01
Sep
09

Maryland football: a quick season primer

I can’t believe the Terps’ first game is this Saturday. Where does the time go? Ahh, Summer. She is a many-splendoured but a flighty mistress. Will there ever be one who can tame her?

Time to stop talking about the back-up long snapper battle in the spring scrimmage. Time to start talking about the real players and the real games. Maryland out-gutted Cal last year at Byrd…we’ll see if they can do it again this year in Berkeley. I’m glad we’re starting the season with a tough test…it will be a good barometer. Now, I could be wrong — it’s happened once or twice before — but I have a good feeling about this football team. I like them.

There are uncertainties, but those uncertainties are also known quantities. In other words, I think we all know what we don’t know. The offensive line and the defensive line are both green and highly suspect. The O-line doesn’t even have two starting guards right now, with the one sure guard position manned by Andrew Gonnella, a walk-on—a walk-on with an inspiring story, but a walk-on nonetheless.

No one has emerged at place kicker or tight end. The team lost 30 seniors. They’re young in a lot of places. People aren’t expecting much of us. This ground is well trod.

But despite all this, I think they’re strong and deep in a lot of good areas. Da’rel Scott leads a talented RB corps that could make up for a lack of proven road graders on the interior of the line. The wide receivers are young, but they’re frisky and they’re deep. Ditto the secondary. Alex Wujciak is absolutely the key to the defense and leads what could be a solid group of linebackers–if he can stay healthy, and if Don “Attacking Style” Brown’s blitz packages can confound other teams the way they confounded their own during offseason scrimmages. By all accounts, the defense is much improved. And of course, back on offense, there’s Chris Turner. He’ll play a Steve Blake-type role here…the straw that stirs the drink. Putting his wideouts in a position to make plays.

So basically, if the lines can just be decent, the Terps can be good. There’s your season storyline.

Crazily, the Terps are a 22-point underdog at Cal — the team THEY BEAT LAST YEAR. Someone get my bookie on the phone.

Can’t wait for the season…I’M FREAKING OUT!!!!

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