Well, that was absolutely heinous. The 63-0 loss to Florida State was one of the worst showings by a Mayland team most fans have ever seen, and it’s one of those games you just have to completely forget about. There are very few positive takeaways in this game, but we were able to learn quite a bit about the team itself. Obviously, we’ll have more analysis later, but here are three things we learned…
1.) Maryland has some issues offensively, in particular the running game.
One of the knocks on Brandon Ross heading into the season was his propensity for impatient running. Against Florida State, that lack of vision was on full display. Ross failed to wait for holes to develop, and was summarily dominated by Florida State in this one. Maryland’s failure to establish the running game early on allowed Winston to stay on the field more often, and as we all found out, that’s probably not a winning strategy.
But it wasn’t just Ross (who finished with three carries), as Albert Reid was incapable of getting anything going either, and Jacquille Veii looked even worse than that. None of the running backs were capable of getting anything done against Florida State’s big front.
It was evident that Maryland missed suspended running back Wes Brown, more so than any point this season. The failure to gain positive yardage on runs and grind out a few yards of offense was definitely a killer.
Meanwhile, with either C.J. Brown or Caleb Rowe at quarterback, the Terps failed to take advantage of the fantastic receiving options at their disposal. Part of that is, of course, tied into the fact that the offense was entirely one-dimensional, but part of that is because the quarterbacks made some very errant throws.
Things are better than last year of course, but the fact remains that Florida State’s athletic secondary made life hell for the Terps quarterbacks.
2.) The defense misses Dexter McDougle and Jeremiah Johnson.
One thing was glaringly apparent: the Terrapins secondary could have used some players with experience. Dexter McDougle and Jeremiah Johnson were two of the best tacklers on the team, and losing them allowed Florida State to shred the Terps for massive chunks of yardage through the middle. That’s no knock against Will Likely and Co., but the Terps needed some man-to-man corners to defend against Florida State’s big receivers. A turnover or two earlier on coud have potentially changed the tides, but the floodgates opened up the more the defense was on the field.
Tackling was another major issue for Maryland. The Terrapins biceps have to be awfully sore after attempting so many arm tackles in poor form. Devonta Freeman and Jameis Winston both used simple jukes consistently to gain major yardage. Meanwhile Ryan Green, who had over 100 yards on the day, employed a similar tactic. It appeared as though Florida State had teflon on their jerseys considering how tough it was to take these guys down.
3.) This loss might affect recruiting.
This is speculation, but being embarrassed on national television by such a large margin, with absolutely no positives to take from the game, might put a significant dent in the recruiting efforts. The Terps had plenty of recruits who were paying attention to this game and wanted to see how Maryland performed against the premier programs in the NCAA. They clearly came away unimpressed.
Damien Prince and Jalen Tabor, two of Maryland’s top targets, might take a hard look at the program after this one. I’m not suggesting the Terps are out of it in the race for these recruits; far from it, in fact. There’s just no denying that this affects the perception of the program.