The Washington Times - October 1, 2008, 05:44PM

One of the interesting things about these out-of-town Q-&-As is that it’s interesting to see how someone in the same line of work views the team you cover from afar. And vice versa, for that matter.

This week’s exchange with Jeff White of the Richmond Times-Dispatch got me thinking about how much of a liability Maryland’s pass defense really is. And loyal reader petenice36 mentioned after an earlier post the need for teams to play catch-up affecting the Terps’ lousy pass defense ranking (102nd).

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In some cases, that isn’t true. Eastern Michigan rolled up much of its passing yardage in the first half. But Delaware and (especially) California did most of their damage in the fourth quarter.

In fact, if you extract the 239 yields yielded in the fourth quarter against California, the Terps jump up to 69th nationally with 205.6 passing yards surrendered a game.

Now, that number isn’t going conjure images of the greatest defenses (and defensive backfields) of all-time. But the median number nationally is 201 yards, and 24 teams in the nation are within 10 yards of 205.6 for the season.

Obviously, you can’t take that 239-yard quarter away, and it remains a blemish. But it wasn’t a costly one, and the Terps have otherwise been mediocre in that facet rather than as bad as their ranking would indicate.

Patrick Stevens