By Jeff Barker
The Baltimore Sun
9:35 PM EDT, October 22, 2011
Maryland's 41-16 loss to Florida State was one of those dispiriting games for Terps fans in which the team trailed so quickly that there was a sense of forever trying to swim upstream.
But there were interesting developments nonetheless that occurred later in the game:
*I was intrigued by the fact that Danny O'Brien came in and immediately began throwing downfield. This is a Maryland team that has seemed protective of its quarterbacks. For much of C.J. Brown's playing time, the game plan had seemed to be to get the ball out of the quarterback's hand swiftly on short throws, That's understandable to a point given Florida State's fierce pass rush (six sacks).
But why did the game plan seem to shift once O'Brien came in for Brown? That is a rhetorical question, fans.
O'Brien told me he was throwing deep because the score dictated it. The Terps trailed 17-3 when he jogged onto the field after Brown was dazed by a helmet-to-helmet hit. But do you think coaches also trusted the more experienced O'Brien to take some downfield shots? I don't know the answer. That's something I'll bet O'Brien would dearly love to continue doing in the future.
It's interesting to note that Brown said he was healthy and could have returned to the game. Brown said he was evaluated by the medical staff and cleared to return.
Did you hear what Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher said about O'Brien after the game? “When he’s in the game and the ball is in his hands, I’m going to tell you, anything can happen,” Fisher said.
So who do you think gives Maryland the best chance to win? Guessing who the quarterback is -- and I like both guys -- is probably more fun than contemplating a 41-16 loss, right?
Some other notes:
*Receiver Quintin McCree had his best career game with nine catches for 177 yards. I've long heard he's the fastest guy on the team. But I must note that he got caught from behind on a deep ball. Bad angle to the end zone, perhaps?
*Maryland's defense has surrendered 1,058 combined yards in the past two games. They have started a different defensive lineup in every game. Four freshmen started today.
*Coach Randy Edsall was asked about the direction of the program after the game and said: "“We can win, and we’re going to win. I have no doubt about that. It’s going to get done,. The first-year Maryland coach said the team needed to recruit more speed and athleticism.
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