MARYLAND GAME SUMMARY

(C) 2003 Kenny Moore. All Rights Reserved.


FSU 35
Maryland 10

The Florida State Seminoles set out to show the college football world that our 37-0 shutout of North Carolina was no fluke. The trouble was nobody bothered to give the script to D'Qwell Jackson and the Maryland Terrapins as they jumped out to a quick 10-0 lead on FSU, mostly on the strength of Jackson's interception return for a touchdown of a Chris Rix pass on the first offensive play of the game for the Noles.

It took until early in the second quarter before FSU could seize the lead in this game and establish control. Once we got everything going on offense, our defense saw to it that Maryland would be no threat to us on this night, allowing the offense to rack up 35 unanswered points to secure the convincing victory against one of the teams previously thought to be a potential threat to our goal of winning the ACC this season. I was actually more impressed with our defensive effort in this game than I was with the shutout against UNC last week. I pretty much consider this to be another shutout for the defense since they held Maryland to only 6 yards of offense on the "drive" for the field goal and they weren't on the field when Maryland scored their touchdown. Holding a Ralph Freidgen coached team to just 197 total yards of offense is an exceptional effort. I am much more convinced that our defense is for real after this effort and very excited at our prospects this season if this level of performance is to be our norm for the season.

Our offense started sluggish, but did manage to put 35 points on the board on a night where we seemed to be sputtering quite a bit even on some of our successful drives. The most impressive effort on the night and the drive that really broke the backs of the Maryland team was the 99.9 yard march to paydirt. Had we not gotten out of that hole inside the one yard line, it could have been a very different football game. Getting that score to go up 21-10 had an enormous impact on the final outcome of this game. This was another very convincing victory for the FSU team on the path to getting back towards the top of the college football mountain. There were still enough chinks in the armor that were all too obvious that we shouldn't see complacency become a problem.


NEGATIVES:

1. Chris Rix did not have one of his best games, but I will gladly take this if it's an example of the worst we can expect from his game this season (knock on wood). The results of his opening pass definitely weren't what we were looking for at a point where we already had momentum seriously moving in our direction prior to that play. But he rebounded well later in the game and led us on some impressive drives for points. The lowlights for the passing game included:

--Chris Rix telegraphed his first pass to Paul Irons, resulting in the interception and touchdown by D'Qwell Jackson. I find it utterly amazing how well our tight ends often seem to be covered whenever we pull out a play like this, given how seldom we throw to them. Rix and Lorenzo Booker compounded the problem with the interception by making very weak tackle attempts that Jackson just repelled as if he had been studying some Greg Jones footage. This was definitely NOT how we envisioned this game ideally starting.

--Miscommunication between Chris Rix and P.K. Sam caused an incompletion on a 3rd and 15 play for us to go three and out on the drive after the Maryland TD...not a good way to answer.

--Chris Rix reverted back to an old habit of taking off on the scramble before going through all his progressions in the pass pattern. He scrambled for a 4 yard gain, but had Lorenzo Booker wide open in the flat. He had time to hit Booker instead of taking off IMO.

--Chris Rix threw a deep post pattern to Craphonso Thorpe into double coverage. This was a bad read as he had Lorenzo Booker wide open in the flat and P.K. Sam looked to have single coverage at the sideline. Rix forced the deep ball and was bailed out by a pass interference penalty.

--Chris Rix badly overthrew P.K. Sam on an out pattern.

--Chris Rix with a 1 yard scramble when he had Greg Jones open in the flat. He should have gotten the ball out there rather than taking off.

--Chris Rix fired incomplete into double coverage on a slant to Craphonso Thorpe. The DB interfered on this play IMO, but I suppose the refs ruled this not catchable.

--Chauncey Stovall dropped the ball trying to catch an out pattern, but this drop was caused by a big hit by a DB for a pass breakup, so I don't think there is any shame for Chauncey here in not being able to bring this one in.

--Chris Rix with an incompletion to Chris Davis. He was basically just getting rid of the ball here as we only had two in the pattern and neither receiver was really open. Rix didn't do a good job with his footwork here. He had time, but moved forward too much into pressure, then he threw off his back foot after hopping backwards. If he would have stayed back more, he could have eluded the pressure, bought more time and perhaps one of our receivers could have gotten open. This failed play killed a drive for us.

--Chris Rix overthrew P.K. Sam on a bomb. There was a lot of bumping on this play, but no flag.

--Chris Rix overthrew Willie Reid on a flare pass. This one was ugly and very nearly a lateral.

2. Antonio Cromartie followed the Maryland TD with a weak kickoff return that was stuffed at the 15 yard line, partially due to Willie Reid missing a block.

3. Our running game did not see quite the level of success that we enjoyed against UNC. I was disheartened somewhat to see that we had a lot more missed assignments and missed blocks than last week's game. Maryland was just more physical than some areas of our line on some of our breakdowns. It wasn't any one player getting beat each time. The problems were spread fairly evenly throughout the line. That's definitely a concern but I guess it's going to happen on occasion when you play against talented defenses (like I hope Maryland's will be this year). I also feel that the blocking of our fullbacks took a decided step backwards as well in this game, and not just because James Coleman was the surprise starter. B.J. Dean looked like he was having some of the same struggles he had last year in this game, that weren't evident in the UNC game. Of course, Maryland's D is likely to be a lot stronger than UNC's this year, which would probably explain many of our blocking problems.

In this game, we had 14 unsuccessful carries for 23 yards. The one major positive from these failed carries is that not a single one of them went for a loss of yardage. That's *really* good. Here is a list of the unsuccessful carries:

--Greg Jones with a run for no gain: James Coleman with a block, Paul Irons with a block, Ray Willis and Bobby Meeks were beat on a double team block to force Jones to the outside, David Castillo with a block, Matt Meinrod pulled and got a block, Alex Barron with a block. Jones maybe missed a small hole in the middle, but really he had nowhere to go on this play.

--Lorenzo Booker with a 2 yard run: James Coleman missed on a decleater attempt, Donnie Carter needed to sustain his block longer, Ray Willis with a block, Bobby Meeks pulled and got a block, David Castillo didn't get his block and was knocked down, Matt Meinrod with a block, Alex Barron didn't get his block (spectated), Paul Irons with a block.

--Lorenzo Booker with a 3 yard run on a misdirection pitch on a 3rd and goal from the 14 yard line play: James Coleman didn't get his block, Paul Irons with a block, Ray Willis with a block, Bobby Meeks with a block, David Castillo went off the screen so I couldn't tell if he got his block, Matt Meinrod with a block, Alex Barron with a block, P.K.Sam needed a better block. I don't understand the play call here. I can appreciate occasional running plays on 3rd and long situations, as we do need to have that unpredictability to our offense, but I think we're stretching our luck when we try it in situations where we need more than 8 yards for a first down (or TD in this case).

--Chris Rix with a run for no gain on a 3rd and 1 QB sneak: Matt Henshaw with a block, Paul Irons with a block, Ray Willis with a block, Bobby Meeks with a block, David Castillo with a block, Matt Meinrod with a block, Alex Barron with a block, D. Carter(?) with a block. Rix hesitated and ran high on this play. Very poorly executed sneak. I hope that we'll entertain the notion of using Greg Jones on a 3rd and 1 plays as a high percentage option more in the future.

--James Coleman with a 2 yard run: Ray Willis with a block, Bobby Meeks needed a better block and fell down, David Castillo needed to sustain his block longer, Matt Meinrod was beat by a linebacker, Alex Barron was beat to the inside to kill the play.

--Lorenzo Booker with a 3 yard run: B.J. Dean needed to sustain his block longer, Paul Irons with a block, Ray Willis just backed up from the line and didn't block anybody, Bobby Meeks with a block, David Castillo needed to sustain his block longer, Matt Meinrod with a block, Alex Barron with a block. Booker missed a big opening to the bounce this run out to the right. He might have scored had he seen the hole, but instead ran into a congested area.

--Greg Jones with a run for no gain: B.J. Dean knocked his guy down, Paul Irons with a block, Ray Willis with a block, Bobby Meeks with a chip block on Castillo's guy then another block on a LB, David Castillo was beat to the inside to disrupt and kill play, but ended up with a late pancake, Matt Meinrod with a block, Alex Barron with a block. Jones danced too much on this run.

--Greg Jones with a 1 yard run: B.J. Dean with a pancake, Matt Henshaw needed to sustain his block longer, Ray Willis didn't block anybody, Bobby Meeks pulled and fell down, David Castillo was beat to kill the play (Willis should have helped here), Matt Meinrod was beat to the inside to disrupt the play but then got a block, Alex Barron with a block.

--Willie Reid with a 2 yard run: B.J. Dean didn't block anybody (spectated), Paul Irons with a block, Ray Willis with a block, Bobby Meeks pulled and got a late block but missed the guy he needed to hit, David Castillo needed a better block, Matt Meinrod with a block, Alex Barron with a block.

--Willie Reid with a 3 yard run: B.J. Dean didn't get his block but hit Willis' guy late, Paul Irons with a block, Ray Willis with a block, Bobby Meeks missed his block but then got a late block, David Castillo was beat badly to kill the play, Matt Meinrod with a block, Alex Barron didn't block anybody (spectated).

--Willie Reid with a 2 yard run: B.J. Dean needed a better block, Dominic Robinson was beat to kill the play, Ray Willis with a pancake, Bobby Meeks didn't get his block, David Castillo with a block, Matt Meinrod pulled and didn't get his block, Alex Barron with a block.

--Willie Reid with a 2 yard run: B.J. Dean with a decleater, Ray Willis with a block, Bobby Meeks with a block but was knocked down, David Castillo needed to sustain his block longer, Matt Meinrod with a block, Alex Barron with a block.

--Ryan Reynolds with a run for no gain: B.J. Dean needed a better block, Donnie Carter was beat to the outside to kill the play, Ron Lunford didn't get his block unless he got one downfield after going out of the view of the camera, Eric Broe with a block, John Frady with a block, Cory Niblock with a block, Mario Henderson with a block.

--Ryan Reynolds with a 3 yard run: B.J. Dean was beat to the inside to kill the play, Donnie Carter with a block, Ron Lunford with a light block, Eric Broe pulled and missed his block to kill the play (same guy that beat Dean), John Frady with a block, Cory Niblock and Mario Henderson with a double team block.

4. FSU was called for 10 penalties for 81 yards. This unfortunately reversed the one game "trend" that had us believing that we could maybe see a lot less yellow laundry on the field in our games. I have 11 listed here, so I assume the offsetting penalty didn't count towards the stats. Here's the penalty list:

--Block in the back penalty on Paul Irons negated a 14 yard run by Greg Jones. This may have been a holding penalty on Alex Barron. I'm not sure as the ESPN2 cameras didn't show the ref making the call.

--Ray Willis with an illegal procedure penalty.

--Greg Jones with a 15 yard face mask penalty on an attempted stiff arm at the end of a run. This one negated a 7 yard carry. You could see on the TV replay that he got his hand hung up in the face mask and tugged to try to get it out. It wasn't intentional, but I don't think the ref really could have called this one differently.

--Travis Johnson with an offsides penalty.

--Roughing the passer penalty on Chauncey Davis offset an ineligible man downfield penalty on Maryland, giving them another down to work with.

--Holding penalty on a punt return forced us to start a drive inside the 1 yard line. I didn't see who this penalty was called on, but I think it was the guy blocking their right gunner on the outside.

--Offensive interference on Craphonso Thorpe for a push off.

--Block in the back penalty on Pat Watkins on a punt return.

--Block in the back penalty on P.K. Sam negated an excellent play on a flare pass to Willie Reid that would have been an 18 yard gain. Reid put on a running display on this play with a broken tackle and then a great spin move for extra yardage.

--Pass interference penalty on Antonio Cromartie on an out pattern.

--Pass interference penalty on Pat Watkins to bail out Maryland on a 4th and 13 play.

5. We gave up a 16 yard punt return by Suter to put Maryland in excellent field position at our 34, resulting in a 44 yard field goal to put Maryland up 10-0. We later gave up a 33 yard kickoff return by Suter with only Xavier Beitia there to save it from going the distance.

6. Our run defense had a few problems with Maryland's option running attack, but had a strong night overall in holding Maryland to 73 yards on 31 carries (2.35 YPC). The good thing is there were no major errors leading to very long TD runs like we usually see when we play Maryland. To me that's an indicator that our defense is in fact doing a better job so far this year. Our mistakes aren't going for really big plays. We're holding teams to 10-20 yard gains or less on most of the plays where we're making our mistakes. As long we can keep the mistakes to a minimum, that's a formula for a very successful D. Here's the list of the problems we had with the run defense:

--11 yard run given up by QB McBrien: Kendyll Pope was out of position to take the QB and Jerome Carter took a bad angle. I'm beginning to think that they way we are faking a blitz, dropping back, faking a blitz, dropping back, much more than I've seen us do in the past may be hurting us on occasion at the snap. I think our timing may not be totally down to where we are still dropping back at the snap on plays where we intend to blitz, meaning our first motion is away from where we want to go. This would account for why I thought our blitz was a half count slow in getting out of the blocks in last week's game. I think that played a part in Pope being out of position on this play.

--22 yard run allowed by RB Maldonado up the middle on a play that usually results in a score when we play Maryland. Darnell Dockett and Jeff Womble were blocked, Allen Augustin and Kendyll Pope were blocked, Jerome Carter was slow reacting to the play, and B.J. Ward looked like he took a bad angle.

--8 yard run allowed by QB McBrien on a 3rd and 2 option play. Kendyll Pope was blocked, Kamerion Wimbley was pancaked, Jerome Carter was blocked, Leroy Smith stayed on the pitch man, Allen Augustin had to dodge traffic to get over and couldn't get there in time.

--8 yard run allowed by RB Perry on a 2nd and 3 play: Allen Augustin was pancaked, Kendyll Pope was blocked, Broderick Bunkley missed a chance at the tackle, Michael Boulware was blocked.

--Rufus Brown missed a potential TFL on a 2nd and 2 run by Sam Maldonado and surrendered a first down. Ordinarily I wouldn't include this, but it was a missed tackle that should have been made IMO.

--10 yard run allowed on an option pitch to RB Maldonado. A.J. Nicholson missed a tackle and Maldonado ran through Stanford Samuels and Kyler Hall (I think it was Hall, not positive).

7. Chris Rix with a 6 yard loss on a fumbled snap. We had total confusion getting this play in...again (see last week). If we're going to fumble the ball on these plays where we get confused prior to the snap, then I guess it is better to blow a timeout, but I really don't understand why we continue to have this level of confusion in the first place. This fumble was due to a lack of concentration by Rix as the snap looked to be fine. The ball may have been wet though.

8. Our pass defense only suffered a handful of problems as well. The problems with the pass defense were extremely minor as we played a tremendous game in this area of the defense. Here are the lowlights for our pass coverage:

--13 yard catch allowed by WR Harrison beating Rufus Brown on a crossing route. Kendyll Pope and Allen Augustin didn't help at all in coverage as they bumped into each other soon after the snap. Michael Boulware made a nice play coming of his coverage on the TE to make the tackle.

--23 yard catch allowed by WR Walker beating Pat Watkins. I think we were confused by their formation on this play.

--7 yard catch allowed to WR Fenner for a 3rd and 4 conversion, beating Stanford Samuels and A.J. Nicholson. Claudius Osei was destroyed on an attempted blitz on this play.

--8 yard catch allowed to TE Miller beating Claudius Osei and B.J. Ward.

--9 yard catch allowed to WR Williams beating Antonio Cromartie.

--22 yard catch allowed to WR Parson on a crossing pattern beating Ernie Sims and then Gerard Ross took a bad angle on the tackle to allow 8 extra yards. This play had us cringing in the stands, screaming "No, no, no, no!!!" as at this late stage of the game we were cheering wildly for the FSU defense to hold Maryland under 200 total yards of offense. It was feared that this play might put them over that number, but the scoreboard updated to show 197 and we only had to sweat out one final failed hail mary to the end zone to seal the deal for that statistic.

9. Our pass protection wasn't as strong as it was against UNC. Chris Rix had to scramble fairly often and we had a number of incompletions due to breakdowns in protection as well as giving up two sacks. As far as the OL play goes, this is much closer to what I was expecting to see than the surprise performance against UNC. This is definitely a concern for when we face some stronger defenses than Maryland.

--Pressure allowed by bad blocks late in the play by James Coleman and Paul Irons forced Chris Rix to throw the ball away out of the back of the end zone.

--Pressure allowed by Alex Barron and Bobby Meeks collapsed the pocket and forced Chris Rix to scramble for only a 1 yard gain.

--Chris Rix was sacked for a 5 yard loss. Initial pressure allowed by Matt Meinrod to flush Rix from the pocket. Rix contributed to the sack by failing to get rid of the ball. B.J. Dean also didn't block anybody on the play.

--Pressure allowed by Ray Willis forced Chris Rix to get rid of the ball for an incompletion. Rix contributed to the problem by rolling into where there was more pressure.

--Pressure allowed by Bobby Meeks failing to pick up a blitzing LB up the middle. Fortunately Chris Rix was able to sidestep this heavy pressure and make a completion. Meeks picked up one of the blitzing linebackers, but ended up double teaming that guy with Alex Barron while letting the other blitzing LB in untouched. Meeks picked the wrong guy to hit and should have left this guy for Barron to take care of alone.

--Chris Rix was sacked for a 12 yard loss. Pressure allowed by Alex Barron getting beat.

--Pressure allowed by Ray Willis and Willie Reid forced Chris Rix to get rid of the ball for an incompletion.

10. Xavier Beitia's 28 yard FG attempt was blocked by our friend D'Qwell Jackson who broke through unblocked. I couldn't tell who missed the assignment on this play. It's inexcusable to not score after a turnover sets your offense up at the opponent's 8 yard line.

11. Chris Davis foolishly fielded a punt at the 1 yard line and then fumbled a punt later in the game (which he recovered).

12. Lorenzo Booker fumbled the ball on the direct snap run. Fortunately Chauncey Stovall was there to recover the ball.


POSITIVES:

1. Our defensive line play spearheaded a superb defensive performance that saw us hold Maryland to just 73 yards on the ground and 197 yards overall. Darnell Dockett and Jeff Womble did a great job clogging up the interior for most of the game. Our DE's were also very active. We finished with only 3 sacks, but had a fair amount of pressure most of the night. I'd still like to see much improvement with the pressure, but was happier with this effort than last week's effort. The much improved play of the secondary was the end result of our better job of getting pressure. The highlights up front included:

--Kevin Emanuel and Darnell Dockett with a -1 yard TFL on a run by RB Perry.

--Darnell Dockett with a tackle for no gain on a run by RB Perry.

--Huge pressure by Eric Moore forced an incompletion as the QB just got rid of the ball on a screen pass, forcing Maryland to settle for a field goal.

--Eric Moore with a -4 yard sack on a 3rd and 13 play. Chauncey Davis and Kendyll Pope had the initial pressure on the play forcing the QB into Moore for the sack.

--Broderick Bunkley forced a fumble on a run by RB Perry. Kendyll Pope was also in on the hit.

--Kevin Emanuel with a nice play to stop a run by RB Perry for only a one yard gain. Michael Boulware, Allen Augustin, and B.J. Ward were also in on the hit.

--Eric Moore with a tackle for a 1 yard gain on an option pitch to WR Walker. Claudius Osei and Bryant McFadden were also in on the play. Osei turned the run to the inside, then McFadden missed the tackle, but slowed the guy down enough for Moore to clean up.

--Pressure by Chauncey Davis forced an incompletion on a 3rd and 4 play to force Maryland to punt.

--Kevin Emanuel with a great job tracking down RB Allen down from behind to hold a running play to a 1 yard gain.

--Pressure by Chauncey Davis forced the QB to scramble on a 3rd and 9 play which resulted in a third down stop.

--Chauncey Davis with a vicious -7 yard sack and forced fumble recovered by A.J. Nicholson to set up the FSU offense at the Maryland 11 yard line.

--Charles Howard with a -6 yard sack! Kamerion Wimbley was also in on the hit.

2. Our secondary also played an exceptional game, clamping down on the Maryland wide receivers like we haven't seen in quite some time in Tallahassee. In holding Maryland to 14 of 31 for 124 yards passing and 1 INT, we definitely stepped up our level of play considerably in this area over last week. I thought Bryant McFadden in particular really played a solid game, which hopefully indicates that he might be ready to step up his game at the college level to start to live up to his high school nickname "The Glove". The highlights for the secondary included:

--Bryant McFadden with an excellent pass breakup and near INT and TD on an out pattern ending Maryland's first attempt at a drive with a convincing three and out.

--B.J. Ward and Bryant McFadden with a tackle for no gain on a shotgun option pitch to the slot WR Parson. This was an excellent play to not be fooled by this interesting wrinkle from the Maryland offense and a beautiful tackle.

--Good coverage by Bryant McFadden forced an incompletion in the end zone.

--Leroy Smith with a *beautiful* break on the ball for an interception, followed by a 31 yard return down the sideline. Great job here by Leroy.

--Stanford Samuels with a nice pass breakup on an out to WR Fenner for an incompletion.

--B.J. Ward with an excellent pass breakup and near interception.

--Bryant McFadden with excellent coverage to force an incompletion on a deep sideline pattern.

--Bryant McFadden with excellent coverage again on a sideline pattern which forced the QB to throw the ball away. I'll give McFadden a game ball for a job well done with the coverage in this game.

--Rufus Brown with a nice pass breakup to force an incompletion on a curl pattern.

--Kyler Hall with a tackle for no gain on a running play. Jeff Womble had the initial hit.

--Pat Watkins with an excellent tackle for no gain on an option pitch to RB Allen.

--Kyler Hall with an excellent tackle to hold a flat pass to TE Davis to a 1 yard gain.

--Stanford Samuels with a nice stick to stuff a 4th and 9 play after a 4 yard catch by WR Walker. Great job keeping everything in front of us again.

--Gerard Ross with a nice pass breakup on a deep sideline pattern.

3. Dominic Robinson had a nice 19 yard punt return after Maryland's first series that seemed to expand our early momentum, until Rix threw the ill-advised pass that went the other way for six.

4. Chris Rix did make a few good decisions to get rid of the ball in bad situations. Here's a list of positive mental decisions by Rix:

--Smartly threw the ball into the ground as James Coleman was very well covered on a screen pass.

--Good decision to run the ball on a play that ended up as an 18 yard gain on a scramble. Everyone looked to be covered on this play, so running the ball was the right move. Then once he decided to run, he made a great cut after taking it 5 yards to take it to the outside and get around the corner and to the sideline without getting hit. Craphonso Thorpe had a nice downfield block as well.

--Good decision to get rid of the ball on a pass to the end zone. He rolled out on a scramble and got rid of the ball when he saw nobody in that area open. Unfortunately he did miss Greg Jones popping open late after he rolled out and was already looking elsewhere. Had he seen him, we might have scored here. I wouldn't term this as a bad decision though because I can understand why he wasn't looking Jones' way across the field after the rollout and he needed to get rid of the ball.

--Good decision to run the ball for a 7 yard gain on a 3rd and goal scramble from the eight yard line. Bad decision to not slide at the two yard line before taking a vicious helmet to helmet shot (that knocked pad out of his helmet) while trying to get to the end zone. As hard as he was popped, I noticed that he was the one that fell forward on the tackle attempt. He was at the two when hit, but ended up at the one. He's definitely tough. I'm surprised he was able to stay in the game right away after this play.

--Good job getting rid of the ball while under pressure on another play.

--Good job getting rid of the ball on a WR screen pass to Chris Davis. This one was covered too well for him to risk throwing the pass as designed, so he managed to get rid of it.

--Good job getting rid of the ball while under pressure on another play.

5. Our D did an excellent job holding Maryland to a 44 yard field goal when they started their second offensive series at our 34 yard line and had substantial momentum going their way. We only surrendered a net of 6 yards in giving up an 11 yard run, followed by an illegal procedure penalty and no gain on three pass plays. In only allowing a 6 yard scoring drive, I'm inclined to still think of our effort as a defensive shutout as our D did the job here, but was put in a bad position by the offense and special teams.

6. Our running game did manage 196 yards on 46 carries. That's not too bad for a game where we had as many blocking problems as I thought we had. On the night we had 23 successful carries for 157 yards and 14 unsuccessful carries for 23 yards. That totals to 37 carries for 180 yards on designed running plays. We had a 4.86 YPC average and a 62.1% success ratio on the ground. That's actually better than I expected to see and could be very good if Maryland turns out to have one of the stronger defenses we will face on the year. If this is an example of how we'll be able to run the ball on an off night, then I'm giddy over our potential this season, provided Rix can keep away from turning the ball over. The highlights for our ground game included:

--Lorenzo Booker with a 12 yard run on a misdirection pitch: James Coleman didn't get his block, P.K. Sam had a nice block, Ray Willis with a block, Bobby Meeks with a block, David Castillo with a block, Matt Meinrod with a block, Alex Barron with a block.

--Greg Jones with a 6 yard run: James Coleman didn't block anybody, Paul Irons needed a better block, Ray Willis with a block, Bobby Meeks with a block, David Castillo with a block, Matt Meinrod with a block, Alex Barron got Jones to the outside with a block, but needed to sustain it longer.

--Chris Rix with a 1 yard run on a 3rd and 1 QB sneak: Ray Willis with a block, Bobby Meeks with a block, David Castillo knocked his guy down, Matt Meinrod with a block on a LB flying in, Alex Barron with a pancake. Rix hesitated and ran high again and was very lucky to convert the first down here. Not only did we not run Greg Jones again in a short yardage situation here, we also didn't have any TE's in the game, giving Maryland a much better shot at stuffing the sneak. I really can't understand not calling on #6 to pick up these short yardage conversions, at least with a higher level of frequency than we have been.

--Greg Jones with a 6 yard run: B.J. Dean didn't block anybody, Ray Willis with a block, Bobby Meeks with a block, David Castillo with a block, Matt Meinrod pulled and got a block, Alex Barron with a block, P.K. Sam with a block. This was a good read by Jones running against the apparent design of the play to where he saw the hole.

--Greg Jones with a 44 yard TD on a 3rd and 2 running play:. James Coleman with a block, Matt Henshaw with a block, Ray Willis with a block, Bobby Meeks with a block but fell down, David Castillo with a pancake, Matt Meinrod with a block, Alex Barron with a block. Jones showed explosive speed around the corner and a great little juke move to blow by the CB that looked like he was worried about becoming the next Dexter Reid. Jones showed excellent speed down the sideline. After last week's display of power, this week's display of speed makes it seem almost unfair that we have a weapon of this caliber and other teams do not. NFL scouts must be DROOLING. Game ball to Greg Jones for his 14 carry, 88 yard, 2 TD performance as he become just the ninth Seminole to rush for over 2,000 yards for his career.

--Lorenzo Booker with a 13 yard run: B.J. Dean and Bobby Meeks with a double-team block, Donnie Carter with a block, Ray Willis with a good initial block to spring the play but needed to sustain the block longer, David Castillo with a block but fell down, Matt Meinrod with a block, Alex Barron with a block, Paul Irons with a block, Craphonso Thorpe with a great downfield block. This was a huge play by Booker to get us out of the hole inside the 1 yard line.

--Lorenzo Booker with a 5 yard run: B.J. Dean missed his block, Paul Irons and Ray Willis with a double team block, Bobby Meeks with a block, David Castillo and Matt Meinrod with a double team pancake, Alex Barron with a block. Booker was injured on this run.

--Greg Jones with a 3 yard run on a 3rd and 2 play: B.J. Dean with a block, Donnie Carter with a drive block, Ray Willis with a block, Bobby Meeks with a block, David Castillo needed to sustain his block longer, Matt Meinrod pulled and missed his block, Alex Barron with a block, Paul Irons with a block. Maryland defensed this play perfectly but they couldn't stop Jones. Finally we decided to use the big guy on a short yardage situation in this game.

--Greg Jones with a 1 yard TD run: James Coleman totally missed the lead block, Paul Irons fell down, Donnie Carter with a block, Ray Willis with a pancake to open the hole for Jones to score, Bobby Meeks with a block, David Castillo with a pancake, Matt Meinrod with a block, Alex Barron with a block, Matt Henshaw with a block. This play capped a 99.9 yard drive to go up 21-10 in the game. That was definitely huge!!!

--Greg Jones with a 4 yard run: James Coleman with a block, Matt Henshaw with a block and a late pancake, Ray Willis didn't block anybody, Bobby Meeks with a block but was thrown down, David Castillo didn't block anybody, Matt Meinrod with a block, Alex Barron with a block.

--James Coleman with a 9 yard run on a 2nd and 1 play: Matt Henshaw with a block but needed to turn the guy to the outside, Ray Willis with a block, Bobby Meeks with a block, David Castillo missed on a decleater attempt, Matt Meinrod was pancaked by a defender but I guess that qualifies as a block since he tied up his man, Alex Barron knocked his guy down to spring the play. Coleman was hurt on this play.

--Greg Jones with a 5 yard run: B.J. Dean with a decleater, Matt Henshaw with a block, Ray Willis with a block, Bobby Meeks pulled and got a block, David Castillo and Matt Meinrod with a double team block, then Castillo got another good block, Alex Barron was beat to the inside.

--Greg Jones with a 5 yard run: B.J. Dean with a block, Paul Irons with a block, Ray Willis was beat to the inside to kill the play, but Jones bulled through the tackle, Bobby Meeks with a block, David Castillo needed a batter block but knocked another guy down late, Matt Meinrod with a block, Alex Barron with a block, Chris Davis knocked a safety down rather rudely (great block) unfortunately causing an injury with the hit.

--P.K. Sam with a 7 yard run on a reverse: B.J. Dean with a block, Paul Irons and Ray Willis with a double team block, Bobby Meeks with a block, David Castillo and Alex Barron with a double team block, Matt Meinrod pulled and got a block to get Sam around the corner.

--B.J. Dean with a 3 yard run: Paul Irons with a block, Ray Willis with a block, Bobby Meeks with a block but needed to turn his guy to the outside, David Castillo with a block, Matt Meinrod was beat to kill the play, Alex Barron didn't get his block.

--Greg Jones with a 6 yard run: B.J. Dean with a block, Paul Irons with a block, Ray Willis with a block but needed to sustain longer, Bobby Meeks with an excellent pancake, David Castillo with a block, Matt Meinrod with a block, Alex Barron with a block.

--B.J. Dean with a 1 yard run on 3rd and 1: Paul Irons with a block, Ray Willis was beat to the inside to kill the play, Bobby Meeks fell down, David Castillo with a block, Matt Meinrod didn't get his block, Alex Barron with a block. Dean barely made it on this play. I really can't understand why we seem to wish to avoid using Greg Jones in these situations unless it has something to do with bringing him along slowly in his recovery from the knee injury.

--Willie Reid with a 12 yard run: B.J. Dean with a block, P.K. Sam with a block, Ray Willis with a block, Bobby Meeks pulled and got a block, David Castillo with a block, Matt Meinrod with a block, Alex Barron with a block.

--B.J. Dean with a 2 yard run on a 3rd and 1 play: Ray Willis with a block, Bobby Meeks was beat to kill the play, David Castillo was also beat to kill the play, Matt Meinrod didn't get to his block, Alex Barron with a block.

--Willie Reid with a 2 yard run on a 2nd and 1 play: B.J. Dean with a block, Ray Willis with a block, Bobby Meeks pulled and needed a better block, David Castillo with a drive block, Matt Meinrod with a block, Alex Barron with a block.

--Willie Reid with a 4 yard run on a 2nd and 3 misdirection pitch: B.J. Dean didn't block anybody, Ray Willis with a block, Eric Broe with a block but was knocked down, David Castillo with a block but was knocked down, Matt Meinrod with a block but fell down, Alex Barron with a block.

--Lorenzo Booker with a 4 yard run on a direct snap: Ray Willis with a block, Eric Broe with a decleater, David Castillo with a block, Matt Meinrod pulled and missed his block, Alex Barron needed a better block. Booker fumbled at the end of this play and was hurt again. Chris Rix did a great job faking that the snap went over his head.

--Willie Reid with a 2 yard TD run: B.J. Dean with a block, Paul Irons with a block, Donnie Carter and Ray Willis with a double team pancake, Bobby Meeks with a block, David Castillo was beat, Matt Meinrod didn't get his block, Alex Barron with a block, Matt Henshaw with a block. Reid's knee was down at the 1 yard line, but it's possible the ball may have broken the plane of the goalline. I think we may have gotten a break with this call, but am confident we would have been able to score anyway.

7. Chris Rix took a little while to get on track, but finished the night with a respectable 16 of 29 for 228 yard, 2 TD and 1 INT performance. If he can continue doing this with regard to minimizing the number of turnovers to zero or one, and very gradually increase his yardage totals as he hopefully gets stronger through the year, I think we're going to be in pretty good shape. The high points for our passing game included:

--Chris Davis with a spectacular 8 yard catch at the sideline on a pass that was thrown high by Chris Rix.

--Craphonso Thorpe with an excellent 9 yard catch on a slant for a 3rd and 8 conversion. This was a nice pass by Rix. I really think most of our receivers last year would have dropped this one.

--Craphonso Thorpe with an 18 yard TD catch on a corner route. This was an excellent pass and a great catch. This is another one that I think we would have dropped last year. I think Thorpe would have dropped this one last year. These two catches really bode well that we have a guy that's going to make these plays routine for us instead of the adventure they have been in recent years. It was so refreshing to see these two plays made.

--Matt Henshaw with a 9 yard catch and run over the middle where he did a great job fighting for 6 extra yards after the catch and contact.

--Chris Davis with a nice 8 yard catch on a curl over the middle.

--P.K. Sam with an spectacular 67 yard catch and run on a slant pattern, splitting the D perfectly and showing more big play potential than I've previously seen from him. This was an excellent strike by Rix and Sam showed some good speed in outrunning the D until a safety with the angle caught up to him to save the TD for Maryland. Not too shabby for a guy that I previously thought of as more of a possession receiver.

--P.K. Sam with a 12 yard catch on a 3rd and 6 play. Chris Rix did an excellent job of sidestepping heavy pressure from a blitzing LB up the middle.

--Craphonso Thorpe with a 9 yard catch on a curl pattern for a 2nd and 8 conversion.

--Chauncey Stovall with a 9 yard catch and run on a hitch pattern.

--Chris Davis with a phenomenal 9 yard catch on an out pattern that was errantly thrown to the inside by Chris Rix. Davis had an excellent adjustment to the ball, spinning against the grain of how he was running and catching the ball in one motion. The kid definitely has game.

--Chris Rix with a beautiful 34 yard TD pass to P.K. Sam hitting him between defenders at the sideline after a pump fake . Sam did a great job cutting back to the inside to split the defenders and then outran the CB to the end zone. Game ball to P.K. Sam for his 3 catch, 113 yard, 1 TD performance on the night and for proving himself as a player with big play potential.

--Craphonso Thorpe with an 18 yard catch on an out pattern.

8. Marcello Church had a nice tackle at the 20 on a kickoff return. Kamerion Wimbley had a nice tackle on a punt return for no gain. Jerome Carter and Kasey Anderson had a great hit to stuff a kickoff return at the 18 yard line. Claudius Osei and Ernie Sims had a nice stop at the 16 yard line on another kickoff return.

9. Our linebackers had a productive game with quite a few solid plays, especially from some of our 2nd stringers. I was especially pleased with the play and production from A.J. Nicholson, who I'll give a game ball to. It looks like he might be ready to step into a higher profile role in our defense. The high points for the linebackers in this game included:

--Michael Boulware with excellent pressure on a blitz which contributed to the interception by Leroy Smith.

--A.J. Nicholson blew up an option play which resulted in a fumble, recovered by Maryland for no gain.

--A.J. Nicholson and Ray Piquion managed to hold a 3rd and 10 slant pass to WR Walker to a 9 yard gain to force Maryland into a punting situation. This is a good example of how we're keeping everything in front of us, so that even if we make mistakes, we're not getting hurt badly by them.

--Big pressure by Michael Boulware forced an incompletion on a flat pass to RB Perry to complete a three and out series. I think this was a lateral. B.J. Ward should have gotten credit for a -3 yard TFL stuffing Perry after he picked the ball up. O'Brien threw the ball from the 39 and Perry touched the ball at the 38. That's a lateral in my book.

--Kendyll Pope with a fumble recovery after a hit on RB Perry.

--Michael Boulware with a tackle to hold a 3rd and 9 pass to FB Smith to a 7 yard gain to force a punt after Kendyll Pope missed an earlier chance at the tackle. Another example of keeping everything in front of us. Even with the missed tackle, we still managed to make the stop in time.

--A.J. Nicholson held a 3rd and 9 scramble by QB McBrien to a 5 yard gain for a third down stop after Chauncey Davis forced McBrien to run.

--A.J. Nicholson with a fumble recovery after a Chauncey Davis sack.

--Ray Piquion and Claudius Osei with a tackle for no gain on a run. This should have been a -1 yard TFL but the refs gave Maryland a favorable spot.

--Sam McGrew with a tackle to hold a run by RB Maldonado to a one yard gain. A.J. Nicholson and Pat Watkins were also in on the play.

--Pressure by Ray Piquion forced an incompletion. I think it was Piquion, but not positive. There were a few plays in this game where I had trouble picking up the numbers.

--Sam McGrew with a -4 yard TFL on a QB draw play. McGrew got in there really quickly on this play. Great job.

10. Our crowd did a good job making their presence felt during a sequence where a crowd-noise-induced delay of game penalty negated a 10 yard catch that would have been a 3rd and 8 conversion, followed by a time out called by Maryland, followed by a sack to end the drive.

11. Jesse Stein continued to punt very well. He had an excellent 49 yarder that went out at the 4 yard line. He later put another punt out at the 15 yard line. So he did a better job this week of pinning our opponent deep with kicks to the corner when he had the chances. Chris Hall came in to punt late and hit a booming 54 yarder that had a nice spiral and turned over well, but unfortunately was a low, line drive that isn't what we'd prefer to see for our punt coverage.

IMO, this was an exceptional performance by our defense and a pretty good game for the offense, but with a lot of things to improve on. The game went about as I expected it to with the exception of not expecting Maryland to get their 10 points so quickly. At the tailgate prior to the game, I picked a 34-10 FSU victory. I didn't think our D would be as stingy as they were and I didn't expect Maryland's 10 points to be achieved at the expense of our offense and special teams. So in that regard, I came away pleasantly surprised by the defensive effort. This game was another good effort for us to build on. Hopefully we can continue to see such solid defensive effort as the schedule starts to get tougher.


PLAYERS OF THE GAME:

Offense: P.K. Sam (with a tip of the cap to Greg Jones)

Defense: A.J. Nicholson (with a tip of the cap to Darnell Dockett, Bryant McFadden and Chauncey Davis)

Special Teams: Jesse Stein


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