Whew, that is all I can say. Never in a million years would I want to play that game again. The Terps managed to foil Navy…somehow. In fact the more I think about it the more trouble I have believing it. I was there, didn’t Navy have the ball for like 40 minutes (just checked the stats, they really did)? Didn’t Navy have 26 First Down’s to our 11? Didn’t Navy out gain us on the ground AND in the air by over 200 yards? Yet somehow the Terps managed to hold on and win the crucial interstate match up.
Since Navy dominated every other aspect of the game, what happened? Well 5 trips to the red zone that resulted in 0 points made the difference. Some of it was Navy’s fault, some of it was the Terps but in a game won by a razor thin margin, Navy could not make mistakes, yet I can hardly count on one hand the missed opportunities they squandered. Missed FG, a fumble on the 6 yard line, allowing time to expire before half time inside the Maryland 5, a fumble on the Maryland 1, and the ever so huge turnover on downs at the 1. To say the Terps dodged a torpedo could be the understatement of the season.
Yet, you can’t take anything away from the Terps. This would have been a loss in 2009. They could have given up. The Defense could have rolled over on that last play and who would have blamed them, they were tired. But they gutted out a win.
Though there were a ton of key moments, what stands out for me is the play Adrian Moten made leaping the line and knocking the ball away from Ricky Dobbs as he was handing it off. Then of course Kenny Tate making the last defensive play of the game. Technically Tate had the tackle, but the whole defensive unit gets credit for that one.
So what does this all mean? For the Terps this was a must win. The bar for success for the 2010 season is at the very least 6-6. If we had lost the Navy game, this goal would have been exponentially more difficult. Now we can realistically hope for a 3-1 start going into the ACC season, and with an upset road win in Morgantown, the sky would be the limit. Not saying it is going to happen, but we are at least at the point where it could happen.
So, other than the win, what was the good news yesterday? Alex Wujciak had 18 tackles, Jamarr Robinson ran for 103 yards, and Davin Meggett had 8 rushes for 105 yards and a TD.
What concerns me? Robinson was 2-5 for 11 yards passing with an interception, and my heart stopped every time he cocked his arm back. And more importantly, Ralph’s decision to give Danny O’Brien the keys to the offense during the most important drive of the game. I haven’t seen the replay, but from where I was sitting I don’t think O’Brien knew the ball was snapped and that play was destined for disaster from the get go. I’m really not sure why Robinson wasn’t in for that play. It was a huge error, and a problem that I’ve seen bite Maryland before in the Friedgen era.
But luckily we don’t have to dwell on that. The Terps won. It was a huge win, and we are going into week 2 with all the optimism in the world. And that’s all you can really ask for this early in the College Football season.