The Washington Times - September 24, 2008, 05:58PM

Just took a look through Maryland’s game books on a whim, wondering just how many times the Terrapins have rolled together a 10-play drive in four games.

Try four – one in each game.

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Now, 51 points are 51 points, and no one is going to offer them back in exchange for killing some clock. But at some juncture, that’s a trait the Terps will probably be glad to adopt – if they can.

First of all, I expanded the net and included all drives that were 10 plays or took up at least five minutes … and the total remained at four. And here they are.

OpponentPlaysYardsTOPResult
Delaware11715:46MISSED FG
Middle Tennessee11564:13MISSED FG
California14605:00TOUCHDOWN
Eastern Michigan10804:57TOUCHDOWN

Obviously, a quick touchdown drive is better than a long march that ends with a missed field goal.

But it doesn’t help when opponents roll up nearly three times as many such drives.

OpponentPlaysYardsTOPResult
Delaware10444:22MISSED FG
Delaware10803:30TOUCHDOWN
Middle Tennessee10805:56TOUCHDOWN
Middle Tennessee13555:26MISSED FG
Middle Tennessee17596:56FIELD GOAL
California11694:39FIELD GOAL
California13954:50TOUCHDOWN
Eastern Michigan11805:58TOUCHDOWN
Eastern Michigan11804:05TOUCHDOWN
Eastern Michigan11696:05FIELD GOAL
Eastern Michigan12803:43TOUCHDOWN

That’s a whole lot of long drives, and only two of them were fruitless for the Terps’ opponents.

It’s a potential problem. And while the defense has to take some responsibility, Maryland’s offense could help out by staying on the field a little longer.

Patrick Stevens