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Sunday, November 11, 2007

Matt Ryan has two first names, ergo, you should not trust him

After Boston College choked last week against Florida State, I figured the Terps had no chance this week, as much as I wanted them to destroy the Eagles. History has indicated that BC blows the big one once a year - no more, no less.

However, the history of this season indicates something else - once undefeated teams lose, they lose repeatedly. Cal was #2 in the country - now they are 6-4. Florida looked unstoppable - before losing 3 out of 4 games. South Florida was this year's Boise State - before losing three in a row to Rutgers, UConn, and Cincy.

So really, based on the trends of this topsy-turvy college football season, BC's loss to Maryland shouldn't have been all that surprising.

Still, after watching Fridge take the training wheels off the offense with some inspired play-calling and seeing Chris Turner pick apart BC's defense for 337 yards and 3 TDs, my main emotion when rushing the field was "What? We just did that, right?"

The game had long been decided - although considering what BC did to Virginia Tech, I wasn't about to celebrate prematurely - and rushing the field seemed anti-climatic. Unlike last year against FSU, where the Terps blocked a field goal with precious seconds remaining, rushing the field yesterday didn't feel spontaneous or joyful - it was more just the fans playing their role in the script of an upset.

Still, I won't complain about an upset over the #8 team in the country. Particularly when the game was won because the Terps' biggest weakness this season - shaky play calling from the Fridge - became a strength. Although he was occasionally predictable - I swear we ran the ball on virtually every second down of the entire game - he had two key play calls that worked out.

The first was the screen to Da'Rel Scott. The second was the reverse to Heyward-Bey. Both were creative ways of getting the ball into the hands of two of the Terps' fastest - and most underused - players. The fact is that Scott and Heyward-Bey should both be touching the ball at least 10 times a game.

Other thoughts:

  • Who is Emani Lee-Odai (3 catches, 78 yards) and why hasn't he been playing all year?
  • Where did this pass rush come from? Some of it has to do with the fact that Terps repeatedly blitzed their corners, something that apparently shocked BC.
  • I'm estatic to note that a lot of the Terps' seniors stepped on Senior Night. Jason Goode had two touchdowns, Dre Moore not only had an interception (!) but also put pressure on Ryan all night. Even the much-maligned Isiah Gardner played very well.
This win puts the Terps in position to get to a bowl game. After this, even if we do only go 6-6, I think Maryland at least deserves a spot in Boise for the Humanitarian Bowl.

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