Maryland/FIU- Report Card

TSR evaluates Maryland position by position from their recent game against FIU.

Quarterback: A-

So, Jamarr who? Redshirt freshman Danny O’Brien received his first collegiate college after an injury sidelined incumbent starter Jamarr Robinson, and boy, did O’Brien respond in a big way. The QB led the Terrapin offense to an astounding 42 points against a defense that has been one of the NCAA’s best early in the season, and he seemed to do it with a great amount of poise.

While there certainly was quite a bit of pressure in the pocket, O’Brien managed to only be sacked once and never really got rattled. The freshman showed off some incredible throws and never turned the ball over to the hungry FIU defense, yet there certainly were a couple growing pains for the quarterback. He missed open receivers a number of times, but that’s to be expected with a freshman making his first start.

No matter what your thoughts are on O’Brien and if you see him as the future of Maryland football, he gave the Terrapins a terrific performance and led them to a win. And for that, he receives a terrific grade.

Running Backs: B

What a weird performance by this unit in Week Four. The group was hot and cold throughout the game; they seemed to be barely be able to get even one yard on the ground for long patches, yet ended the game with 169 yards thanks to two INCREDIBLE runs, one from Da’Rel Scott for 56 yards and one from Davin Meggett for 76. So while the offense could never really rely on this group throughout the game like they did in the first three contests, the unit definitely still contributed a good amount to the victory, so they get some pretty nice marks for this week.

Receivers: A

I don’t think that I really need to say this again, but boy, do I love the fact that Torrey Smith is on this team. I almost feel like a non-elite program like Maryland doesn’t deserve to have a player of his caliber, but I will certainly take him and enjoy his skills every week.

This week was typical Torrey Smith, as he came through with a beautiful 68-yard touchdown catch and was obviously Danny O’Brien’s favorite receiver. Smith seems like he’s evolved even more as a receiver this year (if that is even possible), and he’s now both a game-changer on offense along with the guy who can catch a ten-yard pass for a first down. He was just incredible.

The other receivers never really made any other major mistakes and didn’t have any really significant drops, so the group overall played quite well.

Offensive Line: C

Four weeks into the season, two things are very clear about this group: First, they aren’t as bad as last season’s group, which could have been historically bad. Secondly, they’re still pretty bad, and that’s really tough to watch, as I could see this offense being borderline-great if it contained a simply average line.

As for this week’s play by the group, it was pretty much just same-old, same-old. They didn’t really open up any big holes for the running game, and there was semi-constant pressure on Danny O’Brien for most of the game. If this group could get those holes a little bigger and just give O’Brien a little more time to throw, I would be content. But for now, I just can’t be.

Defensive Line: B-

While there some terrific individual performances from this line, when taken as a whole they were merely average, if that. While A.J. Francis managed to handle the run game quite well with 11 tackles and a tackle-for-loss, and Justin Anderson demonstrated a nice ability to get into the backfield with two tackles for loss, but besides that there wasn’t much from this group. They never really were able to manage much pressure on FIU, which allowed Florida International quarterback Wes Carroll to miraculously through for 355 yards. This defense needs a pass-rush if it wants to succeed, so the guys in the middle need to step up, especially in upcoming ACC play. Can they do it? We’ll have to see.

Linebackers: A-

Adrian Moten is a playmaker. It’s as plain and simple as that. With 11 tackles and a TERRIFIC interception this week, Moten is finally emerging from Alex Wujciak’s shadow and showing the entire ACC that he may be the best player on this Terrapin defense. After a first couple of weeks in which Moten demonstrated his outstanding pass-rushing abilities, including that ridiculous Superman play in Week One, Moten has now decided to show off his abilities in coverage with two interceptions in his past three games.

Moten wasn’t the only terrific player in the linebacking crew this week, though, as Alex Wujciak came through with 10 tackles, and Demetrius Hartsfield stepped up big with 13 stops of his own. In a defense that has continually been decimated by injuries and sub-par play, the linebackers have held their own and continue to be a bright spot.

Defensive Backs: B-

The grade’s never going to be too solid for a unit when they give up 355 yards passing, and that’s unfortunately the case here, as well. While the group didn’t play great by any means, they also weren’t terrible, and their stats do look worse simply considering the fact that FIU practically quit running the ball and went straight to the passing game for most of the game.

Cameron Chism had an okay game but wasn’t anything spectacular, while Trenton Hughes rose to the child with an exceptional goal-line interception. That play was HUGE for this team and really helped to shift momentum. As for the safeties, they didn’t play up to their normal level of dominance that we’ve all been used to in the past couple weeks, which is quite unfortunate. They, again, weren’t bad, they just weren’t up to par.

Special Teams: A

Tony Logan is an absolute beast. I think that’s about all that needs to be said about this one. After another incredible punt return for a touchdown, has Logan taken away Torrey Smith’s title as kick return extraordinaire for this Maryland squad? I think you have to say that he has, but I’m okay with that, as it allows Smith to focus more on his receiving.

As for the kicking unit, Travis Baltz finally missed a field goal. But give the man some slack, he’s a converted punter who was attempting a 45-yarder, and very few kickers in college could hit field goal of that length. Besides that little miss, Baltz was perfect in all parts of the special teams game and continues to etch his place out as one of the best all-around kickers in the country.

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