The Washington Times - September 6, 2009, 02:46AM

BERKELEY, Calif. – It was a frustrating night here on the West Coast for Maryland, which simply got beat up by California’s offensive and defensive lines in a 52-13 loss to the nation’s No. 12 team.

And make no mistake – the Golden Bears are legitimate. I’m already looking forward to their showdown with Southern California on Oct. 3.

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But even if Maryland would have lost if it played well – which is probably true – it doesn’t hide the fact the Terps in fact did not produce a great performance.

Some ailing players (safety Jamari McCollough (sprained left ankle) and tackle Bruce Campbell (turf toe) stand out) might have made something of a difference.

But realistically, the Terps’ greatest question marks were exposed in the loss.

Maryland’s offensive line needs to get better. Its defensive line needs to create some pressure. And as we saw with some long touchdown passes, when the Terps’ defense fouls up, it fouls up bad.

For those wondering, by my count there were four true freshmen used tonight: Nick Ferrara, Bennett Fulper, Darin Drakeford and Zach Kerr. There were plenty more guys who have been around for a year or two who had as little experience coming in.

If Maryland was to have a stinker, it was probably better to do it against a team this good anyway … rather than, say, next week against James Madison when the CAA seeks to extend its lead in the ACC/CAA Challenge.

More to come at some point tomorrow, but needless to say the blog will be somewhat quiet during the cross-country flight back to Baltimore.

Patrick Stevens