Every point for Maryland this season is as valuable as a precious metal. The offense, weakened by injuries and led by a new freshman quarterback, is clearly a work in progress. It just doesn't score that often and can't afford to waste red-zone opportunities.
That's why everyone will understand the decision revealed Sunday to use a new field-goal kicker – freshman Brendan Magistro – for the shorter attempts.
Maryland has lost two close games in a row -- and Brad Craddock has missed kicks of shorter than 40 yards in both of them.
Craddock has been good on the deeper attempts. The chatty Australian – one of my favorite guys to interview – is 4-for-6 from deeper than 40, including a 52-yarder.
But Craddock, strangely, is just 2-for-4 between 20 and 29 yards, and 2-for-4 between 30 and 39 yards. He's missed two extra points.
Craddock was wide left from 35 yards away in Saturday's 20-17 loss at Boston College.
"When Brad missed that one, I just said, 'Hey, It's time to give Brendan a shot,'" Maryland coach Randy Edsall said.
Edsall said Magistro (C. Milton Wright) will kick up to a distance of 35 to 40 yards. "If we've got to go further than that, then Brad (Craddock) would be the guy,"
The coach said Craddock's issues are all about "technique."
I really don't think Craddock is overthinking his kicks. Craddock says he doesn't stress about how far the attempt is.
"He never really goes out there and says, 'This is 50 yards. I don't know if I can make it,' " Maryland's A.J. Francis told me earlier in the season.
"It's just like 'All right, there's the ball. There's the goal. Let's see what we can do here.'"