Maryland vs Virginia- Highs and Lows

TSR's Matt Owings looks at the highs and lows of last weeks game against Virginia.

High Four

1st Downs

Maryland recorded 17 first downs in the wet and rainy homecoming game vs. Virginia. That is nearly double the amount that the Cavaliers posted-moving their chains just 9 times. This is an important aspect of the game. Maryland doesn't have a lot of bright spots, but moving the ball can be a sign of lots of potential. What they really need to do is capitalize on this and work on moving the ball in the redzone. If they can turn these first downs into six points, things may go up for the struggling Terps.

Total Yards

Maryland recorded 284 yards, 83 yards more than the victorious Virginia Cavaliers. With Chris Turner accumulating 158 yards in the air and the rest coming from the vast amount of running backs, the Terps didn't seem to have any trouble getting in position to score in the first three quarters of the game. The coaching staff should be proud that they the Terps hung around for as long as they did with just nailing field goals rather than touchdowns.

Caleb Porzel

The freshmen running back only recorded six carries for the Terps, but his explosive attack and quick footwork landed him 22 yards on the ground. This is important for the Terps to have a strong runner that can play behind injured players or fumble-prone backs. What the coaching staff must have been most impressed with in Porzel's play is that he didn't turn the ball over once-something that Davein Meggett and the rest of the Terps seemed to have trouble accomplishing.

Controlling the Game

For the first three quarters, it seemed like Maryland was in good control of the game. Even though they were only converting on fieldgoals rather than touchdowns, it looked like this game would not be very competitive.

Low Five

Chris Turn-over

Quarterback Chris Turner seemed to have a difficulty distinguishing between Cavalier blue and white vs. Terrapin red and black. Turner may have had a decent day in the air, the yardage was overshadowed by the embarrassing two interceptions-one of which was returned for a touchdown. Turner needs to get his interception problem under control if he wants to make it through as the starter for the remainder of the season. This game featured Chris Turner's seventh and eighth interceptions.

4th Quarter

Maryland played great in the first three quarters of this game, holding the score to 9-6 until the end of the third quarter. Maryland seemed to forget to keep playing when the Cavs suddenly converted a touchdown. It was downhill from there. The Terps need to be consistent and play the whole game. Maryland obviously can't rely solely on their offense or defense since neither is outstanding; but instead, they need to have acceptable play on both ends of the ball if winning is their main prerogative.

Please Hold onto the Ball

The game may have had a steady rain pounding on the player's helmets, but regardless, is it too much to ask for these Terps to hold onto the ball? Fumbles plagued this game to such an extreme that it became a collective team effort to lose it seemed like. Just when Maryland would have a drive going, someone would lose the football, causing the drive and momentum to be stopped. For some reason, it seems that fumbles are a serious theme with Maryland ball-carriers. Da'Rel Scott accumulated 3 fumbles in the loss to Middle Tennessee State alone, which says that maybe this team needs to work on holding onto that precious piece of pigskin.

Special Teams

Freshman kicker Nick Ferarra missed two key fieldgoals in this game that might have put Maryland over the edge. With the exception of his 3 made fieldgoal attempts, it seems that the Terps had too much confidence in slick Nick. Ferarra cannot be blamed hardly at all however, simply because the team should have been going for touchdowns rather than hoping that their fresh kicker will make some difficult kicks in horrible conditions.

Defense

Maryland's defense looked atrocious in the second half of the loss to the Cavaliers of Virginia. Throughout the game, Virginia racked up 201 yards against the ailing Maryland defense. Failure seemed to really hit this defensive squad somewhere after the interception turned into six points for the Virginia defense. Momentum may have been smashed for the Terps, but it doesn't mean that giving up is a viable option. This defense needs to work on their tackling and run defense. Virginia is most successful with tough running, and they exploited Maryland's defense with their bread and butter.

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