Terps Well-Oiled Offense Shines

edshirt freshman D.J. Adams rushed for 70 yards and two fourth-quarter td's for a White team win.

On a cool, cloudy Saturday afternoon, Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium heated up as Maryland's offense played the defense in the annual spring game, during what turned out to be a comeback victory for the white team.

The first-team offense wore red jerseys while the second-team offense wore white ones. The red offense came out firing after a 36-yard kickoff return by Torrey Smith. Jamarr Robinson hit Smith for a 15-yard pass on the first play, two plays before Da'Rel Scott busted a 15-yard run, in which he redirected from going up-the-gut to sprinting off-tackle.

The next play featured a 25-yard touchdown pass from Robinson to a diving Smith in the corner of the end zone. Nick Ferrara chipped in the extra point, putting the red team ahead 7-0. “That long-ball [Smith and I] connected on in the beginning really got my confidence up in him, because we really hadn't connected that much” before then, said Robinson.

Second-team quarterback Danny O'Brien was unlucky on the white offense's first drive. His third pass of the drive was tipped up by the intended receiver before free safety Eric Franklin intercepted it.

After the red team took over possession at the white team's 25 yard line, Robinson showed his trademark quickness, rushing 10 yards on a draw play for a first down. The drive stalled after two Davin Meggett runs and an incomplete pass. Nick Ferrara kicked a 26-yard field goal to put the red team up 10-0.

The next two drives ended in punts by Ted Townsley and Travis Baltz, respectively. On the ensuing drive by the white team, the offense moved to the red team's 32 yard line before O'Brien threw another interception to strong safety Travis Hawkins in the end zone.

The red offense took over at the 20 yard line with eight minutes left in the half. Three plays in, Robinson threw 46 yards to Smith. “We were making plays during practice, we just haven't had the opportunity during games,” Smith said. Offensive Coordinator James “Franklin let us throw it up today, so we just made the plays when they presented themselves.”

After Robinson lined up in the shotgun four plays later, Meggett recovered a low snap from center Paul Pinegar. Ferrara ended up converting a 28-yard field goal with 2:22 remaining in the half, putting the red team up 13-0.

The next drive by the white team ended with Baltz missing a 43-yard field goal attempt wide left, after the offense moved the ball 44 yards, including a 20-yard pass from O'Brien to running back D.J. Adams. “When I first got here, I wasn't too up on the check-downs and the check-throughs, because in high school I didn't have to do that too much,” Adams said. “Since I've been here…I've had to learn to do that. It's a learning experience, and it's getting better and better as time goes.”

Eight plays into the second half, O'Brien connected with wide receiver Kevin Dorsey for a 19-yard touchdown. Baltz kicked the extra point to cut the red team's lead to 13-7.

First-team free safety Kenny Tate intercepted a Robinson pass on the next drive.

The remaining drives of the game featured C.J. Brown, Clay Belton and Devin Burns rotating at quarterback, and two rushing touchdowns by the white team's Adams. Robinson threw another interception to Tate with about 20 seconds left in the game. After a loss of yards by the white team, time expired.

Adams emerged as one of the day's top performers, rushing 14 times for 71 yards and two touchdowns. “He's a young kid, and he's still learning,” Coach Franklin said. “But, he's a big, strong, physical kid who can break tackles [and] run north-south. He's a very good complement to Da'Rel and Davin. I like our situation in the backfield.”

The first, second and third-team offensive lines protected their quarterbacks well, allowing only one sack. Coach Franklin called the unit “the most improved position all offseason.”

Smith caught four passes for 90 yards and a touchdown, and Robinson completed 11 of 18 passes for 143 yards, potentially solidifying his No. 1 quarterback spot going into summer practice.


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