Irish Dominate The Terps; O’Brien Out For The Year
The loss itself was bad enough for the players – and the fans – as the Terps lost 45-21 on national TV to Notre Dame. The news after the game that starting Quarterback Danny O’Brien was lost for the year with an undisclosed broken bone “in his upper-arm” makes matters much worse. O’Brien hasn’t been setting the world on fire this year, but he has proven he can move the offense despite struggling at times.
The loss of O’Brien guarantees consistency at the position for the rest of the season, as C.J. Brown is now given the reins full-time. After the game, Brown said that “Whenever you see a friend go down like that, and yeah he is my teammate, but first he’s my friend” when asked about taking over as the starter. No one wants to take over under these circumstances, especially when it happens to a close friend.
The game started off, as it usually does for Maryland, with a quick three-and-out followed by the opposing team getting seven on their opening drive. Maryland just had no answer for the Irish on defense. Tommy Rees finished the game 30-of-38 for 296 yards and 2 touchdowns while Notre Dame’s two-headed rushing attack averaged 6.0 yards per carry.
After the game LB Demetrius Hartsfield mentioned that the team gave up on defense, but when pressed about it, retracted the statement. He then went on to hit some key Edsall-esque points that they didn’t execute and were out of position. Hartsfield also mentioned that the team may have been unprepared on the opening series on defense as the team couldn’t stop Notre Dame. It’s unclear whether Hartsfield was hinting at it being the coaches fault, or if the players were not mentally ready.
At the end of the day, Maryland just wasn’t as talented as Notre Dame and it showed on the field and on the scoreboard. Maryland has been hurt all season by injuries and inconsistency, and that’s why they are 2-8, and headed towards a 2-10 season.
As negative as that sounds, there are some positives to take from this game. Even though, in the immortal words of Davin Meggett, you either win or you don’t, she either pregnant or she not. On the plus side, some of the younger guys made plays tonight. Alex Twine had a career game on defense, finishing with 12 tackles (3 for loss) and a sack. A sack that was the first Notre Dame had given up in five games. Twine had a few miscues, but made a key stop on the goal line before Notre Dame punched it in a play later.
Another player who had a good game was RB D.J. Adams, if only because he actually played. Edsall hinted that Davin Meggett was dinged up and that was the reason he saw more playing time tonight. Adams didn’t overly impress, but he played, and honestly that’s enough to get him in the positive column.
WR Adrian Coxson isn’t seeing much of the field, for whatever reason, but drew a pass interference that set up Maryland’s first touchdown on one of his two plays of the night. On a night with few positives from wide receivers, it’s puzzling why he doesn’t see more time.
Maryland’s next game is at Wake Forest next Saturday at 3 pm. Wake fell just short against #9 Clemson today, as they gave up a late field goal and lost 31-28. Maryland is playing for pride at this point, but it will also be looking to evaluate talent for next year as well.
A big question everyone will be asking this week is if Danny O’Brien threw his last pass in a Maryland uniform. With him graduating early, he won’t have to go the FCS route, he could pull a Russell Wilson and transfer to a FBS school right away. Was today’s appearance enough to keep D.J. Adams around in College Park? We’ll see, won’t we? What are your thoughts?
Follow Brendan Darr on twitter: @BrendanDarr1067