Defense: The Maryland Terrapins defense still looks very dismal, continuing the theme from last weeks rout against Cal. The Terps defense gave up 417 yards of offense to the Dukes, 268 of them coming on the ground, as Maryland has not been able to stop the run so far in the early season. JMU QB Drew Dudzik broke out a 70 yard rushing touchdown showing Marylands weakness being able to stop the big play.
Special Teams: The special teams for the Terps had an inconsistent performance against the Dukes from JMU. Torrey Smith took his first kickoff return 81 yards for a touchdown, and finished with 127 return yards on 4 returns. The Maryland kickoff squad on the other hand was poor, as JMU returners were able to get a couple big returns. Punt returner Kenny Tate fumbled a punt return midway through the third quarter, which JMU was able to recover. Freshman kicker Nick Ferrara came up big for the Terps, hitting all five extra points, and gave his team a victory with a game-winning overtime field goal. Maryland special teams showed flashes of greatness, but need to be more consistent.
Coaching: The Maryland coaching staff was very conservative against the Dukes, as many of QB Chris Tuners throws were screen passes. Many fans were waiting for the Terps offense to take a shot deep, but were continually disappointed to see one screen pass after another. Coaching on the defensive side still hasnt figured out unorganized chaos, which is supposed to be the Terps strength. The Maryland coaching staff did do a great job keeping their players in the game, as the Terps were able to complete a fourth quarter comeback.
Intangibles: The Terps squeaked by JMU with an overtime win, much of which I contribute to the home crowd. If this game was at JMU, Im not sure the outcome would have been in Marylands favor. Thank the home crowd at Byrd stadium for this win. Chris Turner showed great leadership, leading a fourth quarter comeback for the Terps, helping to seal a victory.
Officials: The official crew seemed to be very trigger happy with their whistles, as every other play I was listening to anther penalty being enforced. JMU was flagged 11 times for an astounding 105 yards, which may have cost them the game. Maryland was penalized 5 times, coming to a total of 16 penalties for 155 yards in the game. My philosophy is to let the kids play, and dont become part of the outcome of the game. In this one, the refs played a huge part in the outcome.
Overall: The Maryland Terrapins are not supposed to be going into overtime with a Football Championship Subdivision team. Not to put down a talented JMU team, but the Terrapins are expected to roll over a lesser FCS team. There were some positives though, as the Terps stayed strong and fought hard until the end to pull out an overtime win. Overall the game was a sloppy, inconsistent, and very ugly victory for the Maryland Terrapins. The W is the only thing keeping this grade from failing.