Guest Blogger: Turtle Waxing
Esquire from Turtle Waxing is back to explain what's going on with his Terps. They've been wildly inconsistent and you never know what sort of effort they will put out week to week. To get a better idea of what to expect this Saturday, I asked him a few questions. His answers below.
1. The offensive line had major issues against Florida State. What happened? How do you think they will adjust against BC?
Turtle Waxing: The O-line has struggled all season. They are probably a better run blocking group than pass blocking group but they have had some terrible struggles running the ball as well. It is a mediocre bunch that is pretty short on athleticism and FSU's pass rushers just abused them. The play calling certainly didn't help them as there was little done to change the protection scheme that had clearly failed. The coaches even tried to shuffle the lineup in mid-game but that had little effect. I'm guessing (hoping) that the staff adds more protection schemes to keep QB Chris Turner on his feet. The backs are not great at pass blocking but they do have two tight ends that could be on the field together.
2. The Maryland defense has been inconsistent. How have teams that beat you attacked your D?
TW: Teams have beat this defense both passing and running the ball. The line is undersized and a collection of "effort" instead of talent guys. The scheme is along the lines of a bend but don't break style so they will try to limit big plays but the 8-10 yard gains are mostly there for the taking. If an offense is patient they can march down the field, it is only when you get greedy that this group can force you into mistakes. The linebackers are vulnerable in pass coverage and there are gaps between the LB and safeties when they go zone. The corners often play seven or eight yards off the line so quick hitters can get you yardage.
3. How much do you buy into the "Maryland plays better against ranked teams" theme the media falls back on?
TW: I don't put much of any stock in that. Not a single "ranked" team that Maryland defeated (Cal, Wake Forest, Clemson, North Carolina) is currently in the polls so what does that little factoid really mean? There may be something to the psychology of this group getting up for ranked opponents but I don't think that will make a significant difference against Boston College. Their road record this year is pretty abysmal as they have lost their last two road games by a combined 54-13.
4. What is your prediction for Saturday?
TW: Given the poor road performance of this Maryland squad I give them very little chance for an upset. There is little comparison between the Eagles defense and Maryland's. Boston College causes turnovers and the way they dominated the Seminoles on the road was very impressive to me. The staff has probably been harping on the turnovers in the FSU game all week and I think that while the Terps might not turn the ball over four times the offense will likely continue to sputter. I think BC wins with 24-13 score that isn't as close as that score would seem. Maybe a late garbage time touchdown by the offense. Another thing to keep in mind if the game is tight is that Maryland's kicker Obi Egekeze has been very unreliable.
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