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.
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.