College Park, Md. – Maryland was coming off their first road win in 2 years over Boston College last week. Last night before the game Coach Ralph Friedgen asked his team if they were contenders or pretenders. Tonight they answered emphatically, contenders.
The Terps dominated every facet of the game today – offense, defense and special teams – en route to their 62-14 win. It started off with a partially blocked punt on the opening drive of the game. The Terps would add another blocked punt and two interceptions returned for touchdowns on the defensive side. On offense, Redshirt Freshman Danny O’Brien was efficient – 13/20 for 168 yards and 4 touchdowns – and the running game had 3 players average over 4.5 yards per carry.
With the win the Terps also become bowl eligible. Friedgen wasn’t content with just being eligible “We got the minimum right now, but now it’s time to get the maximum”. Friedgen also mentioned that these next four games will define the season. This is true, the Terps control their own destiny to get to a BCS bowl game.
No one can underestimate the play of Danny O’Brien. He’s blossomed into a solid leader, who Offensive Coordinator James Franklin described as “Wise beyond his years”. This was a common theme tonight from players and coaches alike.
The Terps defense had a special day. Holding Wake Forest to only 155 total yards and -3 yards on the ground is something any defense should be proud of. The two defensive touchdowns and two blocks were also huge. Kenny Tate had an 8-yard interception return and Ryan Donahue had a 25-yard INT return.
Maryland will definitely build off this game, and next week’s game at an ailing Miami is at the perfect time on the schedule. With Miami looking pretty bad without Jacory Harris and his status uncertain for next week, the Terps opportunistic defense could – and should – take advantage.