My name is Don Brown. I’m from Quincy, Mass. I don’t have any hobbies, but I do like to get >beeeep< after a victory on Saturday night.
–Don Brown, Terrapins Rising
Great quote, Don. After all, who doesn’t like to get beeped after a Terps W? Sometimes, I like to get so beeped I can’t even beep. However, I have a feeling he might have been downing quite a few mini bottles on the flight back from Oakland following the season-opening dismantling at Cal.
To further what is likely an inappropriate motif here on this back-to-work Tuesday, Patrick Stevens over at D1scourse has a rather sobering breakdown of Brown’s Maryland debut. It’s enough to make you want to hurl. Not since 2001 have the Terps given up 500 yards in one game, and only once in that time have they given up more than 40 points. Eight Cal plays alone racked up 300 yards. This signals that Brown’s attacking style kinda, sorta didn’t work at all. If you’re gonna send the blitz from all positions and angles, you’ve got to a) consistently make big plays in the backfield, and/or b) keep enough guys in the secondary area to put up some kind of “defense” against the home run. If you’re gonna try to confuse the offense with your super-complicated packages, it’s probably a good idea for the executors of said packages to not also be confused.
Also, what happened to all those big, big stars we were supposed to have? Where was highly touted D-line replacement A.J. Francis? Oh, he was invisible? But his training camp interviews were so colorful! He wants to be a rapper omg I can’t believe it that’s so cool. What didn’t translate for the redshirt freshman? He must be secretly injured. Even more surprisingly, though, was the absence of Nolan Carroll, our fifth-year senior and supposed leader in the secondary. Oh, was that him eating Jahvid Best’s road exhaust on the opening touchdown? At least he was on the screen. I didn’t see Alex Wujciak once. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — Wujciak is the key. I’ll leave it at that.
At this point, let me add the disclaimers — just one game, hindsight’s 20-20, it’s a new scheme, this was the best team on the sked, it’s a young group learning on the fly. But after this meltdown, it’s clear that the defense is not just “a few plays away.” No. They need to work. So for the sake of Terp livers everywhere, get to it! James Madison — beatable, but no pushover — looms.
(Photo credit: Tony Avelar/AP)