Posts Tagged ‘Bad Losses


Maryland football team loses to Duke, hits rock bottom, sucks


I want to congratulate the Maryand football team, with every sarcastic fiber in my being, for losing to Duke 17-13 today. That’s the same Duke team that hasn’t made a bowl game since 1994. The same Duke team that, between the 1999 season and this very game, has gone 19-101. Seriously.

Not to go over the cliff too much, but I think it’s safe to say we’re currently the worst-performing team in the ACC. 

There’s no single remedy for Maryland. We won the turnover battle 4-3 (yay, only three turnovers!) but couldn’t capitalize. Didn’t score a TD until late in the third quarter, and it was our only one. 67 total rush yards, 182 pass yards to Duke’s 23 and 371. At least we stopped their running game. Not that that was a “key to victory” or anything. It’s like saying we stopped a cat from barking.

Questionable coaching calls everywhere. Another too-little, too-late, stat-padding comeback attempt. The Terps actually ended this one themselves by coughing it up twice in the final five minutes. Torrey Smith caught a grand total of two balls for 13 yards. 38% third down conversion rate.  What else do you need to know? Thanks to good old ESPN360, I didn’t actually watch the game. But judging by the various updates and discussion boards, that is a good thing. Thanks, ESPN360! I never thought your evil would pay dividends.

Oh, were you thinking Duke is up this year? Bzzzzt. No they’re not. They’re still Duke. Duke sucks. Fu*k Duke. If they make a bowl game then I’m Shirley Chisholm.

As for Maryland, I’m just searching for a phrase right now. What’s the phrase I’m looking for…noodle dicks? No, that’s too mean. I wouldn’t want to call these guys noodle dicks in a forum that is at least technically public.  If I were to call them noodle dicks, which they are, that would be an insult to The Kids.  You gotta respect The Kids.  Especially the kind of kids that bench 250 and run 4.5 forties.

Oh, wait, I’ve got the phrase now.  Losers.

It’s nice down here with us losers, isn’t it?  Sometimes, they drop a bucket of fish heads on us.  That’s when we party!

At 2-6, the absolute best-case scenario is a 6-6, .500 finish. Raise your hand if you think they can do that. If you have your hand raised, please keep it up while I come around and collect your wallets. After all, I have a bridge I need to sell you. I’m going to assume you’re interested and just take your money. Your raised arms enhance the convenience of my doing so.

The best thing we can do is just move on as a people. Loitering only contaminates the crime scene. Let’s do the decent American thing and just pretend the rest of the season isn’t happening. Deal? Deal.


I accept the fact that the football team stinks

After a long action- (but not so much sports) packed weekend, I finally got a chance to watch a DVR’d replay of the Terps game from Comcast SportsNet.  This was another one on ESPN360, which as I’ve said before, will not be receiving a subscription from me regardless of my Internet carrier. 

I’m not gonna go over the game in detail, because it happened a while ago and you know what happened.   The defense gave up 516 yards and 42 points, and their susceptibility to big plays reared up again.   You know how teams like to go to the run to set up the play-action pass for later in the game?  That’s what Wake did to Maryland, only they set up the pass for the rest of their season.  Oh, and the Terps lost Demetrius Hartsfield for at least three weeks.  The offense was equally dismal before some meaningless (and shameless) stat-padding in garbage time.

As of this post, I am officially accepting that this football team is not going to be good this year.  Sure, they might beat Virginia next week, but the default is still stuck in suck.   Everyone wants to say “hey, the division is still wide open!!!” after any win, and so forth, but it’s not wide open.  At least it’s not open to the Terps.   They have UVA at home, they’re at Duke and N.C. State, then home for Va. Tech, at Florida State, and end at home against B.C.  They’re 2-4 right now.  What’s the best-case scenario?  5-6?  6-5?  Blech.  That’s not even EagleBank Bowl territory. It’s just a matter of seeing whether our final record is enough to make the deciders buy out Ralph Friedgen. That’s the real drama for the rest of the season.


After 1-3 start, time to move the goalposts

Let me just state the obvious.  Forget about contending.  Forget about a bowl game.  Forget about respectability. After a 34-13 drubbing at home to Rutgers, maybe the Terps need some new, slightly more modest goals.  How about mediocrity?

But before that, the game. At this point, it’s clear this is not a good team.  I know, I know…this limb’s gonna snap!!!   But seriously, their problems seem more intractable each week.  Saying this team would be good “if they just stopped committing turnovers” is like saying the alcoholic would get better if he just stopped drinking; it’s obvious there are deeper demons after five more giveaways yesterday.  Da’Rel Scott, for whatever reason, suddenly can’t hold on to the football.  Chris Turner made some horrific decisions.  And of course, there’s the pitiful O-line, which caused the almost comically awful play in the Terp end zone when Turner tried to throw it away to avoid a safety but instead just dribbled it onto the turf.  Touchdown Rutgers.

The defense just plain sucks right now.  Alex Wujciak, the unit’s leader, got 17 tackles and played well, but made no tackles for loss and forced no turnovers.  That sums up the unit:  they just don’t make plays.  Just the opposite, in fact; they’re extraordinarily susceptible to big plays, as evidenced by Joe Martinek’s late TD runs of 29 and 61 yards to ice the game.

Torrey “Darrius Heyward-Bey” Smith continued his great but baffling play, finishing with 237 total yards but fading out of the offense in the second half.   They’ve gotta get him the ball.  I repeat: they have got to get him the ball.  Don’t overthink it.  Ride him into the ground.

I’ll stop there with the criticisms.  Now, back to the goals.  Since, for all intents and purposes, we’re playing for pride now, let’s do just that.  Here’s a bold new goal:  let’s try to not be the ACC’s worst team.  The conference is weak.  Duke and UVA should be Ws, right?  Right?  Bueller? 

Final thought:  it looks bleak, but I’m not taking up the torch and pitchfork yet.  We’ve still got some eminently beatable teams on the schedule, and in the weak-as-my-grandmama ACC, much is possible.  If the Terps, knowing they’re not gonna contend, can just keep their heads up and claw their way back to the pack, it won’t be a lost season.  If nothing else, they’ve gotta beat Duke.  It’s so important to have goals!  Even if  you have to change them all the time.


Middle Tennessee Freaking State Freaking Owns Freaking Maryland

Look at this photo.  Look at it!

Look at this photo. Look at it!

They beat us in their house last year. Now they’ve beaten us in our house this year. All this talk about revenge game, and this and that, and this is what happens. Another year, another group of Blue Raiders jubilant at Maryland’s expense. Gah. I’m gagging. Need air. I need to breathe!

Okay. Get a hold of yourself, man. Whew. So I should probably mention that I didn’t actually watch the game, mainly because it will be a cold wet day in Hades before I cough up any money to the Evil Sports Programming Network for They could put the Super Bowl on there and I still wouldn’t pony up. Fuck them. That’s right. Fuck you, ESPN. Fuck And fuck this fucked up ACC TV deal. You want my wallet, you pry it out of my dead hand.

Whoa. Okay. Breathe. I’m a little angry. The morning after and I’m still upset. I may be misdirecting a bit but I’m still salty with ESPN for doing this. Anyway, a bunch of us were getting updates from a friend via cellphone, and it looked like we had it in the bag. That is, until Middle Tennessee State drove the length of Byrd Stadium in the final moments to kick a game-winning field goal. Read that sentence again. Guess what the key play was on the drive. Cameron Chism — Nolan Carroll’s replacement — was burned for 35 yards. What was a team strength — secondary — is now a glaring weakness. Jamari McCulloch can’t come back fast enough.

Other problems: Poor tackling. Missed field goals. Turnovers, including one by backup QB Jamarr Robinson, who played a whopping three snaps but somehow managed to lose a fumble. Again, the lines were porous. And in general, the offense and defense don’t seem to be, what’s the word, functioning.

Bright spots: 287 all-purpose yards from Torrey Smith. To be fair, Chism had two interceptions. Chris Turner had 288, 2 TDs, 1 INT, although he was sacked four times. Travis Baltz had a 40.6 punting average. Rock solid!

Bottom line: Two consecutive losses to Middle Tennessee State = unacceptable. Period. Ralph Friedgen has a lot of work to do. Everyone says his job is safe because the assumption is he’s going to fulfill his contract (this season then two more) and then fade into the sunset. Fine. But right now, there’s a playing-out-the-string feel to all of this that can’t continue. Fridge seemed angry after the game. Good. I think the team can round into form during the ACC season, but it’s not gonna happen automatically. Get to work, guys. This is humiliating.

(Photo credit: AP photo/Murfreesboro Daily News Journal)


Maryland doesn’t need a new coach, they need an exorcist

Maryland coughed up a 16-point lead against BC tonight for yet another collapse. By my count, that’s three losses this year that came after they held a double-digit lead. Not to mention the Duke debacle.

I really feel for these guys. I’m no Vasquez apologist, but it wasn’t easy seeing him in tears on the sideline toward the end of the game.  It’s not good when you’re genuinely concerned for your team’s mental well-being.  And make no mistake, this season’s team has become a basket case. The real question now is, how does it compare to the great basket cases of recent memory?  Have a look and judge for yourself. Fun times…and get well soon, guys. We kid because we love.








Is it just me, or does he look a little like Gary?

Is it just me, or does he look a little like Gary?


If anyone needs me I’ll be shivering in the bathtub

23500976I don’t even know what to say.  What can you say after Gary Williams sustains the worst loss of his career?  And that includes his time at BC and American. We just lost to Duke by 41. 85-44.

This is rock bottom.

I predicted a Maryland upset in this game. And you know something? That prediction was wrong. It was not correct. Inaccurate. Not correct.

I love the attempt at spin control over at UMTerps. The headline on the home page?  Milbourne scores 19 to lead Terps. Well, fiddle-dee-dee! I guess the game was OK after all.

I don’t even know what this means for the team. Was it an aberration? A wake-up call? The death knell of the season?  Of Gary Williams’ career at Maryland?  The loss was so bad, it’s almost like you just need to burn the tape and move on.  But the whole team looked so scared, so rattled from beginning to end, that I’m not even sure if that’s possible.  Someone needs to, like, completely break down what’s left of the team and rebuild them all from scratch.  As in, guys, this is a basketball.  This is a chest pass.  We need the drill sergeant from Full Metal Jacket as a new assistant.

Another season circling the drain.  I’ll spend the rest of the night at the bar trying to drink this game out of my memory.  Go Terps.


Another Maryland collapse for the highlight reel

Over the past few days, there has been a lot said about how Maryland basketball fans are a bunch of fair weather front-runners. Maybe. But you know what? So’s our team.

It’s a familiar script. Maryland takes a big lead, shows it’s the better team. They take their foot off the gas. The opponent makes a run. Momentum shifts. Maryland tries to get it back but overdoes it. Shots are forced. Needless fouls and turnovers ensue.  They scramble on defense. Panic sets in.  Finally, they lose control of their bodily functions. Ballgame. When the going gets tough, the Terps get poopy pants.

It was another one of these tonight, as Maryland gadfly Miami beat the Terps 62-60 in a game they never led until the final two minutes. That makes it 0-4 for the Terps in the hostile, hostile confines of whatever Miami’s basketball stadium is called. When the Hurricanes joined the ACC, did you ever figure they’d, how should I put this, own our souls in basketball?

I actually had a victory post half written in my brain. About how the Canes had no answer for Maryland’s guards, especially Adrian Bowie, who went for a career-high 23. How the Terps looked quicker, perhaps due to their revamped conditioning program. About how the bigs, especially Landon Milbourne, showed real grit around the basket. All true things. And all fairly meaningless after the loss.

And what a loss it was.  Spectacular, even.  Miami star Jack McClinton, who Vasquez did a great job guarding most of the night, hit a three to take the lead, 62-60, with 20 seconds left. Terps bring it up. Vasquez hoists a long three from the top of the key. It bounces off the front of the rim. Ball goes out to Maryland with 2.1 seconds left. Timeout. Gary draws up the play. The Terps inbound the ball.

Guess what play they ran.  Go ahead, take a minute.


Vasquez hoists a long three from the top of the key. It bounces off the back of the rim.

Draw your own conclusion.

There are four ACC teams currently ranked in the top 10. The Terps will play those teams a combined six times, out of 14 remaining games. We probably need eight more wins to make the tourney.

I say again…draw your own conclusion. Ugh.


terps fans in crisis mode after loss to morgan state

A depressed Terp near Greenbelt Lake.

A depressed Terp sulks near a post-apocalyptic Greenbelt Lake.

Maryland fans awoke this morning distraught after last night’s loss to Morgan State.  Turtle Soup called it “A New Low”.  The Maryland Terrapins Examiner has pretty much written off the rest of this season.  Terrapin Nation wrote of a sense of betryal after “thinking it might be safe to invest emotionally in the Maryland basketball program.”  My co-blogger seemed to sum-up the feelings of many Terps fans when he said, “AHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!”

This is one of those times that I wish I had been wrong, but I knew Maryland was not prepared for this game.  The combination of coming off a holiday break, playing a team we were “supposed” to beat, the impending start of ACC play, and a lackidasical quote from Gary Williams indicated that Maryland was going to sleepwalk through this game.  The result was a bad loss.

We’re all in this together Terps fans so I’m calling on you to be your brother’s keeper.  Unfortunately, Maryland plays Georgia Tech this Saturday, and Garyland does not have time to progress through all the stages of grief.  If you know a Terp that is displaying any of the following signs of depression– loss of interest in normal daily activities, feeling hopeless, crying for no apparent reason, eating psychadelic mushrooms just to get through the day – you should pull them aside and consel them.  Just remind them how we have a history of rebounding from bad non-conference losses to make the NCAA tournament.  That’s right, I’m suggesting you lie to them.  Tell them everything is going to be OK, and that every cloud has a silver lining.  Remind them that they have their health and that’s the most important thing.  Remind them that we are in the midst of a severe economic crisis, and that many poeple have lost their jobs, so they should be thankful to have one.  Remind them that there are wars going on… starvation… environmental disasters… now I’m depressed.

Here is another approach: remind them that, despite the fact that the Terps just suffered one of their worst losses in the past decade (that sentence has been said of Maryland sports a few times in the past year and is starting to sound frighteningly repetative) the team can put it all behind them with a win on Saturday against Georgia Tech. Whether it is Terps fans or the team itself, we all need to approach this season one game at a time.  A new season begins this Saturday, and planting the seeds of strong performance against the ACC field will yield a crop of tournament success in March.  There is plenty of season left.  And so on and so forth.

In the NCAA, there is only a slight talent gap seperating the top of the league from the bottom.  Two of the big factors that seperate teams are coaching and hunger.  This team may want to start fasting.



What a way to go into conference play, huh? No one seemed to see this one coming, and that’s a classic Maryland letdown loss for you. Morgan State 66, Maryland 65. The true trap games are never the ones you see coming. Way to go, guys. Momentum: zero.

I’ll leave the nuanced analysis to smarter armchair coaches than me. Plus I’m not really in the mood for levelheaded analysis. This loss sucked. Sucked. It sucked. SUCKED. How’s that for some keen insight.

It’s just like the football team. The Terps take a team for granted, feel they can turn it off and on like a light switch and get away with it. But sooner or later, you get caught. I was just hoping that could wait until the ACC season. Guess not.

The most galling part of the loss was the poor execution in crunch time. When it’s a big spot, and I mean a real, honest-to-goodness big spot, they crap themselves. It gets all over the court and it makes a big, shitty mess. Vasquez, I’m looking in your direction. You had it running down your leg, big guy. Two wild shots at the end were woefully off target, including a last-second heave where he leaped up in the air and started bicycling his legs like he was having some sort of drowning nightmare. He had time for at least one more dribble. Where is the Vasquez Swagger when we need it? It seems like the cocksurity he normally plays with totally evaporates in big spots. And sure, there are exceptions, but by and large, this is true. I’m sure they’ll find a way to spin it — Morgan State’s a good team, we’re a good team and we’ll get better. Whatever. Bottom line, it’s just one more ACC game you have to win to get into the tourney. Good luck, guys.


Thank God for field hockey

Without field hockey, and men’s soccer, Terp fans wouldn’t have much to be proud of right now.

First, on Saturday the football team lost to BC to wrap up its season the way the mobsters wrapped up that dead fish in “The Godfather.” Meow Mix Bowl, here we come. Despite the crazy ups and downs, the team ended exactly where most people (including us) thought they would — smack in the middle of Mediocre Town. Maybe they can celebrate the season with mashed potato sandwiches and Miller Lite drafts at the Medicore Town Diner, followed by a lecture from Friedgen on the Jimmy Carter presidency. I can already hear the polite applause.

It’s a Sicilian message. It means
“welcome to the Meineke Car Care Bowl.”

So after that, the hoops team follows up a bad loss to Gonzaga with an even worse loss to Georgetown. The Hoyas took a scalpel to the Terps — it was clinical, it was ruthless, and it was humiliating. Outplayed, outcoached, outhustled, outeverythinged. When the Terps were on defense, the Hoyas slashed the interior to ribbons until the Terps packed the middle with a zone, at which point Georgetown simply knocked down open perimeter shots. When the Terps were on offense, the Hoyas screwed down on Vasquez, perhaps figuring that not only is Vasquez the team’s only consistent offensive threat, but that intense pressure was likely to force Vasquez into sloppy mistakes. The final Vasquez line: 2 points, 4 assists, 4 turnovers. But that wasn’t even the worst line of the night. For that, of course, we must go to the frontcourt, where, in 21 minutes of play, Braxton Dupree finished with 6 points, 1 turnover, zero blocks, and zero rebounds. Again, he got 21 minutes. Just FYI, Jerome Burney and Dino Gregory each got 4 rebounds in 8 minutes of play. Draw your own conclusions.

Bottom line: the football season ended with a whimper, and if the basketball team doesn’t treat this weekend as a wake-up call, they may not even get a whimper out before their cold dead carcass hits the hardwood. Better moments could be in store for the hoops team, but if the football team and previous basketball seasons are any indication, another up-and-down campaign will just mean more mashed potato sandwiches real soon. If they’re lucky. Gulp.


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September 2020