Terps did 'a lot of good things' vs. West Virginia, Randy Edsall says

After giving up almost 700 yards to Mountaineers, Maryland coach looks for more consistency

September 14, 2014|By Matt Zenitz | Baltimore Sun Media Group

COLLEGE PARK — On a typical Saturday night after a game, Maryland coach Randy Edsall will sit in his home office and break down the film, going through and analyzing each play while also grading the performance of each player.

And whether it was from home or from his office inside Gossett Team House, Edsall spent Saturday night evaluating the film of the Terps' loss to West Virginia on Saturday afternoon.

What he saw? A lot of mistakes and missed opportunities that led to Maryland falling behind, 28-6, early and eventually losing, 40-37.

But there was also a lot about which Edsall said he was encouraged, as the Terps fought back and made some plays on offense, defense and special teams against a West Virginia team that lost by just 10 to No. 3 Alabama earlier this season.

"I thought there was a lot of good things that took place yesterday," Edsall said during his weekly conference call Sunday. "There were [also] some things we didn't like. That's where we've got to get more consistent."

The main issue for the Terps was their pass defense.

Maryland had some issues in coverage against South Florida in Week 2 as well. But on Saturday, West Virginia quarterback Clint Trickett completed 37 of 49 pass attempts for 511 yards with four touchdowns and just one interception.

Maryland's defense forced three turnovers, and the defense allowed just 10 points during the second half. However, 12 of the Mountaineers' 16 drives stretched into Terrapins territory, and West Virginia finished with 694 yards of total offense along with 33 first downs.

To be fair, Trickett and the Mountaineers' Air Raid offense put up a lot of yards against Alabama, too. But "you can't give up eight passes for 303 yards and give up three touchdown passes of 36, 43 and 44," Edsall said.

"They didn't really do anything different offensively," Edsall said. "We just didn't execute as well as we needed to. On some deep balls, we didn't go up and attack the ball the way we should, and they got more of those kind of 50-50 balls. The quarterback put the ball up. Their guys made the play. We didn't. We've got to make more plays in those situations in order to be successful."

On a positive note, Terps quarterback C.J. Brown and Maryland's passing game made some big plays as well.

Brown was inconsistent as a passer for the third straight game. But he completed a 77-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Stefon Diggs and had three other passes that went for gains of 15 yards or longer, including two along the sideline that he fit in to wide receivers Deon Long and Marcus Leak for gains of 19 and 15, respectively.

"I thought there were some throws that he really made well yesterday," Edsall said. "Those two that he made in the seams, those were great throws."

Brown also ran for 161 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries.

Was he perfect? No. He had wide receiver Malcolm Culmer wide open down the sideline for what likely would have gone for a 52-yard touchdown during the first quarter, but Brown's throw landed about 5 yards out of bounds. There were other off-targets throw as well, and he probably should have had more than just the one interception.

However, Brown likely played his best game of the season.

Other Terps did some good things, too.

Diggs had a season-high 127 yards and the touchdown on five catches. Cornerback Will Likely caused two turnovers and had a game-tying, 69-yard punt return for a touchdown. Nose tackle Darius Kilgo blocked a kick and had one of Maryland's 10 tackles for a loss. The Terps also got big plays from players such as defensive end Andre Monroe (nine tackles and a sack) and sophomore outside linebacker Yannick Ngakoue (three tackles for a loss).

There was plenty that went wrong Saturday. However, there was a lot that Edsall said he liked as well.

"There were good things there," Edsall said. "But we can't have some of the things that we had."

mzenitz@tribune.com

twitter.com/mzenitz

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