Terps Trampled In Season Opener

When the Maryland Terrapins boarded the plane to California to open their season against the Cal Golden Bears, Saturday nights performance was the last thing they imagined.

Heading into the fourth quarter of the season opener against Maryland, California quarterback Kevin Riley was watching from the sidelines. No, Riley wasn't benched for poor performance against the Terps, but instead was given extra rest with the game well in hand.

Kevin Riley and the California offense had their way with the Terps defense accumulating 542 yards and putting 52 points on the board. Maryland also had no answer for Heisman Candidate Jahvid Best, who rushed for 137 yards on only 10 carries, two of which went for touchdowns.

Best started off the scoring fest bursting through the heart of the Maryland defense for a 73-yard touchdown. Things continued to go downhill on the ensuing kickoff for Maryland, as sophomore Torrey Smith fumbled the kick return, which Cal swiftly recovered. Jahvid Best took advantage of the turnover and punched in the ball from 2 yards out to suddenly make the score 14-0 over the Terps.

Torrey Smith looked to redeem himself by returning his next try 47 yards across midfield into Cal territory. The Terps, however, were forced to settle for a 29-yard field goal as a Chris Turner touchdown pass was called back due to a Maryland penalty. Mistakes proved to be a costly theme for Maryland, suffering seven penalties for 60 yards and two turnovers that lead to Golden Bear touchdowns.

The 12th-ranked Golden Bears continued the rout with quick scoring drives, five of which took less than two minutes to reach the end zone. One of the speedy scoring drives finished with Kevin Riley hooking up with receiver Nyan Boeteng for a 39-yard touchdown pass and a 31-6 lead, putting the game away before half time.

The second half showed much of the same, as Cal continued to rush all over the Terps defense. Jahvid Best rushed down the field for 40-yards setting up an 11-yard touchdown by back-up runningback Shane Vereen. Not only was Cal running circles around Maryland, Kevin Riley also had no trouble passing either. Riley threw for 298 yards and 4 touchdowns, his last a 42-yard bomb to receiver Marvin Jones.

One question going into the season for Maryland was whether or not an inexperienced offensive line could open up holes for running back Da'Rel Scott, while protecting Chris Turner on pass plays. Protecting the quarterback was a problem for the O-line as Cal was able to sack Turner six times throughout the game.

If there is something positive Terps fans can take out of the loss to Cal, it is the performance of Da'Rel Scott. Scott rushed for 78 yards, averaging 7.1 yards a carry against a stout Cal defense. A 39-yard rush by Scott gave Maryland their only touchdown of the game midway through the third quarter.

Scott's touchdown was paired with two field goals by freshman kicker Nick Ferrara to make the final score 52-13, in favor of the Golden Bears. The offense of Cal proved to be too much for the Terps, as five different players scored a touchdown.

Maryland welcomes the Dukes of James Madison into College Park next week, as they hope to rebound from an embarrassing loss to Cal.


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