Sunday, October 11, 2009

Postgame Report Card: Wake Forest 42, Maryland 32

Maryland's short reign atop the Atlantic Division is over with the loss to Wake Forest in Winston-Salem. The Deacs had the type of team that could beat Maryland, a strong passing team against a weakened secondary, and they exploited this advantage over and over again.

It is hard to place blame in correct places. Wake Forest is just a better team, could the secondary have really stopped Riley Skinner? Could the Terps running game be effective with the "running back by committee?" But some things clearly went wrong, and Maryland's season could be finished soon. In this report card, the fourth quarter will not be discussed much, because the game was out of hand by then, and Wake clearly let up some. The first half was a complete disaster, being down 35-10, and the Terps had pretty much no hope of coming back after that.

This report card will be mainly based on the first half and right to the point, as the result of the first half tells the whole story.

Offense - Total Grade: C-
Quarterbacks: C-

Chris Turner did well in the second half, when the game was over. During the first half he could not keep drives going and was only marginally decent on throws.
Running Backs: D
Davin Meggett had two decent runs, including one for a touchdown. As a unit, 13 runs for 27 yards.
Wide Receivers and Tight Ends: C-
Just like Turner, effective when it no longer mattered. They could not get open enough in the first half.
Offensive Line: C-
Without Bruce Campbell, the line could not get much penetration against the experienced Wake defensive front.

Defense - Overall Grade: D
Defensive Line: D
Was constantly blitzing for Riley Skinner, and almost never succeeded.
Linebackers: C
Alex Wujciak seemed to be the only player on defense that got big plays. The rest of the unit was not effective.
Secondary: F-
Torched all day by Riley Skinner and his receivers.

Special Teams - Overall Grade: A-
Kicker/Punter: A
Every time he plays, Nick Ferrera continues to impress. Converted a 50-yard field goal, punted for average of 40 yards and converted all three extra points.
Coverage and Returners: B+
Torrey Smith had a huge return to set up Maryland's first drive which ended in a touchdown, and the coverage on all other players was fine.

Coaching - Overall Grade: D+
Offensive: D
James Franklin did not have a good gameplan and clearly does not trust the running game at all. Worse, he burned Caleb Porzel's redshirt with two rushes, and he clearly does not look ready. Obviously with the injuries to Campbell and Scott things are bad, but Franklin's gameplan continues to trouble Maryland.
Defensive: C
It is hard to blame the coaching, because what was Don Brown to do? Maryland can't risk dropping seven each time because of Skinner's skill plus Maryland's weak secondary, so Brown tried to blitz the heck out of Wake which is the better idea than dropping everyone back. The problem was the blitzes were never much different than the others, and they were all picked up.

MVP: Alex Wujciak
The only defensive player that was a legitimate threat to the Wake Forest offense.
LVP: Cameron Chism
I have to choose one; Chism was constantly getting beat on coverage, but many players on the secondary could be put here.

Maryland returns next week for their homecoming game against Virginia.

(Photo credit: AP)

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