Matt from the Turtle Waxing site is a long-time observer of the Terps.
He gave us these insights on Maryland's season to date and how they'll match up against FSU Saturday night.
Q: Earlier in the season you said Maryland had a bad team. Since then they almost upset Georgia Tech and beat N.C. State. What happened?
A: I think the Georgia Tech game was close due to the fact that they had just come off an emotional win over Virginia Tech the week before and were due for a let down against Maryland. In any given game Reggie Ball can play poorly enough to keep a team close and that is what happened with the Maryland game. Maryland won close games against NC State and Virginia mostly due to the fact that their opponents self-destructed. In both games the opponent had costly turnovers that Maryland converted into points at the other end. Add that up and Maryland has two wins by a total of 8 points. Maryland has played better the last two games but it isn't all that different from the team that was pummeled by West Virginia. Perhaps it just means that at the moment Maryland is better than two bad teams like Virginia
and North Carolina State.
Q: What's worked best this year for the Terps offense?
A: Running the ball. Quarterback Sam Hollenbach had 9 passing attempts versus the Wolfpack and none in the final quarter. That was by design. Runningbacks Lance Ball and Keon Lattimore share the load on the ground. Ball is slightly more effective and doesn't dance around as much as Lattimore. Hollenbach showed the ability to run a little more in last week's game versus NC State but is mostly a pocket passer. Screens and swing passes to the backs also worked well on the aggressive Wolfpack defense.
Q: What kind of coverage does your secondary play and can they outjump Carr on the fade route?
A: Josh Wilson is a legitimate All-ACC level corner but I'm not sure he can out jump Carr. You may have to get someone from Gary Williams' team for that. Isaiah Gardner is a physical corner but often gives up a large cushion to speedy wideouts and has struggled covering down the field. Neither safety is particularly good in coverage. The defense likes to zone blitz and is susceptible to big plays down the field.
Q: We hear Ralph Friedgen is his own offensive coordinator this year. How do you think he'll attack FSU?
A: I think Friedgen will be very conservative and run the ball. He'll try some misdirection and perhaps a reverse. Mostly it will be a steady diet of screen passes and off tackle runs. He seems
to lack confidence in his young wide outs and has gotten very vanilla on his playcalling. I don't think his gameplan against
NC State will work this weekend. I think the vulnerability of the defense will require Friedgen to open things up if they get down early. Wide out Darrius Heyward-Bey has emerged as a big play threat and I think Friedgen will try to get him the ball and hope he can break something with his speed. I'm not convinced he is confident enough in his offense to really pull the kind of trickery he would like.