04
Jan
11

Maryland hires Randy Edsall

By Ben Linton

After firing Ralph Friedgen, the Maryland Terrapins have hired Connecticut Coach Randy Edsall to take the program in a new direction. The announcement comes a day after Edsall’s Huskies lost in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl to Oklahoma. At age 52, Edsall led the Huskies from 1-AA to 1-A competition, winning two conference championships and accumulating a 74-70 total record in 12 seasons.

At first hearing of this news, I was disappointed. After Maryland fired Friedgen, citing decreases in ticket sales as a main reason for letting him go, how could a man that most Terp fans know nothing about create a buzz and excitement around the program and fill seats that Friedgen couldn’t? Who is to say that ticket sales would have actually increased next season if Friedgen had returned, with the Terps coming off a 9-4 season and the Fridge winning ACC Coach of the Year? I do not disagree with the hire, but I disagree with letting Friedgen go before his contract expired. Especially for everything the Fridge did for the program, he should have been granted the opportunity to stay as long as he wanted.

However, Maryland did hire a good coach to replace Friedgen. Edsall and Friedgen have many similarities: they both put their respective programs on the map and finished with similar records. Edsall a disciplined and defensive-minded coach, a very different candidate from other names mentioned as candidates such as Mike Leach. He is a safe hire, with no risks involved like with Leach. Edsall to me is a younger version of Friedgen, but he will need to prove himself to the fan base by winning before the seats get filled at Byrd Stadium. It will be a very interesting season in College Park next year to see how his team performs.

30
Dec
10

Terps send Coach Friedgen out with a blowout win

Coach Ralph Friedgen enjoys the Gatorade shower after his Terps defeated ECU 51-20 in the Military Bowl

By Ben Linton

The Maryland Terrapins Football Team completed their turnaround season with a 51-20 demolishing of the East Carolina Pirates in the Military Bowl on Wednesday. Although the Terps (9-4) started the game sloppy, they finished strong, outscoring the Pirates (6-7) 35 to 17 in the second half. Running Back Da’Rel Scott had a monster day with 202 yards rushing, the majority of it coming on touchdown runs of 61 and 91 yards. The Terrapins sent a message to the college football world, proving that they deserved to be in a better bowl game.

But all of that was overshadowed by the emotions surrounding Head Coach Ralph Freidgen’s last game as coach at the University of Maryland.

In one of the most bizarre moves in the college football season, the Terps fired Coach Friedgen after improving from their 2-10 record last year, which awarded Friedgen the ACC Coach of the Year honor. Friedgen was under contract for one more season, but the University bought out his deal, as they decided to part seperate ways with the man that put this program back on the map.

In his time at Maryland, Friedgen guided his alma mater to seven bowls in ten seasons, and gave the program an ACC Title in 2001, his first season as coach. But since 2005, ticket sales declined, luxury seats were not being filled, and a nationally televised game against NC State in November was not sold out. All of these factors prompted new athletic director Kevin Anderson to get rid of the Fridge. Along with the departure of Friedgen, offensive coordinator and head coach in waiting James Franklin left Maryland for the head coaching position at Vanderbilt, because Anderson would not honor his commitment to the deal that was struck with the old AD in place. This leaves Maryland to start from scratch next year with a new coach and a new philosophy.

I do not agree with the way Maryland treated Coach Friedgen. After all he has done for the program, he should have been able to coach there as long as he wanted. The fact that Maryland had to fire Friedgen instead of him retiring also rubs me the wrong way. It is as if they had to force him out, where one more year would surely not hurt the program. This further confirms the harsh reality that college football is not about the coaches or the players; its all about the money. Frankly, Friedgen was not making enough money for the program and getting people excited about the team, and that ending up being his demise. Is it fair? Absolutely not. But that is just the way it is in college football. Consider a coach like Mike Leach, a possible candidate to replace Friedgen at Maryland. A coach known for controversy and a high powered offense would get the seats filled at Byrd Stadium if he were to be hired.

Whoever the new Maryland coach is, Friedgen left him with a pretty darn good football team. For that we at AllMetro Sports thank you for 10 great years of Maryland Football, Coach Ralph Friedgen.

21
Dec
10

Capitals Finally Win

By Jesse Jones

The Washington Capitals were on an eight game losing streak, the longest under coach Bruce Boudreau.  During the streak, the Caps were never outshot, and seemed to have been giving up goals easily.  There was some speculation that if the team kept losing, Boudreau would be fired, despite the fact that the team had won three straight division titles, and was the number one overall seed in the playoffs last year.

One day after a crushing defeat in Boston, the Caps traveled further north to Ottawa to face the Senators.  Things seemed like they were going to remain the same, as the Caps fell into an early 2-0 hole after the first period.  After that, it seemed like the Caps were back.  They scored three goals in the second period, two by Mathieu Perreault, and another by Eric Fehr, and held the Senators scoreless for the rest of the game to win 3-2.

The losing streak was over.

The losing streak has dropped the Caps into third in the division, behind Atlanta and Tampa Bay, and sixth in the conference.  Washington will look to get on track and bounce back to the top of the conference where they belong, starting tonight, as they try to win their second straight game, hosting the New Jersey Devils, a team that beat them 7-0 during the losing streak.  After that, the team will host Pittsburgh Thursday.

20
Dec
10

Ravens End Saints’ Streak

Ray Rice Had a Total of 233 Yards and 3 Touchdowns Against the Saints

By Jesse Jones

The defending champions New Orleans Saints had won six straight games coming into Sunday’s matchup in Baltimore, while the Baltimore Ravens are coming off a win in Houston that saw them blow a huge lead late in the game and had to win it in overtime.  So with a pass-heavy team going against an average secondary, as many like to say, it was no wonder that the Ravens were underdogs.

The scoring started early, as the Saints scored on their second possession on a Drew Brees touchdown pass to Jimmy Graham to give them a 7-0 lead.  Baltimore responded on their next possession with a 35-yard catch and run from Joe Flacco to rookie tight end Ed Dickson to tie the game.

After a defensive stop, Baltimore drove the ball again and Ray Rice found the endzone on a 10-yard run to give Baltimore the 14-7 lead.  A few plays later, Flacco found Rice in the endzone thanks to a perfect 17-yard throw to give the Ravens a 21-7 lead.  The Saints scored at the end of the half on another Brees-Graham play to cut the lead to 21-14.

The third quarter saw only two field goals, thanks to Le’Ron McClain dropping an easy pass from Flacco that would have given the Ravens a 28-17 lead.  Instead, after three, the score was 24-17 Ravens.

The Saints tied it up early in the fourth, on an incredible tipped ball caught by Lance Moore.  The Ravens responded with a field goal.  With just over two minutes left and pinned in their endzone, the Saints were down only three.  It came down to a fourth down, where Haloti Ngata tipped a pass and Cory Redding intercepted the ball.  Baltimore added a field goal with nine seconds left, and won the game 30-24.

It was very nice to see the Ravens win a game thanks to their defense (even though the game was a shootout).  Flacco played very well, not turning over the ball and throwing for two touchdowns.  The Ravens got back to the running game, as Ray Rice ran the ball 31 times for 153 yards (including a long of 50 yards) and 1 touchdown, and Willis McGahee ran the ball 7 times for 53 yards with a long of 28.  The special teams played well again, setting the Ravens up with great field position and pinning the Saints back.

The Ravens are now 10-4, and thanks to the Jets beating the Steelers, are tied for first in the AFC North.  Baltimore will travel to Cleveland this weekend before hosting the Bengals next weekend.  The Steelers host the Panthers Thursday night before going to Cleveland next weekend.

09
Dec
10

Ravens Update

By Jesse Jones

Sorry for not blogging recently, but with finals and everything, life has been very stressful.

The Baltimore Ravens are going into their Monday night matchup against the Houston Texans with an 8-4 record.  Let’s take a look at how they got there.

The Ravens entered Week 12 against the Buccaneers with the same records, standing at 7-3.  The game was a fairly dominating game for the Ravens, as they cruised to a 17-10 win (score did not indicate what the game was like) to improve to 8-3.  However, Le’Ron McClain sprained his ankle and his status for the next game was uncertain.

The following Sunday night, the Ravens hosted the Pittsburgh Steelers, and with Le’Ron McClain injured, they had no fullback on the roster.  As you would expect, it was a defensive game.  Heading into the fourth quarter, the Ravens held a 10-3 lead, but as in previous games this season, the Ravens blew it.  The offense became very conservative and stopped taking shots down the field, after converting two plays over 60 yards in the first half.  The poor offensive play hurt them, as a strip by Troy Polamalu on Joe Flacco set the Steelers up at the 10-yard line, leading to their 13-10 lead.  On a fourth-and-two from the Steelers’ 31-yard line, the Ravens opted out of a 48-yard field goal because of the wind and went for it.  The result was a pass into the ground from Flacco that was intended for an open Ed Dickson, which would have been a first down.  Pittsburgh won the game 13-10, and dropped the Ravens to 8-4, and one game out of the lead for first place in the AFC North.

Now the Ravens have to travel to Houston, who has struggled of late.  The defense has allowed 13 or fewer points in their last three games, and now have to face a high-potent offense led by Matt Shaub and Andre Johnson, who is arguably one of the best receivers in the game.  However, the Texans have the worst pass defense in the league, so look for the offense to take full advantage of that.

07
Dec
10

Terps headed to the Military Bowl

By Ben Linton

After a huge turnaround season from last year, the Maryland football team has been rewarded by accepting an invitation to the Military Bowl. However, they will only have to travel 5 miles to Washington D.C. to take on East Carolina out of Conference USA. This will be Maryland’s seventh bowl appearance in 10 years under Ralph Friedgen, and will look to improve their bowl record to 5-2 as well as increasing their win total on the season to nine.

The Pirates are currently 6-6 with a 5-3 record in the C-USA. They are led by a familiar face to Terps fans, Dominique Davis, the ex-Boston College Quarterback. Davis leads the nation’s 7th ranked pass offense with 3,699 yards and 36 touchdowns on the season. Maryland’s 42nd ranked scoring offense should have their way with the ECU defense, which averages giving up 43 points per game.

In my opinion, the Terps got shafted by the bowl selection committee. Even though the Maryland finished third in the ACC, they received the 8th bowl slot. The NC State Wolfpack, who Maryland beat 38-31, will be headed the the Champs Sports Bowl to play against West Virginia in Orlando, Florida. Even the Clemson Tigers, who finished 6-6 on the year, will be headed to the Meineke Car Care Bowl to take on South Florida. Maryland proved throughout the course of the year that they were better than both these teams, and its a shame that they were not rewarded. I feel like the Military Bowl does not award the Terps for how great of a season and turnaround this was. But I’ll still take a blowout win in the bowl game and a 9-win season any day.

The Terps and Pirates will play on Decemeber 29th at 2:30. The game will be televised on ESPN.

03
Dec
10

Maryland Athletic Director Speaks on Bowl Situation

By Ben Linton

Here is the video from the new Maryland Athletic Director Kevin Anderson’s speech about the football team’s bowl situation. Anderson first congradulated the Terps for its 8-4 season, in which Ralph Friedgen and Danny O’Brien were awarded by the ACC as Coach and Rookie of the Year. He also stated that Maryland will not know it’s bowl destination until Sunday.

Maryland also had other players be awarded by the ACC for their achievements this season. Wide Receiver Torrey Smith, Punt Returner Tony Logan, Linebacker Alex Wujciak, and Safety Kenny Tate all received first team all-ACC Honors this season. Smith led the Terps in receiving with 65 receptions for 1,065, while posting school records this year in touchdown receptions (12) and all-purpose yardage (5,183). Logan led the ACC in punt returns with and 18.8 yard average, which is also good for third in the FBS. He returned two punts for touchdowns this season as a Junior. Tate and Wujciak led the defense in averaging 22.3 points against per game, ranking 6th in the ACC, and improvement from last year’s 11th place finish.

Defensive Lineman Joe Vellano was named to second-team all ACC, while offensive Lineman Paul Pinegar was granted an Honorable-Mention Selection. Check back on Sunday when Maryland finds out their bowl destination.




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