finds a wide-open Meggett over the middle, and he drops it.  It would have been at worst a 15-yard pickup and possibly more.

8:36 p.m. — JMU is called for delay of game on first down, moving them back to their own 28.  Dudzik is still in the game, so it appears Matthews will stick with the hot hand now.

The quarterback keeps it for only a two-yard gain on first.

On second down, Dudzik fakes the handoff and runs 70 yards for the touchdown.  Unbelievable.  The Maryland defense has NO CLUE where the ball is in this JMU offense.

So much for snatching back the momentum.  Terps trail 35-28 with 11:23 remaining.

Dudzik has 11 carries for 103 yards.  He’s a quarterback.

8:31 p.m. — Turner keeps it on second down, taking the ball all the way to the 8-yard line.  First-and-goal.

Turner runs option right and pitch it to Smith running in the opposite direction.  No one will catch him.  TOUCHDOWN, Maryland!  Beautiful play call there.

Ferrara’s extra point ties the game at 28.  12:18 remaining in the game.

The drive covers three plays, 39 yards, and less than two minutes.

8:28 p.m. — Turner throws deep to Smith (thank you!), but the pass falls incomplete.  However, JMU is flagged for pass interference, giving the Terps the first down at the Dukes’ 25.  That’s why you throw deep.

Turner then throws another hitch to Smith who takes it upfield for six yards.

8:26 p.m. — On 2nd-and-7, Dudzik runs the option and is blown up by Tate in the backfield for a loss of six yards.  He should’ve pitched that one.

On 3rd-and-13, the Dukes go conservative and hand off to Sullivan.  He picks up three, and Madison must punt.  A nice series for the defense that was BADLY needed.

Wiseman fields the punt in James Madison territory and returns it to the 40-yard line.

8:22 p.m. — We’ve reached the end of the third quarter, and Maryland trails JMU, 28-21.  A disastrous third quarter for the Terps.

8:20 p.m. — Meggett catches out of the backfield for one yard.  2nd-and-15 now as Turner is pressured and must throw incomplete.  On third down, Cannon catches a 10-yard pass, short of the chains.

The JMU fans in attendance—a nice showing coming up from Harrisonburg—are fired up and rightfully so.

Baltz hits a high 49-yard punt all the way down to the JMU 9 yard-line.

8:18 p.m. — Let’s see how Turner and the offense responds.  After Smith returns to the 36, the Terps are flagged for illegal procedure.

Turner then must take a timeout.  The crowd is not happy after that.

8:13 p.m. — The up man Tommy Galt fields the kick and returns it to his own 36.  JMU is definitely kicking away from Smith, and who can blame them?

The Terps run a reverse to Smith for a gain of 14 yards, getting the Byrd crowd back into the game.  Turner then keeps on first down and picks up five yards.

On 2nd-and-5, Turner fakes the pitch and tries to throw to Tommy Galt.  Bad choice.  The pass is intercepted by Jon Williams for a 62-yard touchdown.  Oh dear God.

JMU now leads, 28-21.

8:10 p.m. — The play stands, and the Wright extra point is good.

With 3:05 remaining in the third quarter, Maryland and James Madison are tied, 21-21.

45 yards and six plays on the drive.  This is not good.

8:09 p.m. — On 2nd-and-6 from the Terps’ 10, Sullivan runs right into Harrell and Galt at the line of scrimmage.  However, James Madison is called for a chop block, which will move the ball back 15 yards.

On 2nd-and-21, Dudzik hits running back Scott Noble for 15 yards.

On 3rd-and-6 from the 10, James Madison jumps, moving them back five yards to the 15.  Dudzik then throws the 15-yard touchdown to Caussin again, beating Moten for the score.

A great throw and a great catch, but hold on, we’ll have a review.

8:03 p.m. — Dudzik is back in the game after the turnover.

On second down, Jared Harrell pressures the quarterback into throwing the ball away.

On 3rd-and-8, Madison lines up with trips to the right, and Dudzik finds Charlie Neuman on the near sideline for a big gain down to the Maryland 14.

8:02 p.m. — Thorpe is back in at quarterback and runs left for only a yard before Carroll makes the tackle from his corner spot.  Thorpe has only attempted two passes tonight.

Sullivan goes in motion and takes the quick handoff for a big gain, but JMU is called for a holding penalty, making it 2nd-and-19.

Thorpe looks to throw but keeps it and runs for 15 yards.  Demetrius Hartsfield missed an open-field tackle, allowing the quarterback to pick up an extra 10 yards.

On 3rd-and-4, Thorpe is stuffed by Hartsfield, immediately making up for the missed tackle.  No gain, and Madison must punt.

Tate fumbles the punt, giving the Dukes the ball at the Maryland 45-yard line.  That’s not good.

7:57 p.m. — 46,485 is the announced attendance for tonight’s game.  As I said earlier, the upper deck has quite a few empty seats, but the lower bowl is completely filled.

7:56 p.m. — Meggett takes the first-down pitch and has nowhere to go, losing two yards.  On second down, Meggett takes the quick hand-off in the shotgun formation and carries for five yards.

On 3rd-and-7, Turner throws incomplete, intended for Tyler.  JMU brought two defenders on the blitz, and Turner barely got the ball away.

Baltz’s punt goes to the 20-yard line.

7:52 p.m. — Dudzik starts the second half for the Dukes and throws incomplete on first down.  Sullivan carries for about five yards on the next play.

On 3rd-and-5, Dudzik runs to the right, but A.J. Francis stops him after only a gain of two.  Madison must punt.

Wiseman makes the fair catch at the Maryland 45.  Good field position after the first punt, and a good series for the defense to begin the second half.

7:49 p.m. — Scott just put nice moves on two defenders, picking up eight yards on second down.  On 3rd-and-2, Turner lines up in the shotgun and is sacked by linebacker Pat Williams who appeared to come free on the blitz.

Baltz with a beautiful punt, but Trenton Hughes cannot down the ball inside the 5-yard line.  The kick goes into the end zone, and JMU takes over at their own 20.

7:46 p.m. — JMU angles the kick away from Smith, but he still manages to return the ball to his own 31.

On the first play, Turner throws another hitch to Cannon for a gain of 3.  It’d be nice to see Franklin mix in a hitch-and-go at some point.  The JMU corners continue to creep up to the line of scrimmage on those hitch patterns.

After a short Scott run, Turner throws complete to Ronnie Tyler for a first down and 16 yards.  Tyler used a nice move to shake a defender on the play.

7:42 p.m. — Maryland will receive to begin the second half, so let’s see if Smith can spark the offense at the start of the third quarter.

7:39 p.m. — You have to be pleased with the offensive performance so far today.  Despite Campbell being out on an already-inexperienced offensive line, Turner is using the short passing game to move the chains.

The senior quarterback is 11 of 14 for 97 yards.  Scott has 50 yards on 13 carries and has a 1-yard touchdown run to his name.

Smith’s 81-yard kickoff return for a touchdown is the play of the first half, but the sophomore receiver has also caught 4 passes for 51 yards.  The Terps must continue to use his speed, and they did a good job getting him touches in the first half.

Defensively, you have to be disappointed with the Terrapins’ effort.  Though JMU is rotating two quarterbacks and keeping the defense guessing, the Terps cannot allow 130 yards on the ground in one half of football.

Dudzik has rushed for 36 yards, Thorpe for 35, and the tailback Sullivan for 44 yards and a touchdown.  Dudzik also has 79 passing yards and a touchdown pass to Caussin late in the first quarter.

Brown and the defense need to get more pressure on the quarterback and then contain Dudzik and Thorpe when they decide to tuck it and run.

James Madison has 217 total yards in the first half.  Not as bad as Cal last week but not a great performance by the defense in the first half.  Moten leads the Terps with five tackles.

7:23 p.m. — The punter Matt Goff lines up to attempt the long 50-yard field goal, and the Terps take a time out to “ice” him.

After the timeout, the left-footed kicker’s attempt is blocked by Deege Galt.  Huge play by the Terps to go into the half with a 21-14 lead.

I’ll be back in a few for my first-half thoughts.

7:20 p.m. — On 3rd-and-4, Dudzik keeps and is stopped short of the first.  Galt makes the stop.

On 4th-and-2, Dudzik fakes the handoff to Sullivan and picks up 21 yards on the play.  That cannot happen.  JMU spikes the ball with two seconds to go from the Maryland 33 yard-line

7:18 p.m. — Dudzik carries the ball for six yards after failing to find an open receiver.  Madison takes a timeout with only 51 seconds to go in the half.

Ball is on their own 48.

After the Dukes line up in the shotgun, the Terps will now use a timeout.

7:15 p.m. — Dudzik remains in at QB and completes one for no gain.

Would be nice to see some pressure on Dudzik from Brown’s defense.

7:14 p.m. — Moats continues to give the Terps problems as he nearly sacks Turner and forces an incompletion.

On 3rd-and-2, Turner throws incomplete as he tries to find Matt Furstenburg.  Baltz will have to punt.

A short punt of only 30 yards gives Madison the ball at its own 42-yard line.  Not good.  1:18 to play in the second quarter.

7:13 p.m. — Maryland takes over at their own 20 after a touchback.

Turner comes out throwing and hits Meggett out of the backfield for eight yards.  Under two minutes to go.

7:07 p.m. — Sullivan runs for the 4-yard touchdown, definitely a disappointing drive for a defense that should have felt very rested.

The Dukes will go for two points, and Dudzik tries to keep, is stood up at the goal line, and after a large gang of pushing ensues, the quarterback breaks the plane.

JMU cuts the score to 21-14 with 2:06 remaining in the half.  The Madison drive covers 56 yards in 6 plays and lasts only 2:35.

JMU picked up very large chunks of yardage on the ground on that drive, a very disappointing series for this defense.

7:05 p.m. — Sullivan finds a seam and carries for 13 yards down to the Maryland 25-yard line.  You don’t want to give up points here if you’re Maryland after such a methodical scoring drive just a few minutes ago.

Marcus Turner gets the pitch and picks up 21 yards all the way down to the Maryland 4.

7:02 p.m. — Dudzik attempts to run a play resembling the option and only picks up one yard.

On 3rd-and-9, Dudzik finds Caussin over the middle of the field for a gain of 17 yards and a first down.  3:33 remaining in the first half.

7:00 p.m. — You have to think Don Brown and the defense has figured out the pattern for the JMU quarterbacks with Dudzik being the more traditional passer and Thorpe always looking to run.

Dudzik is back at QB as the Dukes begin on their own 44 after another nice return.  Coverage has been spotty throughout the first half for the Terps.

6:58 p.m. — On 2nd-and-10, Turner attempts the fade to Cannon, and JMU is called for pass interference, giving the Terps a 1st-and-goal on the 3.

Scott carries for no gain on first down as Moats stops him at the line of scrimmage.

After a pump fake, Turner runs up the middle for the score!  Beautifully run play there, as the Terps go up by a score of 21-6.

The drive covers 81 yards in 14 plays and covers 8:20.  This definitely gave the defense a nice breather.

6:53 p.m. — Scott is tripped up for a loss of one, making it 3rd-and-9 from the JMU 30-yard line with just over 7 minutes remaining in the half.

Turner hits Smith on a crossing route over the middle for a gain of 12 yards and moving the ball inside the red zone.

6:51 p.m. — Turner, working out of the shotgun, throws a dart to McCree for the first-down completion, covering 13 yards.

After Scott runs for three on first down, he picks up the first down after a 13-yard pickup.  Scott is showing good speed and has rushed for 47 yards on 10 carries so far today.

6:49 p.m. — Scott is back in at tailback for Maryland and takes the pitch left for a gain of six on first down.  Pinegar seemed to do a nice job getting out to block, as he’s moved over to the left side in Campbell’s place.

On 2nd-and-4, Turner throws to Quintin McCree who is stopped immediately for only a gain of one yard.

Scott picks up the first down after running for 10 yards.

The Terps continue to run the hitches and bubble screens as LaQuan Williams catches a short pass and picks up seven yards.

6:45 p.m. — On 1st-and-20, Thorpe runs a draw but is bottled up by Moten and Derek Drummond after only three yards.  It’s clear Thorpe is in there to run the ball.

As I type that, Thorpe tries to throw long to Long (ha!), but the ball falls incomplete.

On 3rd-and-17, Thorpe cannot find an open receiver and keeps it for a nice gain close to the first-down stick.  The Dukes are flagged for holding and Maryland accepts, making it 3rd-and-32.

Thorpe continues to work out of the shotgun and keeps again after not finding an open man downfield.  Antwine Perez trips him up after a 15-yard gain.

Wiseman takes the punt all the way back into JMU territory, but an illegal block in the back will negate the nice return.  Maryland takes over at their own 19-yard line.

6:40 p.m. — The lower bowl of Byrd has filled up very well, but there are still plenty of empty seats on the third level.  Late-arriving crowd seems to be settled in.

6:39 p.m. — JMU is called for false starts on successive plays, moving them back to their own 35.

We’ve reached the end of the first quarter with the Terps leading the Dukes, 14-6.

6:36 p.m. — Ferrara kicks to the 22 where Griff Yancey, an up-man, calls for the fair catch.

Thorpe is back in the game at QB and hands off to Sullivan for a huge gain.  Carroll finally brings him down after a 23-yard pickup.  I’m impressed with the Madison offense so far.  The quarterback rotation has to be difficult to handle when you consider the different skill set of Dudzik and Thorpe.

6:34 p.m. — Smith takes the return, and he’s gone! 81-yard kickoff return for the touchdown.  You give Smith an opening, and on one will catch him.  Blinding speed.

Ferrara’s extra point is good, and the Terps are up 14-6.

Maryland’s last kickoff return for a TD came last season when Smith returned a 99-yarder against Nevada.

6:31 p.m. — Dudzik is back at QB for JMU, as Mickey Matthews will rotate the two throughout the game it appears.

After Sullivan carries for four, Dudzik completes a 29-yard pass to Scott Noble all the way down to the Maryland 21.

On 2nd-and-9, Dudzik finds tight end Mike Caussin wide open for a 20-yard Dukes touchdown.  Nobody was around him.

JMU kicker Dixon Wright misses the extra point.  Maryland still leads, 7-6 with 1:30 remaining in the first quarter.

6:27 p.m. — Davin Meggett is in at tailback for the Terps to begin the series and carries for three yards on his first touch.  Meggett carries for two on second down.

On 3rd-and-5, Ronnell Brown brings heavy pressure as Turner nearly throws an interception.

Travis Baltz has to punt, and McGee returns the 45-yard punt to the JMU 46.

6:23 — Sullivan carries on 2nd-and-2 for no gain.  On third down, Thorpe is absolutely STUFFED by Adrian Moten for a loss of four yards, and JMU will have to punt.  Big defensive play.

Kenny Tate and Anthony Wiseman are back to return the punt (Logan is the normal returner but sat out last week).  Wiseman fair catches the 42-yard punt, and the Terps take over at their own 8-yard line.

6:18 p.m. — Again, the kick coverage is shaky as Kerby Long returns the ball to his own 28 after the return man breaks a couple tackles.

Thorpe is now in at quarterback, and he carries for three yards on his first play.

On 2nd-and-7, Thorpe keeps again but picks up 13 yards and a first down.  He’s a true frosh and is very agile.

6:15 p.m. — Adrian Cannon makes his first grab of the game, moving the chains again.

On first down, Scott runs left for six yards to the 10.

The Terps run the hitch to Cannon, and he carries to the 2.

First-and-goal, and Scott is in for the touchdown!

Ferrara’s extra point is good, and Maryland leads 7-0 with 8:05 remaining in the first quarter.  71 yards in 10 plays and covered 4:30.

Quite a difference from last week’s start so far, but JMU is a LITTLE different than facing Cal.

6:12 p.m. — After a short Scott run on first down, the Terps run the same play to Smith on the opposite sideline, and he ALMOST breaks it, picking up 22, as the Terps have moved down to the JMU 30-yard line.

Scott then carries right for eight yards.  The Terps certainly look sharp early, but they’ll need to finish off the drive with six points.

6:11 p.m. — Maryland takes over on its own 28-yard line as we’ll get our first look at Chris Turner and the Terps offense.

Turner completes his first pass to Torrey Smith on first down for a gain of six.  Nice to see them get the ball to Smith early.

On 2nd-and-4, Da’Rel Scott is leveled by Arthur Moats after a gain of two.

On 3rd-and-2, Turner throws the hitch to Smith for 11, giving the Terps a first down.  Smith has two early catches after not catching a pass until the third quarter last week.

6:06 p.m. — After Dudzik completes a 13-yard pass to Rockeed McCarter, JMU fumbles the snap on 3rd-and-4 as they try a direct snap to Sullivan.

On 4th-and-5, the Dukes go for it.  Dudzik keeps it and is stopped by Wujciak right at the sticks.  After the measurement, the Terps take over on downs.  Definitely a big play by the middle linebacker on that play.

6:03 p.m. — Nick Ferrara kicks off and Scotty McGee returns the short kick all the way down to the Maryland 38.  A return of 50 yards is not what you want to see right off the bat.

Drew Dudzik gets the start at quarterback for JMU who will also give Justin Thorpe some reps today.

The Dukes are called for a delay of game before Jamal Sullivan runs for a loss of two on 1st-and-15.

6:01 p.m. — The Terps come out first followed by the Dukes from James Madison who come out to a chorus of loud boos.  The student section has filled up very nicely, but definitely not a large crowd overall.

The captains meet at the 50, and Maryland will kick off to begin the game.

A pregame video of “Red! White!” between Bruce Campbell and Travis Ivey really got the crowd going.

5:56 p.m. — It’s cloudy with a 20% chance of precipitation, and the current temperature is 70 degrees here at Byrd Stadium.

5:50 p.m. — Gonnella will carry the American flag on to the field today, and Deege Galt (Good Counsel HS in Silver Spring) will bring the Maryland flag to the field.

5:48 p.m. — Terps captains are Turner, Costa, Carroll, and Moten, who are all season-long captains.  Today’s special teams captain is Kevin Dorsey.

Today’s honorary captains are football alumni Jack Scarbath and Joe Horning.

5:45 p.m. — Here are the scheduled starters for the Terps this evening:

Offense:
QB Chris Turner
TB Da’Rel Scott
FB Cory Jackson
WR Adrian Cannon
WR Torrey Smith
TE Tommy Galt
LT Paul Pinegar
LG Bennett Fulper (true freshman – the first to start since Jared Gaither in the 2005 season finale)
C Phil Costa
RG Andrew Gonnella
RT R.J. Dill

Defense:
DE Jared Harrell
NT A.J. Francis
DT Travis Ivey
DE Deege Galt
LB Adrian Moten
LB Alex Wucjiak
LB Demetrius Hartsfield
CB Anthony Wiseman
FS Terrell Skinner
SS Kenny Tate
CB Nolan Carroll

5:34 p.m. — Other than the student section, Byrd is very empty as we count down to the 6:00 kickoff.  Not a complete surprise considering the FCS opponent and the brutal loss from last week.

The students are fired up, however, and were giving the JMU mascot a very hard time when he came down to stir them up.

5:20 p.m. — Today’s ACC winners include North Carolina (with a late safety to beat UConn, 12-10), Wake Forest, Duke, Virginia Tech, and Boston College.  Georgia Tech knocked off Clemson on Thursday night.

Florida State and N.C. State will also kick off their respective games at 6:00 p.m.

Virginia trails TCU, 14-0 in the third quarter.  I think Al Groh is in major trouble.

5:12 p.m. — Maryland is dressed in their red home jerseys and white pants, and the Dukes will wear gold helmets, white jerseys, and purple pants.

5:08 p.m. — The Terps will be without left tackle Bruce Campbell (toe) and safety Jamari McCollough (foot) this evening, as both players sustained injuries against Cal.

Other Terps who are out include Louis Berman (leg), Caleb Porzel (leg), and Joe Vellano (foot).

5:03 p.m. –Tony Logan is out on the field and warming up, so it appears he’ll give it a go this evening.  The Terps’ punt returner missed last week’s game with a shoulder injury.

The student section is beginning to fill up, but the stadium is still very empty considering we’re less than an hour away from kickoff.  Let’s hope it’s simply a matter of Terps fans getting some extra tailgating in before kickoff.  After all, this is the first opportunity to do it this season.

Plenty of tickets will still available this week, so maybe we’ll see a bigger walk-up crowd with the game only being shown on ESPN360.

4:38 p.m. — I’m live from the brand new press box in Tyser Tower, and we’re an hour and a half away from kickoff here at Byrd Stadium, as the Terps take on FCS power James Madison this evening.

The Terps (0-1) are coming off a horrific 52-13 loss at California last Saturday while the Dukes are playing their first game of the season.  James Madison was ranked No. 6 in the FCS preseason poll, so Maryland cannot take this team lightly.

We’ll see how eager the Terps are to put last week’s loss behind them, as they were thoroughly dominated in all phases of the game.

The game can only be seen on ESPN360 (webcast), so WNST.net is the place to be, as I’ll be blogging throughout the game.  As always, you’re encouraged to leave your comments, questions, and rants throughout the evening.

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Maryland-James Madison Preview: Terps trying to put nightmarish opener to rest

Posted on 11 September 2009 by Luke Jones

Even the most optimistic of Maryland fans would have to look long and hard to find any positives stemming from last Saturday night’s horrific 52-13 beating at the hands of California.

And they still wouldn’t find any.

The Terrapins (0-1) will try to put the blowout behind them, as they return to College Park for their home opener against FCS (formerly 1-AA) power James Madison (0-0).  Byrd Stadium will look a little different with the upgraded Tyser Tower housing new suites and a new press box after nearly two years of renovations.

An early encounter with a FCS school was formerly considered to be a pseudo bye week for major conference schools, but the myth vanished with Appalachian State’s upset of Michigan two years ago, and the message hit much closer to home last season when the Terps dropped a road game to Middle Tennessee State—next week’s opponent.

The Dukes are defending CAA champions and advanced to the FCS semifinals before falling to Montana a year ago.  Mickey Matthews begins his 11th year as head coach and led James Madison to the 1-AA national championship in 2004.

Ralph Friedgen’s Terps will attempt to rebound from a rough performance in all phases of the game last week, as the offensive line failed to protect quarterback Chris Turner (sacked six times), and the defense surrendered 542 yards of total offense.

Keys to the Game

1. Win the battle upfront

We knew the offensive line would suffer growing pains with only two returning starters—tackle Bruce Campbell and center Phil Costa—but the unit was destroyed by the Cal defensive line and was never allowed to really establish the strong running game after falling behind early.

Complicating the situation this week will be the absence of Campbell, sidelined with a toe injury.  The left tackle’s absence will force Paul Pinegar to move to the left side and redshirt frosh R.J. Dill to start in his place at right tackle.

Even without their best lineman, the Terps should be able to win the battle upfront, opening lanes for Da’Rel Scott and Davin Meggett and setting up the play-action pass.

2. Use your speed

Torrey Smith was expected to replace Darrius Heyward-Bey as the “home run hitter” of the offense, but the sophomore failed to catch a pass until late in the third quarter.  The 29-yard reception was his only grab of the game.

James Madison will not have the athletes in the secondary to cover both Smith and Adrian Cannon (five catches for 30 yards against Cal), so the Terps should attempt to go downfield more frequently than they did a week ago.

Look for offensive coordinator James Franklin to find some creative ways to get the ball in Smith’s hands early in the game to seize the early momentum.

3. Short memory for the defense

Despite last week’s drubbing, Don Brown’s unit needs to remain aggressive and not play on their heels.  Brown will bring heavy pressure to help a secondary that will be without safety Jamari McCollough (foot).

James Madison will use both junior Drew Dudzik and freshman Justin Thorpe at quarterback, so the Terps must prevent either passer from getting comfortable in the pocket.

Safety Terrell Skinner and cornerback Nolan Carroll held a “defensive players only” meeting this week to discuss last week’s embarrassing performance and make sure everyone was still on the same page.  As ugly as the defense looked against the Golden Bears, it’s still only one game, and it came against one of the best teams in the country.

4. “Out-duke” the Dukes early

Though many Terps fans are fearing the worst after last week’s disaster, Maryland has superior talent to James Madison but needs to show it early.

If the Terps can pound the ball with Scott and Meggett—mixed with some shots to Smith and Cannon—the Dukes will wilt and be unable to recover.  If Maryland comes out flat and still feeling the mental effects of last week, James Madison has enough talent to make the Friedgen faithful extremely uncomfortable.

Under Matthews, James Madison is 0-5 against FBS (1-A) schools, losing by a combined score of 203-31.  In the two schools’ only previous meeting in 1998, Maryland won 23-15.

Injury Report

Out – Louis Berman (leg), Bruce Campbell (toe), Jamari McCollough (foot), Caleb Porzel (leg), Joe Vellano (foot)

Questionable – Tony Logan (shoulder)

Prediction

There’s only one way to go after last week, right?  Keeping things in perspective, it WAS only one game, and it came against probably the toughest opponent on the schedule, on the road, and at 10:00 p.m. ET.

The Terrapins will come out hungry to show the home crowd they are a much better team than what they showed in Berkeley.

Turner throws a touchdown pass to Smith, Scott runs for two scores and over 100 yards, and Nick Ferrara hits two field goals.  The defense plays much better—albeit against a lesser opponent—and Skinner picks off a pass from one of the Madison quarterbacks to put the offense on a short field.

Madison will try to become the third FCS school to beat an ACC team this season (William & Mary beat Virginia and Richmond topped Duke last week), but the Turtles will have something to say about that.

Maryland wins, 27-13.

**Don’t forget to check out my live blog from Byrd Stadium tomorrow night at 6:00 p.m. for the Maryland-James Madison game. The game can only be seen on ESPN360, so I hope you’ll join me at WNST.net as the Terps kick off their home schedule!

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Terps shelled by Cal in opener, 52-13

Posted on 05 September 2009 by Luke Jones

The Maryland Terrapins traveled to Berkeley to face No. 12 Cal as 21-point underdogs, and they looked like it on Saturday night.

The Golden Bears crushed the Terps, 52-13, handing head coach Ralph Friedgen his worst opening-game loss at Maryland.  Kevin Riley threw four touchdown passes and Jahvid Best ran for 173 yards and two touchdowns, as Cal accumulated 542 yards of offense compared to only 303 for Maryland.

Terps quarterback Chris Turner was sacked seven times and could not ignite a Maryland offense that fell behind early in the first quarter.  Maryland’s lone touchdown came on a 39-yard rush from Da’Rel Scott in the third quarter.

The young Maryland offensive line failed to provide adequate protection, and new defensive coordinator Don Brown had no answers for Jeff Tedford’s explosive attack.

Maryland (0-1) will now return to College Park to take on James Madison in the home opener.

You can browse the ugly box score here.

1:16 a.m. – This one mercifully comes to an end as Cal crushes the Terrapins, 52-13.  I’ll be back with a brief wrap-up in a few minutes. What is there to really say about this one?

1:14 a.m. – Robinson and the offense picks up the first down, as Morgan Green runs for a four-yard gain.

Under a minute to go.

1:12 a.m. – The Terps take over on downs after Cal runs a dive on 4th-and-long.

Jamarr Robinson is now in the game at quarterback.  I figured we’d see him a little sooner, but it makes sense to give him some playing time.

1:07 a.m. – I’ll go on record right now and say California will be the best team the Terrapins play this season—by far.

While Maryland is not expected to be a factor in the ACC by any stretch of the imagination, it’s hard to envision any ACC opponent looking better than the Bears have tonight.

1:06 a.m. – The Terps go three-and-out.  6:51 to go.

The only positive from tonight’s game is that it’s almost over.

1:00 a.m. – Turner is 16/28 for 169 yards.  Friedgen talked about a desire to throw the ball down the field more often during summer practice, but it’s difficult to do it when the offensive line does not provide the time.  The Maryland quarterback has been sacked seven times.

Unless we see substantial improvement in the pass protection, Turner will have no choice but to stick with the short passing game.

12:55 a.m. – Quarterback Brock Mansion takes over for Riley.

Riley finishes the night 17/26 for 298 yards and four touchdowns.

12:52 a.m. – It’s obviously tough to pinpoint a specific area of concern after tonight’s embarrassing performance, but the play of the offensive line HAS to be a MAJOR concern.

With only two returning starters—Bruce Campbell and Phil Costa—the line was clearly a concern entering the season, and tonight will only make it worse.

The group has done a poor job protecting Chris Turner all night.

12:48 a.m. – Five touchdown drives of less than two minutes for the Bears.

At least the Maryland defense is being time efficient.

12:44 a.m. – Through three quarters, Cal has 172 yards on the ground.  The combination of Best and Vereen has been incredible.

Vereen takes the pass out of the backfield and gallops 15 yards for the touchdown.

52-13.  If you’re still watching this one, I hope you have a few adult beverages to dull the pain.

12:42 a.m. – We’ve reached the end of the third quarter, and the Terps trail 45-13.

Let’s just hope the Terps can get through the final quarter with no injuries.  Not much you can do but put this one behind you and get ready for James Madison next Saturday.

12:38 a.m. – Cal continues to throw the ball despite leading by 32 points with a minute to go in the third quarter.

The Golden Bears are driving again inside the Maryland 30, as Isi Sofele picks up eight yards on a gadget play.

The Maryland defense simply has no answer for Tedford’s offense.  Keep in mind, Cal is ranked No. 12 in the country and is expected to challenge USC for the Pac-10 title.  Clearly, Maryland has played very poorly in all phases of the game, but give the Bears some credit as well.

12:36 a.m. – Jeff Barker reports McCollough’s injury is a sprained ankle.  No word on his status for next week’s game against James Madison.

12:34 a.m. – Turner finally connects to Smith through the air for a 29-yard pickup.

Smith is supposed to be the big-play threat in the passing game, but if you can’t get him the ball until late in the third quarter, it doesn’t bode well for the passing game.

It almost reminds you of the team’s inability to get the ball to Heyward-Bey last season.

12:33 a.m. – The Terps get to Riley on third down, as Masengo Kabongo picks up the sack.  Definitely one of the best names in college football.

However, punter Bryan Anger pins the Terps inside their own 10.

12:32 a.m. – Riley hits Alex Lagemann for a 24-yard gain, as the Bears continue to pick on Anthony Wiseman.

The Cal quarterback has connected with eight different receivers tonight.

12:25 a.m. – Da’Rel Scott busts a 39-yarder to the end zone, giving Maryland its first touchdown of the night.  It’s good to see the all-conference back get going in the second half, but it’s a bit too late.

Cal 45, Maryland 13

12:24 a.m. – Turner hits Cannon for the first down.  Cannon is one of the very few bright spots tonight, as he’s made five catches.

Scott picks up 15 yards on first down.

12:22 a.m. – Don Brown has to be disappointed with the way his defense has played tonight, but what can you really say at this point?

The team has played poorly in all phases of the game so plenty of blame to go around.

Maryland trails 45-6 early in the second half.

12:20 a.m. – Kevin Riley with another first-down completion on third down.

On the next play, Riley hits Marvin Jones for a 42-yard score, beating Nolan Carroll.  He is absolutely CARVING UP the Maryland secondary.

Riley has now thrown for three touchdown passes and 236 yards.

12:14 a.m. – I’d like to wish WNST’s Glenn Clark a happy birthday, but I’m guessing he’s not in the mood to celebrate with the way this one is shaping up.

On 3rd-and-3, Turner’s pass is tipped at the line of scrimmage, but the Terps will obviously go for it.

On fourth down, Turner is sacked for the sixth time, as Mike Mohamed and Owusu combine for the sack.  The Maryland offensive line continues to have a terrible night.

12:12 a.m. – Torrey Smith returns the ensuing kickoff to the Maryland 40.

You’d like to see some positives in the second half, as the Terps would like to make this one respectable at this point.

Scott picks up a first down as his helmet goes flying.

12:08 a.m. – And there goes Jahvid Best again, taking it 40 yards inside the 15.  Riley throws a nice block to help spring him.

Unfortunately, the 21-point spread was looking quite conservative at this point.

Vereen scores on the 11-yard run.

Cal 38, Maryland 6 with 13:42 to go in the third quarter.

Ouch.

12:03 a.m. – Cal will receive to begin the second half.  Cal coach Jeff Tedford talked about this game being a revenge game for the Bears after last season, and they have played like it.

Vereen takes the kick all the way back to the 47-yard line.

12:02 a.m. – It’s been a difficult day on the local front as Navy and Towson fell earlier in the day, though the Midshipmen should not hang their heads after nearly knocking off the Buckeyes in Columbus, falling to Ohio State, 31-27.

In the ACC, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, Duke, and NC State all dropped their opening games of the year this weekend while Georgia Tech, Boston College, North Carolina, and Clemson all won today.

At least we can take satisfaction with Virginia losing to William & Mary, 26-14.  Don’t laugh too hard at the Cavaliers, however, as the Terps must take on defending CAA champion James Madison next week in College Park.

11:46 p.m. – Quite a difference from last season when the Terps were the ones to jump all over the Bears early.

The running game has only picked up 33 yards, but it’s hard to establish the ground attack when you fall behind by 14 early in the game.

11:42 p.m. – Turner throws incomplete on fourth down, as Cal takes over on downs with 2 ticks on the clock.

Ralph does not look very happy, and why would he be?  A very disappointing effort.

Maryland trails 31-6 at the half in Berkeley.

Can anyone get Frank Reich on the phone?

11:41 p.m. – After Furstenburg drops what would have been a huge completion, Turner is sacked again.

Again, Maryland is simply not playing well enough to even make this one respectable.  Too many mistakes.

11:40 p.m. – Maryland has the ball in Cal territory and has a slim chance to get some points before the half.

The Terps take a timeout with 17 seconds to go.  While the ESPN2 crew is talking about a field goal try, you would like to see if Franklin can find a huge explosion in the playbook.

11:36 p.m. -Well, there’s not much to say at this point.

Nyan Boateng absolutely toasts Wiseman—who lost his footing—for the touchdown catch.  That’s not going to get it done.

Cal turning this into a blowout, and the Bears lead 31-6 with :25 to go.

11:36 p.m. – On 3rd-and-1, Riley hits Tucker on the out pattern for the first down with :38 to go.

The Terps CANNOT allow Cal to score before the half.

As I type this, however, Best picks up 18-yards on the screen pass.

11:32 p.m. – Meggett with the nice run and Galt makes a 12-yard catch to move the chains on consecutive plays.

But once again, Owusu gets to Turner for the sack.  Someone needs to block him.  On the next play, Jerrod Price sacks Turner as this offensive line is showing its inexperience.

So much for that drive as Turner keeps it on 3rd-and-30 and only gains four yards.  The Terps must punt, and Cal takes a timeout with 1:35 to play in the second quarter.

11:25 p.m. – On 3rd-and-9, Riley throws high, but Marvin Jones makes a leaping catch.  Once again, the defense cannot hold Cal on third down.

On first-and-goal, Jared Harrell whiffs trying to pick up the sack, and Riley finds Skylar Curran for the touchdown.

Not good.  Cal leads 24-6 with 3:42 to go in the first half.

11:23 p.m. – Jahvid Best is having a great night, but it’s never a good idea to leave your feet in traffic.  It wasn’t quite Kevin Barnes’ hit last season, but the Terps stuff him for a loss.

However, on 3rd-and-4, Riley gets it to Vereen for a 16-yard completion, moving the chains.

Another score by Cal would be a major blow as we approach the end of the half.

11:20 p.m. – McCollough is on crutches, so you’d assume he’s done for the night.  A big loss for the Terps’ secondary.

11:18 p.m. – The Terps try a little razzle-dazzle, giving the ball to Smith on the reverse, but the speedy receiver can only pick up four yards.

On 3rd-and-6, Turner cannot find anyone down field and compounds the problem by coughing up the football as the pocket collapses.  California ball and another crucial turnover for Maryland.

Ralph Friedgen is not going to be happy with that one, as Cal takes over at midfield.

The Terps simply are not playing well enough to win, regardless of how their talent matches up with Cal’s.  Too many mistakes.

11:15 p.m. – It’s good to see the Terps get the ball to Smith on the end around.  With Darrius Heyward-Bey in the NFL, Smith is the team’s biggest chance for a “home run threat.”

Ronnie Tyler with a beautiful 17-yard catch, giving the Terps another first down.

11:11 p.m. -Riley’s bullet to the end zone falls incomplete on third down, and Vince D’Amato hits the 31-yard field goal, putting the Bears up by a score of 17-6.

Adrian Moten getting the sack on first-and-goal killed the Bears’ momentum, and the Terps’ defense buckled down to hold Cal to three points.

11:08 p.m. – On 3rd-and-1, Maryland initially stuffed fullback Brian Holley, but the second effort gives him the first down.

Anthony Wiseman is called for pass interference as Verran Tucker makes the 39-yard reception.  Wiseman was in position but did a poor job playing the ball.

Vereen with a 14-yard catch gives the Golden Bears a 1st-and-goal situation—exactly what you didn’t want after cutting the early lead to eight points.

11:03 p.m. – Maryland is dominating the time of possession so far, holding the ball nearly 10 minutes longer than Cal.  This could pay dividends in the second half.

11:00 p.m. – On third down, right tackle Paul Pinegar is beaten badly, freeing up Devin Bishop to pressure Turner and force the incompletion.

Ferrara hooks the 42-yarder inside the right upright, and the freshman is 2-for-2.

Maryland now trails 14-6.

10:57 p.m. – Turner is sacked by Ernest Owusu on third down.  The Terps will go for it from the 34.

Lansford Watson makes the catch and keeps moving his feet, picking up the first down after it looked like he’d be stopped.  Great effort by the backup tight end.

No surprise that the Terps would go for it there considering the uncertainty at the kicker position.

10:54 p.m. – Scott ALMOST broke a long one before narrowly being tripped up by Cal’s Josh Hill on the outside.

At the end of the first quarter, Cal leads Maryland, 14-3, but the Terps are driving to start the second quarter.

10:53 p.m. – Franklin calls a quarterback draw on third down, and Turner picks up the first down.  The Terps are at the Cal 36 as we near the end of the first quarter.

If Maryland can get points on this drive, you have to be pleased considering how terribly this game started.

10:51 p.m. – Turner is not sharp in the early going, throwing behind his receivers and not looking comfortable in the passing game.

After an offside penalty on Cal gives the Terps a manageable 3rd-and-2, the Golden Bears will take a timeout.

10:48 p.m. – We saw the Terps use the no-huddle offense in the preseason, and it’s definitely a nice wrinkle to James Franklin’s offense.

However, false start penalties cannot happen if you’re going to use it.

10:48 p.m. – Cannon has made a couple of very nice grabs in the early stages, but the offense needs to throw the ball down the field.

A huge third-down catch by Scott gives Maryland a first down.

10:44 p.m. – On 3rd-and-12, Riley is pressured by Travis Ivey, forcing the incompletion.  This was the kind of series the Terps needed after finally getting on the board in their last drive.

After the Cal punt, Maryland will take over at the 18-yard line.  Maryland trails, 14-3, with 2:56 to play in the first.

10:43 p.m. – Someone finally tackled Best, as Jamari McCollough makes the tackle for a loss of two.  However, McCollough is shaken up on the play.

He got cut-blocked on the play but still managed to make the tackle.  Kenny Tate is in for McCollough.

10:42 p.m. – The Maryland defense needs to make a statement here, but Shane Vereen picks up seven yards on first down and picks up a first down on the following play.

You have to be impressed with Cal’s combination of Best and Vereen in the backfield.

10:39 p.m. – Turner throws a touchdown pass to Matt Furstenburg, but the play is called back by an ineligible man down field penalty (Cannon was covered up at the line of scrimmage).  The Terps are simply making too many mistakes.

Turner’s third-down pass is batted down at the line, and the Terps will have to settle for a field goal.

Ferrara hits the 26-yard attempt, but you have to be disappointed not to get seven points on that drive.

10:35 p.m. – After the offside penalty, Maryland has first-and-goal from the seven.  The Terps HAVE to score a touchdown after the big return.

Cory Jackson takes it to the four on first down, but Meggett is stuffed on second down.

Huge third down play here.

10:32 p.m. – Smith immediately tries to make up for the fumble by returning the kick 48 yards.

Turner completes passes to Adrian Cannon and Tommy Galt, moving the chains for the offense who badly needs to cash in on this drive.

10:28 p.m. – After a first-down completion to Marvin Jones, Best hurdles into the end zone for an apparent touchdown.

After the officials review the play, the touchdown stands.  Best has two touchdowns in less than six minutes.  You cannot fault the defense too much on that one, but it’s 14-0 already.

10:26 p.m. – Well, that wasn’t good.  Torrey Smith fumbles the ensuing kickoff, and the Bears have it.  If Maryland doesn’t come up with a big play here, it could get out of hand early.

Friedgen talked throughout the preseason about taking care of the football.

10:25 p.m. – Jahvid Best immediately puts Cal on the board with a 73-yard touchdown run.  I would say that’s a pretty good opening statement for a player with Heisman aspirations.

Wiseman appeared to have a chance to trip him up at the line of scrimmage but missed the tackle.

This is definitely not the kind of start Maryland needed being 21 point underdogs on the road.  The offense will need to respond immediately to keep the Cal crowd under control.

10:18 p.m. – Adrian Cannon picks up 8 yards on the first-down reception, but Scott fails to move the chains on second down.

A delay of game call makes it 3rd-and-6, another tough penalty that will hurt your chances on the road.

Turner’s first-down scramble is wiped out by a Bruce Campbell holding call.

Ronnie Tyler makes the third-down catch, but again, the Terps cannot get anything going.  Another Baltz punt.

10:13 p.m. – Best beat Terrell Skinner badly but luckily the pass falls incomplete.

Kevin Riley throws incomplete, and Cal goes three-and-out, a great start for Brown’s defense.

First punt return by Kenny Tate—not Wiseman—nets a positive return.

Slow start offensively, and we have a TV timeout.

10:09 p.m. – After being called for an illegal snap, the offense digs a 3rd-and-14 hole on the opening series.  Penalties on the road will kill you.

Turner picks up six on third down but is well short of a first down.

Travis Baltz boots it to the Cal 29 yard-line, and we’ll see the Maryland defense for the first time tonight.

10:06 p.m. – Maryland will receive to begin the game after Cal defers to the second half.  Torrey Smith returns to the 30, and the offense will have their first series of the 2009 season.

With Jordan Steffy no longer in the picture, Turner is the man.

10:03 p.m. – Though the Terps are 21-point dogs, remember they are 6-2 against Top 25 teams over the last two seasons.  Turner seems to rise to the occasion in the big games, and he will need to have a strong performance to give Maryland a chance in this one.

9:56 p.m. – New defensive coordinator Don Brown makes his Terrapin debut tonight, and the new 4-3 defense will be on display.  The unit gave the Maryland offense fits during summer practice, showing different looks and bringing the pressure.

Cal running back Jahvid Best will provide a challenge to the Terps defense, but he has to be glad he will not have to deal with Kevin Barnes this season.  If you need a refresher, here you go:

9:53 p.m. – With the Terps having such an inexperienced offensive line (returning only two starters), expect them to establish the running game with All-ACC running back Da’Rel Scott and Davin Meggett.

Cal’s defense is one of the finest in the Pac-10.  The Maryland offensive line will need to contain defensive ends Cameron Jordan and Tyson Alualu and keep them away from quarterback Chris Turner.

9:49 p.m. – Punt returner Tony Logan is out with a shoulder injury and did not make the trip to Berkeley.  Anthony Wiseman will take his place and will feel the pressure to hold onto the ball in a hostile environment.

9:46 p.m. – The Golden Bears are 21-point favorites and return 17 starters from a year ago while the Terps return only 10 starters from 2008.

Cal is considered to be USC’s biggest threat in the Pac-10 race while Maryland has been picked to finish fifth or sixth in the Atlantic Division by most national pundits.

9:40 p.m. – We’re about 20 minutes away from kickoff as the Maryland Terrapins begin the 2009 season playing the Cal Golden Bears at California Memorial Stadium.  The game gets underway at 10:00 p.m. and can be seen on ESPN2.  The Terps will be wearing their white jerseys and black pants for tonight’s game.

The Sun’s Jeff Barker reports freshman Nick Ferrara will be the kicker for tonight’s game.  The kicking job was one of the biggest question marks during summer practice with Ferrara battling sophomore Mike Barbour.  Barbour appeared to have won the job  before missing three field goals during the team’s second inter-squad scrimmage a couple weeks ago, opening the door for Ferrara to win the job.

Cal will have revenge on its mind after traveling to College Park last season and falling to the Terps, 35-27.  The Bears went on to have a 9-4 season, defeating Miami in the Emerald Bowl.

The Terps come off an 8-5 season (4-4 in conference play), finishing tied for third in the Atlantic Division of the ACC.  Maryland faded down the stretch, dropping their final two regular season games to Florida State and Boston College before beating Nevada in the Humanitarian Bowl.

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Running game shines in Terps’ second scrimmage

Posted on 23 August 2009 by Luke Jones

With the season opener against Cal less than two weeks away, the Maryland Terrapins conducted their second scrimmage of the preseason at Byrd Stadium Sunday afternoon.

The Terps played three 15-minute quarters with the first-team offense mostly matching up against the second-team defense and the starting defense battling the second offense.

With only two starters returning on the offensive line, head coach Ralph Friedgen was pleased to see improved production in the running game.  First-team All-ACC running back Da’Rel Scott carried four times for 33 yards while top backup Davin Meggett had five carries for 45 yards.

Running back Gary Douglas was the star of the afternoon, rushing for 122 yards on 17 carries as he continues to battle Morgan Green for the third running back job.  The coaching staff really tested Douglas’ stamina in one series, giving him the ball seven times in an eight-play stretch.  Friedgen is high on Douglas, describing him as the most elusive runner on the team.  Green carried 10 times for 56 yards.

True freshman Caleb Porzel showed an impressive burst while carrying six times for 26 yards.  His 35-yard touchdown run was negated by a penalty, but Friedgen said it will be very difficult to keep the young runner off the field this season.

Despite the productive running game, Friedgen wants to see improvement in the passing game, citing a need to throw the ball downfield more often.

Starter Chris Turner was 13-20 for 113 yards, tossing a 32-yard touchdown to Torrey Smith in the first series of play.  Turner later threw an interception to safety Eric Franklin in an otherwise solid performance.

Backup quarterback Jamarr Robinson had difficulty moving the ball in the passing game, completing only six of 14 passes for 76 yards.

New defensive coordinator Don Brown provided the offense with some defensive looks likely to be seen when the Terps travel to Berkeley to take on Cal in the opener.

Here are a few more notes from Sunday’s scrimmage:

– Mike Barbour appeared to have locked up the kicking job before missing his last three attempts of the scrimmage (46, 43, and 45 yards).  He made kicks from 30, 45, 37, and 40 yards.

Nick Ferrara was succesful on the last two field goal attempts of the day, making kicks from 45 and 36 yards.  Ferrara also handled the kickoff duties.

Nick Wallace is not in the mix for the kicking job, according to Friedgen.

– Defensive lineman Carl Russell went down with an ankle injury early in the scrimmage, but Friedgen said the injury is not believed to be serious.

– Friedgen is counting on receiver Tony Logan to be the primary punt returner, though the sophomore dropped one during the scrimmage.

– Smith is happy to be finished with a summer class that was affecting his play earlier in camp.  He’s relieved to be able to focus exclusively on football before fall classes begin.  Turner will count on him to be his primary target in the passing game.

The new No. 1 receiver is confident the Terps’ group of receivers can replace the downfield threat previously provided by Darrius Heyward-Bey.

– Offensive coordinator James Franklin used the no-huddle offense for a large portion of the scrimmage, adding a new wrinkle to his system.

It allowed the team to run a larger number of plays during the three-quarter scrimmage and was also a good test for the team’s conditioning while playing in the afternoon heat.

– One of the most amusing moments of the day came when right tackle Bruce Campbell scooped up a fumble and raced for a first down before finally being tackled.  The play was ruled dead when Turner was sacked, but Campbell’s run impressed—and entertained—his teammates.

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