Edsall: 'Way too many turnovers, way too many mistakes'
Syracuse 20, Maryland 3
COLLEGE PARK--This very well could have been the biggest weekend of Randy Edsall’s tenure with the Maryland Terrapins.
With two five-star prospects on campus, a planned fan “blackout” at Byrd Stadium, and bowl eligibility on the line, everything appeared to be aligned.
But what transpired one something different, a certain flatness instead of excitement, ineffectiveness instead of execution.
Maryland mustered 292 yards of total offense, much of it after the game's outcome had been decided, and turned the ball over four times in a 20-3 loss to Syracuse on Saturday evening in College Park.
It’s not that Syracuse was overwhelmingly superior. For much of the game, play limped along.
At one point, five of six straight possessions saw turnovers by one team or the other. Three of those were Terrapin blunders.
Quarterback C.J. Brown looked solid for a short time early in the game when the zone read offense was working, but struggled as the game progressed. He finished with 211 yards on 21-of-40 passing and two interceptions.
He was sacked three times.
TURNOVERS (ON BOTH SIDES)
As quickly as Maryland was taking the ball away, it was giving it back on Saturday. After stalling on every drive in the first half and turning the ball over three times, there was a renewed energy coming out in the second. Two consecutive first downs made it appear that the Terrapins were driving.
“Made it appear.”
C.J. Brown fumbled a snap once Maryland reached Syracuse territory and, after getting kicked around, the ball was recovered by Syracuse linebacker Cameron Lynch. That put an end to another promising Maryland drive, all while the Terrapins remained within two scores.
PENALTIES BAIL OUT TERPS
Maryland’s lone scoring drive did not come without some help. A 15-yard pass interference erased a Syracuse interception early in the drive, a 15-yard facemask later in the drive kept the Terrapins alive, and an offsides call erased a Syracuse fumble recovery.
Even with that help, Maryland only came up with only three points. Syracuse finished with 115 penalty yards on the evening.
COLD WITHOUT COLE
Maryland linebacker Cole Farrand registered 23 tackles in Maryland’s loss to Clemson in Week 9 loss to Clemson. Farrand was ruled out of Saturday’s game against Syracuse and it showed.
From the Orange’s opening 90-yard touchdown drive that lasted nearly eight minutes, it showed. Running back Jerome Smith was the offense’s biggest catalyst, powering the opening drive and finishing with 103 yards on 25 carries and two touchdowns.
The team as a whole finished with 227 yards rushing.
TOUGH ROAD AHEAD
This was Maryland’s best chance to become bowl eligible. Syracuse came in as a 4-4 team on the road. Maryland had had a bye week to prepare with a number of key players returning. But it wasn’t to be.
Maryland now travels to Virginia Tech next week, followed by a home game against pesky Boston College before closing the regular season against NC State on the road.