Maryland 31, Buffalo 10
Well, that happened. Maryland started the game with an 84% chance of winning according to ESPN’s win probability. After forcing Buffalo to punt on the opening possession, Maryland got the ball and capped off the drive with a Roman Hemby 33-yd touchdown run to go up 7-0. Maryland’s win probability never dipped below 89% after that.
It wasn’t a crazy blow-out like the UM-CSU game (51-7). Somehow, Iowa’s 7-3 victory of South Dakota fucking State was more interesting than Terps game, just because of the perverse human inability to pull our attention away from horrific events that unfold before our eyes. Seven points on a field goal and two safeties? Way better than mustering a simple touchdown. I want to see an ESPN stat on the likelihood of an offense getting seven points that way. This wasn’t just a train wreck. This was a train, on fire, with Iowa’s O-line awkwardly pole-dancing in thongs, on the trains while flying off a cliff into a giant mountain of feces. Something so twisted and perverse that it commands your attention despite making you physically nauseous and morally depraved from having observed the event. Yes, Iowa that is who you are for at least a week. Someone get me that “Hawkeyes on my belly GIF.” Iowa literally told Frosty to “hold my beer.” But, at least Iowa won.
Having chosen to write about other games before getting to the Maryland game just shows how excited I was watching this game. Hint: Not very.
A workman-like game transpiring exactly the way you would expect against a middling MAC team that has a pretty good defense.
It seems like Maryland was there to do a job, and they got it done. The Terps went into halftime up 17-7. Maryland got the ensuing kickoff and had increased their lead to 24-7 40 sec. into the second half courtesy of a 70-yd touchdown run by Hemby. Dude is fast. At this point Frosty, would have gone for an on-side kick to ice the game in the 3rd quarter. But, Locks doesn’t possess the “”creativity” and “genius” that Frosty possesses.
Maryland totally shut down a weak Buffalo offense throughout the third quarter. Buffalo added 3 points and padded their stats in the 4th quarter with MD playing their 2nd and 3rd teamers sprinkled in with some starters.
Penalties: 8 penalties for 82 yards against a middling MAC team. Maryland won’t do shit this year against any respectable team if they continue this trend from last year. I’m okay with a PI call if it is clearly the better option than a long reception. But the 1-on-1 defenders had guys covered and were just not turning their heads to make a play on the ball, repeatedly.
There was an offsides/encroachment call on a missed Buffalo field goal attempt, changing it from a 4th and 7 to a 4th and 2. Maryland stopped them by inches when Buffalo decided to go for the 1st down instead of trying another field goal, but that ain’t happening against any B1G team except Nebraska. Frosty would have called a stupid trick play that would have failed miserably.
The Meh/No Opinion:
The defense looked okay. The Buffalo TD came late in the 1st half when MD looked a little gassed in the 90-deg. sunshine. MD made some very nice halftime adjustments on defense, totally shutting down Buffalo in the 3rd quarter. The field goal came in garbage time. MD gave up a total of 268, many of those yards were padded from the 4th quarter with MD substituting on defense liberally.
The ????/Maybe Concerning:
Time of possession:
- Buffalo had 33 minutes to Maryland’s 27 minutes.
- 1st Downs - 18 for Buffalo, 16 for MD.
Again, MD’s D looked really stout in the 3rd quarter and Buffalo was going max effort throughout the 4th quarter even tough MD was up 31-7. So, I’m not totally sure what to make of these unfavorable stats.
Turnovers: The Terps forced no turnovers. Penalties and turnovers are two things upon which MD needs to improve if they are going to show real improvement.
The Good, Sort Of:
Offense: Maryland put up 468 yards against an above average MAC defense without really looking that sharp. Taulia went 24-34 for 290 yards. Roman Hemby went for 114 yards and two TDs on 7 carries (same Maryland shit against lesser teams, different RB) Antwain Littleton looked powerful in short yardage situations going for 34 yards on 6 carries. The lone turnover was a Taulia interception that effectively served as a 3rd down punt, not costly.
The very good:
Special teams: The Zooker will not be missed. Huge improvement—punt coverage, the lack of need for kick-off coverage becasue every kick-off except one was either in the end zone of out of the end zone, punt and kick off receiving were very good.
I would have graded special teams an A+, except one of MD’s kick-offs was kicked low and into the corner, but skidded out-of-bounds , resulting in Buffalo getting the ball on their 35 yard line. That was a head-scratcher.
That was more writing than this game deserved. You’d think I was getting paid by the word.
Next week: at Charlotte. I like the idea of playing an OOC road game. But, against a significantly lesser opponent. Kinda weird. Seems like a trap. Charlotte will be treating this like a NY6 bowl game, so I’m expecting to not have fun watching this one.