C.J. Brown replaced Danny O’Brien as Maryland’s quarterback, Andrew Gonnella suffered a gruesome leg injury, and the Maryland Terrapins’ comeback attempt fell short against #13 Georgia Tech, losing on the road 21-16 to the Yellow Jackets.
O’Brien was pulled after starting 1/6 for 17 yards and one interception, in favor of the dual-threat Brown, who finished 4/17 for 36 yards and a pick of his own but ran for 124 yards on nine carries with a touchdown. Davin Meggett had another solid game as well, rushing 18 times for 86 yards and a score.
Georgia Tech struck first, scoring on a seven-yard run by Tevin Washington, and a 30-yard Nick Ferrara field goal made it 7-3. Orwin Smith and Washington both scored the next two touchdowns on the ground, and the Terps faced a 21-3 deficit entering the fourth quarter.
With 12:01 left in the game, Brown took a bootleg 77 yards down the right sideline for the score, bringing life back into a stagnant Maryland attack. Later in the quarter, starting left guard Andrew Gonnella went down with a brutal leg injury, and was taken off the field in an ambulance. That drive, Davin Meggett ran for a one-yard touchdown on fourth down after some questionable play-calling, and it continued – offensive coordinator Gary Crowton called a pass on the ensuing failed two-point conversion attempt.
Maryland got another chance, and Crowton once again attempted to rely on the arm of C.J. Brown instead of the legs of Brown and Meggett. On 3rd and 8 – incomplete pass. 4th and 8 – incomplete pass. The question immediately arises – if Maryland knew they would go for it on fourth down, why did they not call a draw on 3rd? The coaches showed their unwillingness to plan ahead, and it ended up costing Maryland deeply.
That being said, the defense had a pretty excellent game. There were a few headscratching moments for Todd Bradford’s defense, and plenty of missed tackles in the first half, but the unit played an excellent second half after a Dexter McDougle interception stopped a late second quarter Georgia Tech drive.
It’s safe to say this game exceeded everyone’s expectations for Maryland. The Terps made it a game despite the best efforts of Gary Crowton’s playcalling, and we now have a legitimate quarterback controversy in College Park. We’ll have more on this game, including our post-game Testudos, later.