Bye bye, training camp warm fuzzies. Hello, cold hard regular season reality.
Maryland 13, Cal 52. We. Got. Our. Butts. Kicked.
To further channel Steve Spurrier, that’s one heck of a football team they got out there in Berkley. They beat the spread on us. They were fired up, and they were better last night. A lot better.
The easy headline is “Jahvid Best Gets His Revenge.” And that’s true. He got 137 yards and two TDs, and wasn’t really used at all in the second half, once the game was lopsided. Cal QB Kevin Riley was a man as well, putting up a 298 and 4 before getting pulled in the 4th quarter.
As for the Terps, well, let me say this: the offensive linemen are who we thought they were. When the broadcasters were introducing the starters, they didn’t even have a name to announce for the right guard. It just said “three-man rotation.” The old saying goes that “when you’ve got two quarterbacks, you’ve got no quarterbacks.” And I guess the same thing goes for when you have three right guards; that whole side of the line was like wet cardboard all night, as evidenced by the six sacks and the constant QB pressure they allowed, combined with the running game’s inability to really get going. Penalties and turnovers were also an issue.
The Terps’ inexperience was showing all over the place. Cal’s certainly good — pundits are saying they can beat USC this year. We’ll see about that. But in the meantime, I’m willing to chalk this one up as a learning experience for the Terps. That doesn’t make it OK to lose by 39 points (I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that’s never OK), but there’s a lot of season left. Better this happen now than during the ACC season. I don’t think we need to hit the panic button…it’s just one game. A bad, horrible, humiliating, hope-suffocating, brain-traumatizing game. But one game nonetheless. The last thing fans need to do this season is get into the habit of OH-MY-GOD-FIRE-EVERYBODY-THIS-PROGRAM-IS-IN-DISARRAY-NO-WAIT-WHAT-A-GREAT-WIN-WE-CAN-DEFINITELY-MAKE-THE-ORANGE-BOWL. A little composure — from everyone — may be in order. Go out and get James Madison, and go from there.