I won’t pretend to have been at Byrd Stadium this afternoon for the first of Maryland’s three spring scrimmages, so don’t look for extended details.
What can be found here is some context with some things that unfolded a half-hour down the road from M&T Bank Stadium.
1. There were eight sacks and four interceptions over 120 plays.
That’s bad. Granted, it’s safe to assume there were some touch sacks that wouldn’t have been real takedowns in games. But in 43 passing plays (35 attempts, eight sacks), something bad happened more than a quarter of the time.
What’s the cause? Maybe minimal fullback depth. There’s obviously offensive line issues, too. And Chris Turner (three picks) probably didn’t have his best day.
2. Travis Ivey suffered a concussion.
This obviously isn’t the sort of thing likely to linger into the fall. But with a new scheme, a lack of experience and nose tackle Dion Armstrong stuck in academic quicksand, the Terps could use a full complement of the rest of their defensive linemen —- including the guy who should be the best of the bunch.
Ralph Friedgen expressed hope that Ivey wouldn’t be out long. No wonder. At this point, Ivey is one of Maryland’s most valuable defensive players.
3. Welcome to quarterback, Anthony Green.
This spring’s third-string is walk-on Anthony Green, who was listed as a defensive back at the beginning of the spring. Green merely ran for 77 yards and was 4-for-5 for 50 yards passing in his first scrimmage. Not bad work.
The Terps have two true freshmen quarterbacks arriving in the fall. But maybe it wouldn’t hurt to keep someone as elusive as Green at QB, just to provide a different practice look next season.
4. Don’t expect many 40-yard field goals in the spring game.
The kicking job is sort of in a holding pattern until freshman Nick Ferrara arrives in the fall. Not that he’ll be handed the job, but he’s certainly a variable in the puzzle.
Walk-ons Nick Wallace and Mike Barbour both went 2-for-4 today, combining to go 1-for-4 on kicks of 40 yards or more. It’s not difficult to envision Maryland going for a lot of fourth-and-fives from the 28-yard line in the spring game —- not to mention possibly next fall.
5. Veteran defensive backs could thrive next season.
Nolan Carroll returned an interception 95 yards for a score. Jamari McCollough had nine tackles and a blocked field goal. Those two could make up half of Maryland’s starting secondary —- a pair of organizational players who showed signs last year of emerging as valuable commodities.
If Carroll can stay healthy (a legitimate “if” after last season) and McCollough can settle in at safety, they could be two crucial pieces of a young defense. Carroll has the size to thrive in new coordinator Don Brown‘s scheme, and McCollough is a shrewd player who uses his wits to gain an advantage. It’s only one scrimmage, but those are two players whose early success could be a good sign for down the road.
—- Patrick Stevens