Posts Tagged ‘Demetrius Hartsfield

30
Oct
09

How Is the Football Team Spending its Bye Week?

Ever wondered what football players and coaches do during the bye week? Specifically wondering about the Maryland football team, who after consecutive losses to UVA and Duke now finds itself at 2-6 and nearly becoming the universal pick for worst team in the ACC?

Well, wonder no more. Through our inside sources, Shell Games has provided this exclusive update on coach and player bye week activities. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.

— Chris Turner: Shivering in a Simi Valley irrigation ditch

— James Franklin: Shivering in the film room

— Don Brown: Shivering in the bar room

— Ralph Friedgen: Shivering beneath an Old Country Buffet steam table

— Demetrius Hartsfield: Shivering in a training room hot tub

— Entire offensive line: Shivering through inspirational visit to spackle factory

— Anthony Wiseman and Cameron Chism: Shivering. Just shivering. So dark. So very, very dark.

— Da’rel Scott and Davin Meggett: Carrying footballs along the beach. Sipping cold drinks out of football-
     shaped glasses. Clutching stuffed footballs in sleep. Shivering.

— Nick Ferrara: Long Island. Banging.

— Travis Baltz: Saving shivering children from trees

— Torrey Smith: A whirlwind tour of the country, stopping in Oakland, Detroit, Kansas City, St. Louis…
     you know, just for shits and giggles.

18
Oct
09

maryland football goes from bad to ugly

U-G-L-Y you ain’t got no alibi, YOU UGLY (what what) YOU UGLY! I loved me some Wildcats back in the day.  I even used to think Goldie Hawn was hot.  80’s hot.

On a wet day at Byrd Stadium yesterday, the Terrapins fell to a UVA team that managed only 201 yards of total offense.  While the defense held its own, Maryland’s offense kept coughing up the ball and handed the Wahoos a win.  Four turnovers did the Terps in, including a third quarter Chris Turner Pick-6 that gave the Cavaliers the lead for good.  Maryland’s -1.8 per game turnover margin puts them at 117 out of 120 DI-A teams.

This game was not indicative of the Terps season long struggles with breakdowns in protection.  While Chris Turner seemed to have more time to throw the ball this Saturday, he never got into a rhythm and coughed it up with the game on the line.  The running game was plagued by fumbles.  Offensively, the Terps moved the ball reasonably well, but they failed to get the ball in the end zone.

The defense seemed to turn things around yesterday.  The Terps totaled 5 sacks against UVA and the D was getting constant penetration.  Alex Wucjiak was everywhere, adding 14 tackles to his season total of 77.  Wucjiak is now ranked 4th in DI-A in total tackles.  Demetrius Hartsfield gutted it out with a broken hand to get seven tackles, and Adrian Moten ended up with two sacks.  That was about it for Terps highlights.

Turnovers turnovers turnovers.  Why all the turnovers?  UVA has a good defense ranking 19th overall in total yards, but that’s no excuse for fumbles and interceptions.  I think Maryland’s offense has been too predictable all year.  Check that, they’ve been too predictable since 2006.  They’ve fallen in love with the quick outs and the runs off tackle.  The offensive rhythm is rarely staggered, allowing the defense to time their blitz better and zero in on the football.  I’ve said it before, but I’d still like to see Maryland use more no huddle, especially in the second half.  Chris Turner seems more in control when he’s thinking less, and mixing in the no huddle would keep the defense on its toes.

Otherwise, we all know it’s going to be a long season so let’s just hope for some incremental improvements.  U-G-L-Y the Terps ain’t got no alibi, they ugly.

13
Oct
09

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.

06
Oct
09

Demetrius Hartsfield: New Star on Defense?

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During the Clemson game, Demetrius Hartsfield, the least-heralded of the Terps’ linebackers, quietly began to rack up tackle after tackle. And I thought to myself, nice I’m gonna write down his name and post about him dude you are such a keen observer of the game I can’t believe it you’re so smart. But then, Demetrius kind of outkicked the coverage on me; his performance went from quietly strong to loudly strong. Like deafening.

The final stat line for this Raleigh, N.C. product (he turned down Duke to come to Maryland…yay, f*ck Duke!) includes 10 tackles (eight of them solo and 2.5 of them for a loss), one sack, one fumble recovered. And as the game approached its finale, he only got bigger: four of his tackles came in the final quarter. And of course, it all culminated when Hartsfield, with 27 seconds left, sacked Clemson QB Kyle Parker, forcing and then recovering a fumble to seal the victory.

The accolades have been pouring in, and rightly so. He’s the first defensive player this season to be named ACC Rookie of the Week. No one less than Lou Holtz gave Hartsfield a “helmet sticker” during ESPN’s college football show. It’s all well-deserved, but what about me? I was ready to tout the untouted guy. It’s just bad luck, is what it is.

I always figured Alex Wujciak would emerge as this year’s top dog and/or Next Great Maryland Linebacker, and if not him, then Adrien Moten probably had the next-best shot. And don’t get me wrong…Wujciak is a warrior. All accounts are that he hobbles around like Earl Campbell during the week but always brings it on game days. You can’t knock a guy like that. But the unit needed more than just a stopper — they needed a game changer. And on Saturday, that’s what they got — literally — from Demetrius Hartsfield. We’ll see if he can keep it rolling against Wake.


(Photo credit: Rivals.com)

05
Oct
09

maryland football survives heart attack, beats clemson 24-21

University of Maryland Parking Lot 11B was a beautiful place to be Saturday morning at 11AM.  The crisp fall morning had given way to an Indian summer day.  The smell of smoke from the jalapeno brats that were smoking on our grill filled my nostrils.  My chest was wet from the beer I had just shotgunned, providing a cooling reprieve from the heat that was rising from the pavement.

I looked around and listened.  Despite the seemingly idyllic conditions for an early Fall football game, I didn’t like what I was seeing and hearing.  Bodies cloaked in Clemson orange seemed to surround our tailgate.  Southern accents and songs about how sexy pick-up trucks are filled my ears.  My senses were stung, and my mind was clouded with dark thoughts.

Where are the Maryland faithful?  How could people stay home on a day like this?  Why have so many given up on the Terps so early in the season?

Confused, disoriented, bewildered, I continued to drink cans of Bud to try and numb these bad thoughts.  Maryland was a 13-point homedog coming into this Saturday’s game against Clemson, but I couldn’t figure out why.  Clemson is not particularly good.  Neither is Maryland, but the Terps were at home, darn it!  The whole scene seemed a little insulting.

My friends and I hiked up to our bench in the fifth-to-last row in Byrd Stadium.  By the time we took our seats, Clemson had kicked a field goal had taken a 3-0 lead.  Within minutes the Tigers added a touchdown and were up 10-0.  Maryland struggled to get through the first quarter, repeatedly going three and out.  This was not a good start.

The offense seemed to get it going in the beginning of the second quarter.  Nick Ferrara’s 43 yd FG early in the quarter kept the game from getting out of hand.  The Tigers countered with a field goal minutes later to make it 13-3.

Then, as he’s done so many times over the last few years, Chris Turner emerged from his fog and turned it on.  Turner led the Terps on a 9-play, 76 yd drive culminating in a 29 yd Torrey Smith TD in the mid-second quarter to make it 13-10.  That got the team and the crowd going.  Turner then led a 9-play, 81 yd TD drive by repeatedly getting out of the pocket and running for first downs.  It seemed that Turner was single-handedly willing his team to victory at that point.  Jamari McCullough had a huge interception at the goal line to keep Clemson from scoring again at the end of the half.  The Terps took a 17-13 lead into halftime in what had seemed like an improbably comeback just minutes earlier.

Then, things got weird.

The second half was a game of football hot potato.  Both offenses completely stalled and were forced to punt repeatedly.  The Terps seemed to break open the game when Tony Logan returned a punt 43 yards to the Clemson 1, and Davin Meggett punched it in a few plays later.  Then, CJ Spiller took the ensuing kick-off 92 yards for a TD and a Clemson counter punch.  Waves of orange and red were rocking accross the stadium.  Everyone was looking around like, “Oh, it’s on.”  But it wasn’t.

The fourth quarter was an exercise in offensive futility for both teams.  Maryland had lost big offensive lineman Bruce Campbell to injury, and Clemson was getting penetration on every down.  It was as if they had one guy line-up in the Maryland backfield on each play.  Clemson started three drives in a row in Maryland territory late in the fourth quarter, including one that resulted from a bonehead call by Friedgen to go for it on a 4th-and-inches on his own thirty-one yard line.  The Tigers failed to move the ball time and time again, and ended up missing two long field goals that would have tied the game.  Maryland fans watched with raised blood pressure and shortness of breath as the Terps froze the Tigers on each fourth quarter drive.  In the end, Maryland freshman linebacker Demitrius Hartsfield put the kibosh on Clemson’s comeback attempt by forcing and recovering a fumble on their final drive to put an end to things.  To add to the drama, the officials reviewed the play as Maryland fans looked on, hoping the madness would end.  It did, and the Terps got the win.

Big ups to:

  • Chris Turner for leading the comeback
  • Torrey Smith for looking like a track athlete while racking-up YAC on his TD catch and adding 174 all-purpose yards to his big year
  • Demitrius Hartsfield for 10 tackles, 8 of which were solo, and a huge game ending sack-forced fumble and recovery
  • Cameron Chism for mutliple open field touchdown saving tackles against CJ Spiller
  • Nick “The Kick II” Ferrara for converting a 43 yd field goal, filling in on punting dutuies and averaging an outstanding 43 yds per punt, and handling the kick-offs

Maryland is now 1-0 in ACC play.   This is just the beginning of a four game stretch that presents some winnable games for the Terps.

After the game we savored victory in the parking lot, staying an hour late to let the Clemson fans get out while we toasted the win with some cold brews.  It was a fun game to watch and a great time for Maryland fans.  I hope more of you show up to the next one.

Don’t forget to vote for Shell Games in the Baltimore Sun Mobbies contest!




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