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Ralph just ain't gettin' er done


Todd-O

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Our offense is so vanilla it is PAINFUL. And our defensive pass rush is pitiful.

WVU was clearly the better team... but that was a winnable game for the Terps. The atmosphere in the stadium was great... and I thought the defense, overall, put forth a nice effort. Unfortunately, we spotted them 7 points right from the get-go... but our QB situation and the offensive play calling just isn't good enough to win a big game like that right now.

When Ralph first came to Byrd he had 3 solid years of insane play calling... misdirections, split backs, options, quick hits... you name it, the Terps did it. And with great success, I might add. But now, the play calling is flat out lame... I almost felt like I was sitting there watching a Vanderlinden team. Everything is predictable and so... so... basic. This really isn't Steffy's fault (although the offense was really out of sync at times with poor timing on hand-offs and at least twice a snap was fumbled). This is the Fridge's fault.

The Fridge has had plenty of time to recruit a dual threat QB. Ever since J. Statham set foot on the turf and Byrd, the Fridge should have made it his mission to find a kid that can run the offense at full speed. If he can't recruit the appropriate kid, then he should step aside and move on. At this point I'm left wondering if he has abonded the slick play calling of his first 3 years because he didn't think it would ultimately get MD back into the BCS hunt... or if he simply doens't have the players on offense to run the option, etc.

The result, however has been 4 years of slow offensive starts... and pitiful offense output. I was a Hollenbach fan simply because he was a kid that played hard. But even last year's "O" was realatively weak and inept when it came to putting points on the board.

Last night... in the 3rd... the offense just sputtered. We ran the clock out on ourselves! And then, the biggest Brain Fart of them all... We finally score a second touchdown and we don't go for the 2 point conversion. Getting two would have - technically - put us 16 points down. That's two TDs and two point conversions away from a tie. But the Fridge chose to go for the fieldgoal... making it necessary for the Terps to score 3 times to win. THEN he went for an onsides kick... which the Terps recovered. The players were celebrating... but why? At that point we were THREE scores... not TWO scores down.

Why pull an onsides when you didn't put your team in a position to at least have a snow-balls chance in hell to tie?

And then, the offense didn't pull off a two minute drill... a no huddle attempt at putting together a quick drive... they took their own sweet time calling in plays, huddling, and running plays. Time was slipping right off the clock. Steffy showed no hustle to get up the field after the play... it was pitiful.

At least Ralph could have taken the opportunity to use the situation to PRACTICE a real game situation of trying to get a quick score.

This team has a very LONG way to go this year. I can't believe this is the case. We have a QB that's been standing on the sidelines for THREE years... and he looks as green as the grass he's walking on... and we have a defense that could barely even get penetration against a 1-AA football team.

COME ON RALPH!

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Our offense is so vanilla it is PAINFUL. And our defensive pass rush is pitiful.

WVU was clearly the better team... but that was a winnable game for the Terps. The atmosphere in the stadium was great... and I thought the defense, overall, put forth a nice effort. Unfortunately, we spotted them 7 points right from the get-go... but our QB situation and the offensive play calling just isn't good enough to win a big game like that right now.

When Ralph first came to Byrd he had 3 solid years of insane play calling... misdirections, split backs, options, quick hits... you name it, the Terps did it. And with great success, I might add. But now, the play calling is flat out lame... I almost felt like I was sitting there watching a Vanderlinden team. Everything is predictable and so... so... basic. This really isn't Steffy's fault (although the offense was really out of sync at times with poor timing on hand-offs and at least twice a snap was fumbled). This is the Fridge's fault.

The Fridge has had plenty of time to recruit a dual threat QB. Ever since J. Statham set foot on the turf and Byrd, the Fridge should have made it his mission to find a kid that can run the offense at full speed. If he can't recruit the appropriate kid, then he should step aside and move on. At this point I'm left wondering if he has abonded the slick play calling of his first 3 years because he didn't think it would ultimately get MD back into the BCS hunt... or if he simply doens't have the players on offense to run the option, etc.

The result, however has been 4 years of slow offensive starts... and pitiful offense output. I was a Hollenbach fan simply because he was a kid that played hard. But even last year's "O" was realatively weak and inept when it came to putting points on the board.

Last night... in the 3rd... the offense just sputtered. We ran the clock out on ourselves! And then, the biggest Brain Fart of them all... We finally score a second touchdown and we don't go for the 2 point conversion. Getting two would have - technically - put us 16 points down. That's two TDs and two point conversions away from a tie. But the Fridge chose to go for the fieldgoal... making it necessary for the Terps to score 3 times to win. THEN he went for an onsides kick... which the Terps recovered. The players were celebrating... but why? At that point we were THREE scores... not TWO scores down.

Why pull an onsides when you didn't put your team in a position to at least have a snow-balls chance in hell to tie?

And then, the offense didn't pull off a two minute drill... a no huddle attempt at putting together a quick drive... they took their own sweet time calling in plays, huddling, and running plays. Time was slipping right off the clock. Steffy showed no hustle to get up the field after the play... it was pitiful.

At least Ralph could have taken the opportunity to use the situation to PRACTICE a real game situation of trying to get a quick score.

This team has a very LONG way to go this year. I can't believe this is the case. We have a QB that's been standing on the sidelines for THREE years... and he looks as green as the grass he's walking on... and we have a defense that could barely even get penetration against a 1-AA football team.

COME ON RALPH!

We're basically confirming what we already knew...that Jordan Steffy is merely holding down the post until Portis steps in. Prior to him being suspended for the season, I was hoping Portis would become the starting QB beginning in this game. Now, unfortunately, we are going to have to deal with another year of an inept QB running the show.

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I think a lot of this has a lot to do with very poor team management by the Fridge.

Outside of Scott McBrien's senior year (his second year at the helm... the one that started with that dreadful loss at NIU) every year has begun with Maryland trying to find itself. If you look at a team like WVU... they had a great BCS Bowl Victory three seasons ago. Last season the picked up where they left off and kept rolling... and this season they are doing much the same.

At Maryland, there is a constant issue of an offense that appears ill-prepared to play for much of the season. There is no momentum from year to year. It feels like we've gone back to square one every year. You can't have this happen and build a solid program at the same time.

Perhaps Maryland has had some unusually bad luck. Statham being a bust... the Steffy and Hollenbach both suffering through injuries (don't forget... Steffy was hit by a CAR!). Having players leave early... and now this Portis situation which obviously blew-up in Friedgen's face. But there are other situations... like all of the recruits lost to Penn St. a year back, etc. that make you scratch your head and wonder.

All that being said, I still can't figure out why our offense is so plain and inept at this point. Steffy has been a student at Maryland for 3 full seasons... we have a good O line... two nice running backs... and perhaps the best (if not best, then the fastest) wide receiver of the Friedgen era. Yet the Offense is uninspiring.

I'm going to root my guts out for the rest of the year... win or lose... but it is hard not to be somewhat disappointed.

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Look at the Terps in the years before Friedgen got there and look at what they've done since he became their head coach.

Before Friedgen:

1986: 5-5-1, 2-3-1 ACC (no bowl)

1987: 4-7, 3-3 ACC (no bowl)

1988: 5-6, 4-3 ACC (no bowl)

1989: 3-7-1, 2-5 ACC (no bowl)

1990: 6-5-1, 4-3 ACC (tied Louisiana Tech 34-34 in the Independence Bowl)

1991: 2-9, 2-5 ACC (no bowl)

1992: 3-8, 2-6 ACC (no bowl)

1993: 2-9, 2-6 ACC (no bowl)

1994: 4-7, 2-6 ACC (no bowl)

1995: 6-5, 4-4 ACC (no bowl)

1996: 5-6, 3-5 ACC (no bowl)

1997: 2-9, 1-7 ACC (no bowl)

1998: 3-8, 1-7 ACC (no bowl)

1999: 5-6, 2-6 ACC (no bowl)

2000: 5-6, 3-5 ACC (no bowl)

Record: 60-103-3, 37-74-1 ACC. One bowl appearance in 15 years (a tie) before Friedgen arrived.

Since Friedgen:

2001: 10-2, 7-1 ACC (ACC champions; lost to Florida 56-23 in Orange Bowl)

2002: 11-3, 6-2 ACC (beat Tennessee 30-3 in Peach Bowl)

2003: 10-3, 6-2 ACC (beat West Virginia 41-7 in Gator Bowl)

2004: 5-6, 3-5 ACC (no bowl)

2005: 5-6, 3-5 ACC (no bowl)

2006: 9-4, 5-3 ACC (beat Purdue 24-7 in Champ Sports Bowl)

2007: 2-1 so far.

Record: 52-25 overall, 30-18 ACC; 3-1 in bowls since Friedgen arrived.

In just over six years at the helm, Friedgen has only eight wins fewer than the Terps managed in 15 years before he arrived. In the previous six years of Friedgen's tenure, he's taken the Terps to four bowls and won three. Clearly, Friedgen is "gettin' er done."

Maryland looked overmatched against West Virginia last night. No surprise there. West Virginia is one of the best teams in the nation right now. Maryland is still trying to develop a quarterback.

Let's not forget Jordan Steffy just made his third career collegiate start. If Friedgen were calling the gadget plays that Charlie Taafe called in the first few years of Friedgen's tenue, it'd be an irresponsible act on Friedgen's part. If Steffy's first pass as a starter gets picked off and returned for a touchdown against Villanova, that could destroy the young man's confidence.

If Maryland loses to the likes of North Carolina or N.C. State this year, then talk about Fridge not getting it done this year might be valid. Otherwise, do some research and come talk to me when you have something.

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Maryland is never going to be an elite program. Heck they're never going to be a second or even third tier elite program. But they should have some years from time to time like they had in 2001 - 2003, where they make some respectable bowl games and have a shot to win them.

I think Fridgen is a victim of his own early success. He outperformed anyone's expectations those first 2 seasons, with a class that he didn't even really recruit. And thats what it has come down to. Fridge hasn't taken those Bowl victories and parlayed them into good recruiting tools.

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Fridge is a victim of his early success. He won w/someone else's (Vanderlinden) blue collar recruits. He and his staff coached up these kids w/a chip on their shoulder and they outschemed the competition. A prime example was the imaginative offensive playcalling.

Go to "youtube" and type in Jafar Williams, you'll see several Terps touchdown plays. Most of them were out of the flex bone and on misdirection or options plays. You should be able to see what I'm talking about. I haven't seen that formation in earnest from the Fridge in maybe 3 years. It's not complicated, heck, Navy runs it w/great success as do many local HS's. Why not use it? It's versatile and simple, just one more look to confuse a defense. Now everything is out of the pro set or the gun. The 2001 offense was a thing of beauty.

A Reverse to Jafar Williams vs. GaTech (2001)--Flex bone formation

Fullback run (James Lynch) for TD vs. FSU --Flex bone formation

Nowadays Fridge is getting the better athletes but the playcalling is lost as is some of the players' football IQ. I'm not sure if Fridge misses having an OC or Taafe was a key aspect of the offense's previous success. I'm not sure if the game has passed Fridge by. It is still early yet. What I do know is that by looking at the previous two years, the offense is a stark contrast from the multiple formation, dynamic offenses of 2001-2003 and I doubt anyone would dispute this.

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Fridge is a victim of his early success. He won w/someone else's (Vanderlinden) blue collar recruits. He and his staff coached up these kids w/a chip on their shoulder and they outschemed the competition. A prime example was the imaginative offensive playcalling.

Go to "youtube" and type in Jafar Williams, you'll see several Terps touchdown plays. Most of them were out of the flex bone and on misdirection or options plays. You should be able to see what I'm talking about. I haven't seen that formation in earnest from the Fridge in maybe 3 years. It's not complicated, heck, Navy runs it w/great success as do many local HS's. Why not use it? It's versatile and simple, just one more look to confuse a defense. Now everything is out of the pro set or the gun. The 2001 offense was a thing of beauty.

A Reverse to Jafar Williams vs. GaTech (2001)--Flex bone formation

Fullback run (James Lynch) for TD vs. FSU --Flex bone formation

Nowadays Fridge is getting the better athletes but the playcalling is lost as is some of the players' football IQ. I'm not sure if Fridge misses having an OC or Taafe was a key aspect of the offense's previous success. I'm not sure if the game has passed Fridge by. It is still early yet. What I do know is that by looking at the previous two years, the offense is a stark contrast from the multiple formation, dynamic offenses of 2001-2003 and I doubt anyone would dispute this.

Again, the question there comes down to whether or not it's the quarterback.

Would you really have wanted Hollenbach to run that kind of offense? Hell, they did run some options with him anyway, and they weren't all that successful.

I think I asked this before, but I forgot if there was an answer: anyone know the news with Ricker? I know he is transferring, but does anyone know where, or whether he could still come back?

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Again, the question there comes down to whether or not it's the quarterback.

Would you really have wanted Hollenbach to run that kind of offense? Hell, they did run some options with him anyway, and they weren't all that successful.

I think I asked this before, but I forgot if there was an answer: anyone know the news with Ricker? I know he is transferring, but does anyone know where, or whether he could still come back?

True. However, Shaun Hill wasn't exactly fleet afoot yet they made it work. I still think you've got to show this stuff if anything to keep the defense honest. Similar to baseball, a pitcher has to throw some offspeed pitches, even if they're not his best pitch, just to change the hitters perspective and keep them somewhat off balance.

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True. However, Shaun Hill wasn't exactly fleet afoot yet they made it work. I still think you've got to show this stuff if anything to keep the defense honest. Similar to baseball, a pitcher has to throw some offspeed pitches, even if they're not his best pitch, just to change the hitters perspective and keep them somewhat off balance.

That's very true, and like I said they ran a few options with Hollenbach (though just out of the regular formation).

Maybe he doesn't want to get into formations where the defense knows exactly what is coming? They seem to like to run different types of plays out of different formations.

I'd be curious to know what they do in camp and practices (anyone have Heather Dinich's number?), because if they run those formations there, maybe they don't think Steffy (or only think Portis) can handle them in the games.

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The play calling was pretty poor, although it's tough to do much when your QB does nothing but throw to backs or short passes to receivers or tight ends. That said, it's only been three starts for Steffy so I'm not ready to write him off quite yet. McBrien and Hill didn't start quickly either, and Steffy hasn't been abysmal.

The play calling does worry though. The defense has played fairly well so far this season, but we can't rely on them to win games for us. Which is what we're going to be doing if we play conservative, ball control offense that doesn't generate a lot of points.

I still think Steffy can be a good QB for us, but I don't see him becoming a great QB. Portis might not have done anything this season, but he probably had that upside, that extra dimension, to be a difference maker. Losing him might really come back to hurt us.

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The Terps have there work cut out for them. The reimergance of Penn State and WVU along with Locksley is going to make tough to keep some of thesimilar local kids here. Steffy will be fine by the end of the year. He is still very green. Plain and simple we were spoiled by Hill and Mcbrien. They both picked up the system quickly. With that being said they are having a great recruiting year at positions of need and they are expanding soon which will help recruiting. The Portis era will have alot to do with the future of Maryland football. If he excels then we may start landing more QB's like him which allows the fridge to be at his best.

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Maryland is never going to be an elite program. Heck they're never going to be a second or even third tier elite program. But they should have some years from time to time like they had in 2001 - 2003, where they make some respectable bowl games and have a shot to win them.

I think Fridgen is a victim of his own early success. He outperformed anyone's expectations those first 2 seasons, with a class that he didn't even really recruit. And thats what it has come down to. Fridge hasn't taken those Bowl victories and parlayed them into good recruiting tools.

I think this hits the nail on the head. Is the program better then where it was, absolutely, but Fridge's inability to recruit/attract the big time players that will help keep the program a top 25 team is his biggest downfall in my opinion.

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You are probably right... the inability to plug-in starter ready players has really hurt MD. You can only go back to square one so many times before it starts to look bad.

It's ashame, because I really thought Maryland was close to busting it open in 2005.

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You are probably right... the inability to plug-in starter ready players has really hurt MD. You can only go back to square one so many times before it starts to look bad.

It's ashame, because I really thought Maryland was close to busting it open in 2005.

I think the big change may have to be him scaling back his playbook, they keep saying it takes qbs 2-3 years to learn it. you will never get a high level qb to come here if they figure it will take that long to have a chance to start. That is the glaring difference between them and other teams.

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