Posts Tagged ‘ACC


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.


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.



Terps beat Wahoos, set stage for showdown with FSU

By Ben Linton

By winning their final road game 42-23 at Virginia, the Maryland Terrapins football team will head home for two final and very important games. Maryland improved to 7-3 (4-2 ACC) with the win, and faces Florida State in its blackout game next week and NC State in the following week in the senior game. In order to get to this position, Maryland used a 21-point fourth-quarter comeback to beat the Cavaliers in Charlottesville, snapping a three-game losing streak to the Hoos.

The Terps trailed 23-21 heading into the final 15 minutes to play, but exploded in the fourth quarter to put the game away. Running Back D.J. Adams scored his third touchdown of the game on a 2-yard run early in the fourth quarter to put the Terps up 28-23. After forcing the Cavs to a three-and-out, Danny O’Brien hit Da’Rel Scott on a 2-yard pass on a 3rd and goal play with 8 minutes to go. It was a crucial play in the game, because Maryland would have had to kick a field goal, which would have only increased their lead to 8 instead of 12.

The Cavaliers were intercepted twice on their next two possessions, by Eric Franklin and Adrian Moten, respectively. Maryland was finally able to capitalize with a little over two minutes to go when O’Brien connected with Smith for a 12-yard score to put the Terps up 42-23, a score that would stand for the remainder of the game. O’Brien had a great game, throwing for 289 yards and 2 touchdowns while also running for one. Adams led the rushing attack with 37 yards and 3 tds and Smith was the top passing target with 7 receptions for 157 yards and a touchdowns.

Maryland will face Florida State next week, who is coming off a 16-13 win against Clemson. The Seminoles have a half game lead over the Terps and NC State, who goes to Chapel Hill Saturday to face the Tar Heels. If the Terps can win their final two games, they will play for the ACC Championship in Charlotte on December 4th.


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.


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.


Maryland Escapes Chestnut Hill With a Victory

Maryland Quarterback Danny O'Brien celebrates after his third touchdown pass of the first half.

By Ben Linton

The Maryland Terrapins got a much needed win against a lesser opponent last Saturday when they went into Chestnut Hill to defeat the Boston College Eagles 24-21. It was Maryland’s first road win since 2008 when the Terps won at Clemson. Danny O’Brien threw for 179 yards and 3 touchdowns after throwing three interceptions the previous week against Clemson.

In the first quarter, O’Brien connected with Torrey Smith for a 2-yard touchdown pass. Boston College would answer early in the second quarter with a touchdown pass of its own. Then Maryland would break away, taking advantage of BC turnovers and turning them into points. O’Brien hit Ronnie Tyler for a 9-yard score after the Eagles fumbled, and would connect with Kerry Boykins for 6 yards after Antwine Perez picked off Boston College Quarterback Chase Rettig at the BC 33-yard line.

Maryland added a field goal in the third quarter to go up comfortably at 24-7. Boston College then would attempt to come back with a 10 play, 70 yard drive that ended with a Montel Harris TD run. Maryland would then punt, giving BC the ball with a little over three minutes to go. On 2nd and 10, BC got a lucky break after Rettig’s pass got tipped into the air and landed in the hands of a Eagles receiver that would streak down the sideline 66 yards to the Maryland 3 yard line. Harris would again punch it in the make it a game at 24-21 with 8 minutes to go.

But Maryland was able to hang on to their lead, stopping Boston College on its final two possessions and turning them over on downs. The win was critical for Maryland, who is now 5-2 (2-1 ACC) and in the thick of the ACC Atlantic race. The Terps are tied with NC State for second place behind Florida State. Next week, Maryland goes back home for its only game at Byrd Stadium in a five-game stretch, as they will take on Wake Forest. The Demon Decons are struggling at 2-5 (1-3 ACC) and it will be homecoming for the Terps.


Special Teams and Turnovers Doom Maryland

By Ben Linton

The Maryland Terrapins had been very sound at winning the turnover margin so far into the 2010 season. But on Saturday in Death Valley, Maryland threw three fourth quarter interceptions and were shaky on special teams in a 31-7 loss to the Clemson Tigers. Maryland had won three of the last four against the Tigers, including the last two on the road, but were not as fortunate in this game.

Although the score seems lobsided, for a majority of the time the game was very close. Maryland held a lead at 7-3 after a 4-yard pass from Da’Rel Scott to Danny O’Brien, (not a typo, it was a halfback pass) but the key turning point came right after, as Andre Ellington would take the ensuing kickoff 87 yards to put Clemson up for good.

The Tigers were able to exploit a Maryland penalty for points when the Terps were called for a pass interference on a 3rd and 8 that looked uncatchable. This allowed Clemson to continue their drive and capitalize on a 1-yard run by Jamie Harper at the end of the half to put them up 17-7.

Special Teams would continue to hurt the Terps when Clemson returned a punt 41 yards to the Maryland 21 at the beginning of the second half. Once again, the Tigers would score on a 1-yard run by Andre Ellington, putting the Tigers up 24-7. From then on the Clemson defense would take over, as they forced three interceptions in the fourth quarter by Maryland freshman Danny O’Brien in his first road start, one of them going for a touchdown.

Maryland had more yards then Clemson (350 to 213), but the Terp playmakers were held in check. Da’Rel Scott and Davin Meggett were held to 47 yards combined rushing, and Torrey Smith only had 55 yards on 4 catches. With the loss Maryland falls to 4-2 (1-1 ACC) on the year, and Clemson (3-3, 1-2 ACC) avoids a four game losing streak. Next week Maryland hopes to rebound and win their first road game of the year against Boston College, who has a record of 2-4 and has lost four straight games.


Maryland Football Opens In a Thriller

By Ben Linton

A lot of hype and uncertainty surrounded the Maryland football team as they prepared for their season opener against the Navy Midshipmen. The Terps were 2-10 last year, while Navy won 10 games. Both teams seemed to be headed in different directions, but it was a new season and a fresh slate for the Terps.

Maryland came out of the tunnel at M&T Bank Stadium looking faster, smarter, and more disciplined than before. It showed when the Terps took an early 14-0 first quarter lead behind running backs Da’Rel Scott and Davin Meggett. The Maryland defense had allowed Navy to move the ball, but a missed field goal meant a missed opportunity for Navy. This would be a recycling theme throughout the contest.

However the Terps had their mistakes as well. Early in the 2nd quarter, Navy fumbled inside the 20 yard line. Instead of falling on the ball, Linebacker Demetrius Hartsfield tried to pick it up, which resulted in the ball being knocked out of bounds and back over to Navy, who would capitalize and score that drive to make it 14-7. The following possession the Terps would drive into Navy territory, but Jamarr Robinson through an interception in the red zone.

In the second half, momentum slowly switched sides as Navy began moving the ball at will and the Maryland offense stalled. But the Maryland Defense, a unit that was near the bottom of the ACC last year allowing 31 points per game, came through in the clutch with two forced fumbles on the goal line to prevent Navy from punching it in. The Midshipmen were able to score in the red zone once in the 3rd quarter to tie the game at 14.

In the fourth quarter Maryland had promise after a 57 yard punt return by Toney Logan to the Navy 16. On the subsequent play, backup Danny O’Brien botched a hand off to Davin Meggett and the Terps turned it back over on a head scratching play. With 2:46 remaining the Terps went up 17-14 after Travis Baltz connected on a 24-yard field goal, the first of his career. With one last chance, Navy once again drove down to the red zone, where the Maryland D had stood strong all game, but had to just make one more stop. With :37 left and Navy on the Maryland 1, Ricky Dobbs rushed left but was stoned cold but Kenny Tate and Maryland took over on downs to win the game 17-14. It was a great way to begin the 2010 season for the Terps and Coach Friedgen.

There were many ups and downs in this football game, with both teams played well enough to win and to lose. I really admired Maryland’s perserverance and especially the play of the defense when it mattered most. Although they gave up 485 yards (412) and allowed Navy to control the ball for 39 minutes, they forced two pivotal turnovers and only gave up 14 points. In the end, it matters more about how many points you allowed, not yards. The Terps were able to fluster Navy QB and Heisman Hopeful Ricky Dobbs into two of those turnovers, and only 63 yards rushing (2.2 average). The Maryland Linebackers Alex Wujciak, Demetrius Hartsfield, and Adrian Moten played exceptional, as well as interior lineman Joe Vellano (2 sacks) and Zachariah Kerr.

After going 2-10 last year, this was a big way for the Terps to send a message that they will be no slouch this year in the ACC. They came out with a better attitude that hadn’t been seen in a while. At no point in the game did they trail, look over matched, or lost focus. That can be credited to the head coach. When you look at the things Maryland had problems with last year were getting pressure on the quarterback, avoiding turnovers, and protecting the quarterback. In this game, Maryland was even in the turnover margin and sacked Dobbs twice (he only dropped back to pass ten times.) The offensive line played great, allowing Meggett to rush for 101 yards, Robinson for 98, and Scott for 58. Jamarr was only sacked once, and he did an awful lot of dancing around in the pocket before going down.

This was a great win for Maryland to get off on the right foot, but more work still needs to be done. On the offensive side of the ball, Robinson needs to improve his passing and allow big playmakers like Torrey Smith to get involved. Robinson went 2 for 5 for 11 yards and an INT, and Smith only caught two balls for five yards. If Maryland is to be competative in the ACC this year, they will need a more balanced offensive attack. Look for Maryland to air it out more next week when the take on FCS-opponent Morgan State in the Home Opener at Byrd Stadium.



ESPN Reaches 12-Year Deal With ACC

espn acc

By Jesse Jones

The ACC will finally be getting national attention!

For years, ACC fans have only been able to watch the ACC on Raycom Sports, with ESPN games here and there.  That is, until now.

The Atlantic Coast Conference and ESPN have agreed to a 12-year deal that would give the network exclusive rights to conference football and men’s basketball games.  Women’s basketball, lacrosse, and other sports will be shown as well.  The family of networks (ESPN, ESPN 2, ESPN 3, ESPN U, ABC on certain occasions) will all broadcast the games.  The deal is believed to be worth 1.86 billion over the 12 years.

The two sides were in negotiation for the past 15 months, a span that saw the ACC win a record setting eight national championships across sports.

This is the first time we at ESPN have basically done an all-in deal with a conference where we worked to be able to acquire all their product,” ESPN executive vice president of content John Skipper said. “I think that speaks to how much we value the product that’s in the ACC.”

During football season, ESPN would broadcast conference-controlled games on Saturdays, Thursday nights and Labor Day on one of its channels or online.  ESPN would also broadcast the ACC Championship.  ESPN will do the same during basketball season, and broadcast the women’s ACC tournament.


Terps Sweep Post-season honors

By Ben Linton

An amazing season for Maryland Terrapins Basketball was rewarded recently when Greivis Vasquez was named player of the year in the ACC and Gary Williams was named Coach of the year. Freshman Jordan Williams was second in the voting for rookie of the year, which went to Derrick Favors from Georgia Tech.

Vasquez was the first Terp to snag MVP honors since Juan Dixon did in 2002, when the Terps won the National Championship. Vasquez played brilliantly down the stretch, averaging 19.6 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 6.3 assists in his senior season at College Park. He exploded for a career high 41 points against Virginia Tech and Malcolm Delaney, who finished third in MVP voting. Then Vasquez scored 20 and triumphantly led Maryland to a victory against rival Duke and Jon Scheyer, who finished second in the voting. Greivis has come a long way in his years at Maryland- I remember last year against Georgia Tech when he got into it with his own fans in a game and has at times single-handedly lost games for the Terps. But I really believe that he has benefited from one more season in college and was rewarded for doing so and adored by Maryland fans, coaches and players alike.

Gary Williams won ACC Head Coach of the Year since 2002, coincidence right? I hope so. Williams led the Terps to a 23-7 record and a 13-3 conference record, sharing the ACC Title. A lot of fuss was made last year about Gary’s job security when he was criticized for his lack of recruiting skills, internal problems with AD Debbie Yow, and inability to motivate his players on the court. Although I thought that last season was Williams’ best coaching job of his career due to the level of talent he had to work with, this is still very satisfying. It feels good to silence your doubters, and Gary did just that. The most winningest coach in Maryland history will be able to decide on his own when he decides to leave College Park, because no one is knocking down the door for a replacement any time soon.

Hopefully this is just a beginning to an already remarkable season and turnaround for Maryland Basketball.

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August 2020