Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Maryland Uses Bye Week to Improve

This game may be a bigger statement game than the VPI game. Sure it will not be as nationally important, but is our first chance to prove the pollsters right and trip over ourselves. The guys seemed to have turned a corner and seem to be focused, let's just get out there Saturday afternoon and take care of business. -yb

From the Washington Times...

Offensive line looks to fix errors

By Patrick Stevens
October 4, 2006

The Maryland offensive line looked across the field in its last game, only to find Florida International in an unusual set. The unit saw the look briefly in practice that week, though not nearly enough to be able to quickly decipher the correct blocking scheme to use.
Seconds later, the Terps returned to the huddle after another unsuccessful play.
Those things happen from time to time. The problem was it was typical of the entire night, a 14-10 victory that was hardly a statement of superiority heading into an eight-game ACC schedule.
The numbers were unwelcome. The Terrapins' offensive line accounted for 22 of the team's 37 mental errors, and Maryland didn't score in the second half. Instead, a night that could have yielded a relatively easy victory wasn't decided until the final play.
Yet a look at the film didn't turn out to be so painful. Sure, there were plenty of mistakes, but nothing so complex it couldn't be worked through during the Terps' week off.
"It made me feel like it's something that can be fixed," center Edwin Williams said. "It's not like we weren't giving effort, it wasn't like we were just packing it in. It was just mental errors and detail things that can be cleaned up quick."
The Terps (3-1) can only hope all those mistakes were corrected during their only bye week of the season as they prepare to visit No. 18 Georgia Tech (4-1, 2-0 ACC) on Saturday.
The most beneficial aspect of the week off might have been an opportunity to heal nagging injuries. Both left guard Donnie Woods (cramps) and left tackle Stephon Heyer (sprained right thumb) briefly left the Florida International game with injuries, and reserve guard Garrick Clig had time to rest a pulled hamstring.
The depth reassures the Terps, but it doesn't assuage the concern over the line's protection of quarterback Sam Hollenbach. The senior absorbed three sacks against Florida International, and he frequently shared the backfield with defenders and was forced to quickly jettison the ball several times.
"Anytime somebody takes a shot at your quarterback, it's a little hit on the offensive line," Woods said. "It's kind of a pride issue for us. Sam got banged around a little bit, and we didn't take that too lightly. I think we have a new focus coming into this week."
The Terps will need it against a tenacious Georgia Tech defense that held Notre Dame to 14 points in its season opener and hassled Virginia Tech on Saturday throughout a 37-27 upset.

Huh? The score was 38-27. I know it is only a point, but get your facts straight.

The bye week afforded Maryland the opportunity to spend more time than usual reviewing film, and it also allowed them to take an extended look at Georgia Tech.

Follow link below to read the entire article.

What is with all the Bulldog Love?

Normally I reserve my critical posts for hypocrisy or problems I see with the game of college football as a whole, avoiding attacking one particular team, except for one time where I let a friend rant about Notre Dame. I do not believe I have ever made a post directly attacking our in-state rival, the University of Georgia. Before the Dawg Patrol comes out en masse against me, let me say this is not a flame, it is really just a question.

What is with the love for the Bulldogs this year?

I thought about this tonight as I watched yet another UGA love-fest on CSS where they interviewed some defensive lineman and did actually a nice bio piece on the kid. Then I thought about the full page spread on Matthew Stafford in the AJC a few weeks back after they put him in the game for the first time after Joe T 3 was injured. Then I watched their game against Ole Miss last weekend (honestly the first time I had watched them play this season), and was perplexed by their #10 national ranking. This team struggled against Colorado, seems to have some quarterbacking and general offensive issues, and has the Volunteers coming to Athens this weekend. It would seem they have some serious problems, but I have only read one columnist who mentions that they might be overranked.

Where does this free pass for UGA come from? Why is no one talking about how they have the potential to be seriously exposed this weekend? Why is everyone talking about Cox, Stafford, and Tereshinski as if they provide options to St. Richt instead of headaches?

Before the legions of mutts overload the server responding with infuriated tidbits or with simply "51 - 7", please hear me out. I may be alone, but I don't sit around all day hoping UGA will lose every game. It simply does not matter that much to me. There are more than enough recruits in this state for their to be two nationally relevant football programs and I think a little parity is healthy for the rivalry. I like that our game means something. I am honestly curious about the state of UGA football.

The Bulldog defense is playing well, but I have been a Tech fan for some time, so I know what it is like to watch a great defensive team with no offense to back it up. Tech didn't get the benefit of the doubt when this was the case for us last year, why is UGA getting it this year? I realize the last few years UGA has been pretty good and maybe they have earned it, but am I totally off base in thinking UGA's national relevance this year might be just a little inflated? -yb

Clemson Stud Receiver Breaks Foot In Practice Yesterday

Chansi Stuckey, Clemson's big-play wide receiver, seems to have broken his foot in Tuesday's practice. He will likely miss the Wake Forest and Georgia Tech games. I feel bad for the kid because these games will likely be some of the most important of the season, with Wake being the lone obstacle to Atlantic Division dominance, and Georgia Tech being Georgia Tech. Really tough break for the Tigers. -yb

From the State - South Carolina

Stuckey breaks foot

The State - South Carolina
October 03, 2006

CLEMSON - No sooner had one key Clemson player returned from a broken foot that another one went down.

Senior receiver Chansi Stuckey, ranked second in the ACC in yards per game, broke the fifth metatarsal in his left foot during Tuesday's practice and is expected to miss 3-4 weeks.

The injury - the exact same one that sidelined safety Michael Hamlin for the past three games - occurred when Stuckey said he made a cut during a non-contact, one-on-one drill and put too much weight on his outside foot.

He will undergo surgery today to have a pin inserted in the foot, forcing him to miss Saturday's game at Wake Forest and likely a pivotal showdown against Georgia Tech in two weeks.

'It was something that happened and you've got to deal with,' Stuckey said.

'It was good to see how quickly Michael came back, and hopefully I can do something similar to what he did.'

Stuckey, a 6-foot, 185-pounder from Warner Robins, Ga., said that the best-case scenario is a return for the Oct. 26 game at Virginia Tech, and barring complications he does not foresee missing the Nov. 4 game against Maryland.

His absence could be a major blow to Clemson's passing game.

The reigning first-team all-ACC selection served as the Tigers' primary threat to stretch defenses, and he was clearly senior quarterback Will Proctor's favorite target.

In five games, Stuckey has accumulated 25 catches for 331 yards and three touchdowns. By comparison, his totals are more than double those for Clemson's second-leading receiver in each category.

The temporary void created by his departure is as large as 'the Grand Canyon, as big as you can get,' receivers coach Dabo Swinney said.

Swinney said two players will share Stuckey's role as the A-receiver.

Sophomore Tyler Grisham will be used in two-receiver sets opposite either Aaron Kelly or Rendrick Taylor, while freshman speedster Jacoby Ford will be featured in the slot along with Kelly and Taylor in the Tigers' three-receiver sets.

Grisham ranks fifth on the team with seven catches for 82 yards and a score, while Ford has one catch in limited time at the position.

Stuckey becomes the fourth prominent player in Clemson's starting lineup to suffer a significant injury, joining linebackers Tramaine Billie (broken foot, out indefinitely), Anthony Waters (torn knee ligaments, out for the season) and Hamlin, who is slated to play this weekend.

'I thought we were done with these,' coach Tommy Bowden said.

Stuckey also ranks as one of four players to endure a broken foot this season, a list that includes Billie, reserve lineman Jamarcus Grant and third-string quarterback Tribble Reese, who suffered his Tuesday as well.