Archive for October, 2008


jack-o-lantern heralds the beginning of winter sports



Hi there guys and ghouls!  Huh huh huh!  It’s me, your squatty old friend Jack-O-Lantern.  Now, I’m not a scaaaaary faced Jack-O-Lantern like some of my cousins.  Nope, not me.  I’m a happy pumpkin, and I’m here to talk with you kids about Maryland’s winter sports!  You see kids, when there is a chill in the air and the leaves start to change two things happen: I get carved-up and immediately start to decay, and winter sports begin!  So start roastin your seeds, stock-up that wood pile, and warm your cockles because it’s time to go indoors! Yuk yuk yuk!

Both the men and women’s Swimming and Diving teams beat Johns Hopkins in College Park at Eppley Recreation Center Natatorium last weekend.  The two teams placed six swimmers in the Olympic Trials over the summer, so look for a winning season from both programs.  They face the Blue Devils in Raleigh on Halloween. That sounds spooky to me!

The Wrestling team finished the season with a 16-4 record and an ACC Championship last year.  Led by All-American Hudson Taylor, the team returns 9 of 10 starters and comes into the season ranked #17.  They start the season at the Fighting Scot Duals in Edinboro, PA this Saturday. Hey, maybe you should dress-up as a Fighting Scot this Friday!

The Competitive Cheer team is going for their fourth straight NCA national title.  That’s right, there are no finer cheerleaders than Maryland cheerleaders.  The team recently named senior Ali Pascucci and junior Lauren Louis co-captains.  Their first demonstration was at Maryland Madness, but the season starts in December. I just hope Maryland Madness ends before Mischief Night, otherwise I might end-up as a pile of mush! Wuh huh!

Gymnastics starts in January, and this year is a farewell season for 31-year head coach Bob Nelligan. The Gymnastics team has a blog of its own called Tumble Talk! Check-in and you’ll find tantilizing tidbids such as this quote from Kelsey McDermid: “Brandi George is putting her new dismount in and it looks great!”  I don’t even know what that means but it sounds hot. Wait, am I supposed to be a pumpkin?

Finally, the Indoor Track and Field teams also start in January.  The teams graduated a combined 15 seniors, and replace them with 21 freshmen coming into this year.  Watch out for high school national champion Dwight Barbiasz to out leap the competition this year.

OK kids, that’s it for now, old Jack needs to get back to his post before nightfall.  Just remember to root for winter sports, and please don’t kick my head in! Happy Halloween and GO TERPS!


mission control to gary williams, we don’t have you on radar

I see a Tar Heel, a Blue Devil, a Hurricane, and a Deamon Deacon, but no Terps.

I see a Tar Heel, a Blue Devil, a Hurricane, and a Demon Deacon, but no Terps.

The ESPN/USA Today pre-season men’s basketball poll came out today and Maryland didn’t get a single vote.  Meanwhile, four other ACC teams come into this season ranked, and two others received votes.  That puts the Terps at seventh in the ACC at best.

It’s a good thing that pre-season basketball polls mean absolutely nothing.  Unlike in football, where there are many fewer games and less chances to climb the rankings, the end of the season is much more crucial for basketball bubble teams, which Maryland presumably is.  I mean, I would imagine that the Terps have to be somewhere in the Top 50. Right? Anybody?

After a few warm-up games against some early season cream puffs, the Terps face #7 Michigan State in the Old Spice Classic on 11/27.  I encourage you to use the Old Spice Sports Metaphor Generator to get some words of inspiration between now and then.  Only a combination of inspiration and perspiration will get us into the tournament this year.


maryland plays down to nc state but egekes them out

The Terps played just well enough to win their football game in the rain this Saturday against NC State.  Obi Egekeze has not been nearly as automatic as he was in 2007, but this weekend he made one when it counted most.  After missing a 39-yard FG that would have broken a 24-24 tie in the 4th quarter, Egekeze hit the game winner from extra point distance to give the Terps a win.  That win brought Maryland into a tie with Florida State for first in the Atlantic with a 3-1 conference record and boosted the team into the Top 25 for the first time this year.

Despite the win, Maryland once again played down to the level of a clearly inferior opponent.  NC State came into the game winless in the ACC and losers of three straight.  The Terps went back and forth with the Wolf Pack for much of the first half, never put them away when they took the lead, and let them tie the game at 24 midway through the 3rd quarter.  NC State’s offense came into the game averaging 18 pts/gm, and Maryland’s defense once again let a struggling offense play above its potential to stay in it.

Da’Rel Scott was Mr. Consistency, running 23 times for 163 yards and a TD.  Davin Meggett also came up clutch with a 39-yard reception on a lob pass from Turner to setup the game-winning FG.  Despite their efforts, the Terps still needed a FG from Egekeze on a wet field to ice the game.

The Terps have the weekend off, then travel to Blacksburg next Thursday to face a Virginia Tech team that has had trouble scoring and is having QB injury issues. That game will be on national television and is a definite statement game. The Terps will need a convincing win to move up in the polls before the home stretch against UNC, Florida State, and BC.

I can’t imagine Maryland will win out, but if they do they’ll be guaranteed a spot in the ACC Championship Game. If you detect a negative tone to this post it’s because I feel like I’m watching a team that is once again close to getting over the hump, but demonstrated that it is incapable of consistently performing at a high level.  Tech has a good overall program but is having a down year. I think we need to go into Blacksburg and win big for people to start taking this program seriously.

The schedule only gets tougher after that. We’re going to need all the confidence we can get in order to win the Atlantic. Here’s to hoping we get over the hump.


Maryland ranked!

After surviving against juggernaut (and now 2-6) N.C. State, the Terps earned their first AP Top 25 ranking of the season. Sure, it’s #25, but I’ll take it. This is what happens when you man up, knuckle down, and find a way to beat a sucky team on your homecoming weekend. One word for these men: guts.


I’m glad I brought my tiny violin to work today

Because I need it. Looks like the Fridge is super sad because the fans aren’t filling Byrd Stadium.

Just another group of people that he can’t get to show up for him.


Bizarro Terps don’t look for loss on road: An N.C. State-Maryland preview

The Bizarro Terps face N.C. State this weekend.  Oddly enough, the piss poor 2-5 Wolfpack present a huge challenge for the Terps.  Plus, up is now down, and hot is now cold.  And we’re in the middle of spring, here…in Bizarro Park.

N.C. State’s defense is so bad that the players literally run home to their parents after the games. It’s so bad, it’s good. The Pack offense has been held to 10 or fewer points three times, and is averaging just 284 total yards a game. Juggernaut!

Clearly, N.C. State is a team firing on all its Bizarro cylinders. And that’s going to be trouble for the Terps — trouble meaning success here, which, of course, really means failure. Watch…as a sure win becomes a loss in the Twilight Zone that is Byrd Stadium.

Prediction: N.C. State 13, Maryland 6


Kevin Barnes out for season…me to try out for secondary

News out of College Park yesterday, and it’s bad. Bad. It’s bad news. Looks like they’re gonna shut down Kevin Barnes for the season after he injured his shoulder last weekend. The team isn’t saying what happened, but I’d guess he at least sprained an AC joint and may have torn a rotator cuff.

Excuse me one second.


Barnes is one of our favorite players around here, as he was crucial both as a playmaker and a leader. Thus, his loss could change the entire personality of this defense. Since he’s a fifth-year senior, he’s played his last down as a Terp. But since he’ll probably be playing on Sundays, I guess it’s the best thing for his career, blah blah blah.

This makes an already banged-up secondary all the weaker. They already lost CB Richard Taylor, and suddenly a lot of freshman are in the mix.

One thing’s for sure…everything will be decidedly less nasty without Kevin Barnes on the field. And that’s a damn shame.


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October 2008