The Terps are down 10-0, and the offense looks pretty bad. The defense, in their own right, has surrendered 141 yards on the ground. We break things down for you here.
Offensive breakdown, courtesy of Michael Willis:
- The Maryland Terrapins offense has looked woefully unprepared for a team coming off a bye week, and it starts with Brown. Put it this way: in the six (ish) quarters of football that CJ Brown has led the Terrapins offense during ACC play, they have three points (two missed field goals) in total, four interceptions, and haven’t done much of anything. I’m not a coach, but at this point the writing is on the wall that you have to change things up at quarterback. Brown has had two bad interceptions this game that shouldn’t have happened, and it looks like Maryland may go back to Rowe or Ricardo Young to get things going.
- After Brandon Ross ripped off two decent runs on his first two carries, the run game has completely sputtered out. They’re averaging less than three yards a carry, and when you’re down ten points that’s not really what you need. Maryland’s offensive line has actually performed relatively well for being makeshift, so it’s hard to place the blame solely on them. It’s worth mentioning, though, that they have had two infractions called on them (a false start and an illegal formation).
- The good news is that the bye week definitely did Nigel King some good in the health department. This is the first week that I can say King looks as healthy as ever after his knee injury early in the season. Three receptions for 50 yards isn’t too shabby for the first half, but he’s going to need to do more. As for the other receivers? Dropped balls and fumbles have kind of marred their play. Also, paging Levern Jacobs.
Defensive Breakdown, courtesy of Ahmed Ghafi:
- Maryland’s run defense has been attrocious. Syracuse has already rushed for 126 yards, way more than Edsall would have liked thus far. With the loss of L.A. Goree and Cole Farrand in today’s game, Abner Logan and Shawn Petty stepped in, but it’s the defensive line that has been getting pushed around all game. As Terrel Hunt is not a very good passer, he has been doing the majority of his damage on the ground. If the Terps stack the box, then Jerome Smith’s domination can be slightly reduced. If Syracuse passes with the Terps stacking the box, then the outside linebackers can step out and help because all Syracuse seems to throw is short passes.
- Pass defense has been good so far. Although Syracuse has 126 passing yards, a lot of the yards have come from short passes and resulted from yards after catches. The secondary has so far been tested through their ability to shed their block and get to the receiver on screens. Syracuse has also had a lot of slants in the middle of the field.
- Turnovers have helped Maryland out immensely in this half. In the three Syracuse possessions in the second quarter, two interceptions and a fumble gave the Maryland offense a chance to stay in this game. Without turnovers, this game would be a blowout. Hat tip to Will Likely for making his first career interception.