Terps Football Scouting Report 2008 — Win #1

 

Maryland: 14   Delaware: 7

The coaching staff had to be nervous as the Terps allowed the Blue Hens to hang around.  There were ample opportunities to score points, but Maryland could not seal the deal until late in the game with an interception by Skinner.  Certainly with all of the expectations surrounding this new offense it had to be a disappointment not to dominate the Blue Hens.   Where was the West Coast offense and chucking the ball downfield to spread the defense?  What we saw was a grind-it-out effective running attack.   It didn’t help that Maryland’s experienced field goal kicker looked lost out on the field — missing three makeable attempts from about the 40 yard line.  He kept trying to make adjustments — but his head was messed up all game.

The offensive line blocked well and the new set of young running backs (Scott and Meggett) looked sharp, but I have to question the decision to start Jordan Steffy at QB over Chris Turner.  The interception to open the second half was just terrible.  At least Turner got his shot after Steffy got dinged up.   But by then the play calling was strictly conservative.  Plus the package they put in for Portis was far too limited and predictable.  The guy has obvious athletic talent — cut him loose and let him have options to both throw as well as run.  Hopefully there is a lot more variety to the Terps offense than what was shown today.  In particular they should look to get the ball downfield to their speedy wide receivers.  The defense was never seriously challenged until the ten play scoring drive in the middle of the fourth quarter — so it is difficult to rate their play.  They ran to the ball well but did not put a lot of pressure on the quarterback.  They need more interior penetration to disrupt the offense.  I liked Skinner in the secondary and the coaches rave about the potential of Navarre — so there should be a couple of playmakers on defense.

The ACC overall seems to be fading on the national scene.  They took a number of hits in the bowl picture at the end of last year and that trend seems to be continuing.  The Terps can be thankful that the league play is not as strong as it used to be.  One thing that you can conclude: Flacco’s stock should rise as you compare how the receivers and overall offense performed last year under his direction vs. the lack of output in this opening game.  This was a game that Flacco might have won for the Blue Hens.