Archive for the 'College Football' Category

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.

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.

29
Nov
10

From 2-10 to 8-4: A Tribute To The 2010 Maryland Seniors

Torrey Smith hauls in the third of his four touchdown receptions against the Wolfpack.

By Ben Linton

With a 38 to 31 win over North Carolina State, the Maryland Terrapins finished a terrific season, in which they turned their win total around by six games and became bowl eligible. A lot of Maryland’s success this season can be attributed to the play of it’s Seniors, who took the field at Byrd Stadium for one final time on Saturday. Often times when you hear coaches talk about their group of seniors, they always say, “They have overcome so much adversity in their time here.” I feel like that statement is too cliche and used to much in situations when it is not needed. This is not one of those cases.

As a college football player, overcoming adversity usually happens following a loss. But when you lose 10 games in one season, the stress just mounts and can be hard to handle. What this group gave Maryland this year was just a chance, a chance to play in the ACC Title Game. Although the Terps didn’t make these dreams come true with a loss last week, just the fact that they were in the conversation is truly amazing and gratifying to these group of student-athletes. Maryland has increased their win total by five games so far this season, and have already clinched a bowl-berth. Tomorrow they will play for each other, for pride, and for a better bowl. Here’s a look at some of the seniors that have made success this season possible:

Adrian Cannon- Wide Reciever

Cannon made an impact as a sophomore in his first career start in the Humanitarian Bowl, where he caught a 59-yard touchdown pass from Chris Turner en route to a Terps victory. Last year as a junior, he hauled in 44 passes for 468 and 4 touchdowns. In his final season in College Park, Cannon has 36 receptions, 324 yards, and one touchdown. At 6’2, 204 lbs., Cannon is a physical receiver with good hands and is hard to bring down. His signature play will be a screen pass where he overpowers the corner with a stiff arm and runs for a first down. He will be missed.

Adrian Moten- Linebacker


Moten made the play of the year for the Terps in the first game of the season vs. Navy. With Navy at Maryland’s goal line, Moten leaped over the line and sacked Ricky Dobbs, forcing a fumble that Maryland would recover. He looked like superman on that play, and has made many other superb athletic plays this year for the Terps. He will end his career with 200 tackles, 2 fumbles forced, and 6 interceptions (4 this season.) He has great potential to become an NFL player, and with hard work he can get there.

Antwine Perez- Safety

Perez really broke out in his senior campaign making big plays and big hits as at the safety position for Don Brown’s defense. In 2009, he posed 34 tackles in a reserve role. He played all 12 games this year as a starter, and made the most of it, collecting 61 tackles, 3 interceptions, 2 forced fumbles, and a sack. He will not go unnoticed in this year’s NFL draft and will be able to find himself a spot on an NFL roster next year.

Da’Rel Scott- Running Back

After the great years of having Lance Ball and Keon Lattimore in the backfield for the Terps, Scott knew coming in that he had some big shoes to fill. What Scott had that previous Maryland tailbacks did not was breakaway speed. Scott is probably the fastest running back Maryland has had since Bruce Perry, and his speed killed in 2008 when he had all All-ACC season, running for 1,133 yards with 8 touchdowns as a sophomore. Scott has battled injuries and split time with other Maryland running backs since, but has still had a great career as a Terp. He finishes his career with 2,201 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns.

Alex Wujciak- Linebacker

If there is any player on the Maryland team that personifies this year’s defense, its Alex Wujciak. A two-time All-ACC selection, Wujciak has been high in the charts in tackles the past three seasons, and is one of the best playmakers at linebacker in the college game. He is a sure tackler with surprising speed for his size, and has four career interceptions, two going for touchdowns. He will be greatly missed next year in the middle of the defense, and it has been a pleasure to watch him make plays for the Terps.

Other notable seniors include: P/K Travis Baltz, DL Drew Gloster, WR Emani Lee-Odai, OL Paul Pinegar, WR La’Quan Williams

Thank you for a wonderful season and some great memories, Seniors.

23
Nov
10

Florida State Ends Maryland’s ACC Championship Hopes

By Ben Linton

Heading into the final two games of the 2010 season, the Maryland Terrapins needed to beat Florida State and North Carolina State at home in order to claim their first ACC Atlantic Title and a trip to Charlotte. The Terps would face off against the Seminoles in a Blackout, supporting the Wounded Warrior Project. Florida State’s starting Quarterback Christian Ponder had fluid drained from his elbow earlier in the week, but FSU would overcome all these obstacles to beat the Terps 30-16 on Saturday Night.

The game had two ties and five lead changes, but in the end Maryland’s inability to capitalize in the redzone hurt their chances. Maryland had to settle for three field goals in the redzone instead of scoring touchdowns, a difference that can be enormous in close games like this one. With 30 seconds remaining, Maryland QB Danny O’Brien was intercepted with the Terps trailing 23-16 to seal the team’s fate. The Terps were plagued by four turnovers, their highest total of the season.

With the loss, Maryland drops to 7-4 on the season, with one more game against the NC State Wolfpack to go. The Terps have already solidified a bowl berth, but will not play for the ACC Title. Maryland can increase their opportunity of a better bowl game with a win over NC State on Senior Day, and truly earn their first marquee win of the season. Although the Terps are 7-4, they have not defeated a ranked opponent and have only defeated one opponent (Navy) that currently holds a winning record. With a loss to NC State, Maryland may find themselves playing in a low-caliber bowl, which would not be satisfying for a team that has increased their win total by five games this year.

 

07
Nov
10

Terps lose to Miami, but doesn’t lose ground in ACC Atlantic

By Ben Linton

The Maryland Terrapins football team missed a golden opportunity to make a move in the ACC Atlantic Division on Saturday. The Miami Hurricanes were down their starting quarterback and running back, leaving it to a true freshman to get the job done. Using a strong ground game that averaged 4.4 yards per carry, Miami was able provide the support for their young quarterback, who overcame two interceptions to throw the game winning touchdown pass with 37 seconds left as the Hurricanes handed the Terps a 26-20 loss.

The Terps were dominated on the stat sheet by the Canes, who totaled 504 yards of offense to Maryland’s 254. Miami’s top pass defense in the ACC shut down Danny O’Brien and company, limiting him to 9 of 28 passing for 134 yards. Maryland was able to stay in the game by forcing turnovers, Alex Wujciak had two interceptions, one going 60 yards for a touchdown. Miami also helped out the Terps by committing 10 penalties for 100 yards.

The loss leaves the Terps with a 6-3 record and a 3-2 mark in the ACC. Maryland was helped out this weekend by North Carolina and Clemson, who defeated Florida State (6-3, 4-2) and NC State (6-3, 3-2) respectively. With three games left, the Terps are tied with NC State for second, and a half game behind Florida State. The Terps will face rival Virginia in Charlottesville next weekend, and then will play two critical home games against FSU and NC State to close out the season.

Although the loss to Miami hurts, Maryland still controls its own destiny in the Atlantic, and will be playing key games at home, where they are undefeated this season.

02
Nov
10

Maryland Destroys Wake, Becomes Bowl Eligable

Maryland Quarterback Danny O'Brien threw for 168 yards and 4 touchdowns against Wake Forest Saturday.

 

By Ben Linton

The Maryland Terrapins have continued to play well in what continues to be a turnaround season from last year. Maryland improved to 6-2 and became bowl eligable after a 62-14 smashing of Wake Forest last Saturday. The Terps, who only one two games last year, will now be attending their fourth bowl in the past five years and can now start focusing on the ACC Atlantic Division Race.

Maryland was led once again by outstanding freshman quarterback Danny O’Brien, who threw for four touchdowns (a career high) on way to earning ACC rookie of the week honors. The Terps outscored the Demon Deacons 45-0 in the second and third quarter combined, highlighted by two interception returns for touchdowns by Kenny Tate and Ryan Donohue. Maryland racked up 446 total yards, 261 coming on the ground, while limiting to Wake to a measly 155. The Demon Decons amassed 516 yards in a 42-32 win last year.

Maryland fans and players can now focus on going after their first ACC Atlantic Title since the league split up into divisions. The Terps are 6-2 (3-1 ACC) and tied with North Carolina State for second place behind Florida State, who is also 6-2 but 4-1 in the ACC. Here’s how each team’s schedule plays out for the remainder of the season:

Maryland                                NC State                                 Florida State

@Miami                                  @ Clemson                             vs. North Carolina

@Virginia                                vs. Wake                                 vs. Clemson

vs. Florida State                     @ North Carolina                 @ Maryland

vs. NC State                            @ Maryland                           vs. Florida

As you can see, Maryland has the most favorable schedule of the three teams. Maryland will face Florida State and NC State both at home, one game being a blackout and the other being the senior game. This means that the ACC Atlantic Title will be won in College Park, which is exactly what Maryland wants. The Terps will hit the road next week to face a Miami team that will be without Jacory Harris, who was injured in a 24-19 loss to Virginia last weekend. The last time Maryland played Miami was 2006, when the Terps won 14-13 in College Park. The game will be at 12:00 broadcasted on ESPNU.




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