November 9, 2013

Mistake-prone Terps fall to Cuse

With signal caller C.J. Brown back in the saddle against Syracuse on Saturday, the Terrapin faithful hoped a healing offense could get them back on track after an injury-riddled October that saw them lose three of four.

So much for that plan.

The Maryland offense was a disaster on Saturday at Byrd Stadium, turning the ball over four times as the Terps fell 20-3 to the Orange, their third straight defeat and the fourth in their past five games. Syracuse engineered a 16 play, 80 yard drive to open the game that ate up half the first quarter and culminated in a one-yard Jerome Smith touchdown plunge. The Terps (5-4) never recovered. It seemed like a lifetime ago, but Maryland started the season 4-0.

In his return, Brown was the main culprit for the Maryland giveaway problems, throwing two picks and fumbling once, all in Syracuse territory. It took the Terps six trips to the Orange side of the field to score a point, as they converted a field goal late in the third quarter to cut the lead to 13-3. Four plays prior, another Brown fumble was negated when the Orange jumped offside.

For the afternoon, Brown completed __ passes on ___ attempts for ___ yards, adding ___ yards on the ground. He was under constant pressure by a Syracuse pass rush that notched __ sacks. His favorite target was Nigel King, who had __ catches for __ yards. Brandon Ross returned to the lineup after a one-game absence, carrying the ball __ times for ___ yards. In all, the Orange outgained Maryland, ___ yards to ___.

The Syracuse defense, a week after shutting out Wake Forest, deserves some credit for Maryland's futility. The Orange (5-4) were thrashed 56-0 three weeks ago at Georgia Tech and, after a bye the following week, have allowed three points in eight quarters since. Until the Terps only field goal, the Orange had gone more than seven straight quarters without surrendering a point.

Things didn't go much better on the other side of the ball for Maryland. Averaging nearly 200 yards per game on the ground, the Syracuse offense makes no secret of its offensive game plan. They're going to try to run it down your throat all day. Just when you think they may mix in a play fake, they're going to run it at you some more.

Still, Maryland opted not to stack the box and the Orange racked up ___ yards on the ground, with Smith turning __ carries into __ yards and two scores. Quarterback Terrell Hunt had __ yards of his own on the ground and also able to move the ball through the air in the early going, throwing for 126 yards in the first half. The Terps' defense was able to force two turnovers in the first half to keep the score close, but Smith put the game out of reach in the fourth quarter on a 21-yard touchdown scamper.

Brown looked very much like a guy that has played only a half of football in the past month. After being concussed against Florida State on October 5, Brown returned two weeks later only to be pulled early in the third quarter with what the team called a "trunk injury." Brown deemed himself ready earlier this week, but looked very rusty on Saturday.

...More... To continue reading this article you must be a member. Sign Up Now!