It’s a catch-up day around the house at D1scourse’s Glen Burnie headquarters, and part of that includes getting up to date on some charts I maintain as an aid to covering the Maryland football team.
There’s all sorts of nuggets in the file, including the mundane “most yards allowed under Ralph Friedgen” and “most turnovers forced under Friedgen.”
Well, one of the first charts is “fewest rushing yards allowed,” and it includes every opponent’s performance of less than 100 yards.
It’s about what you’d expect, too. Maryland was 26-3 in those situations under Friedgen coming into this season, backing up the maxim that stopping the run (as well as establishing a ground game on offense) is a path to victory.
Of course, the Terps are 1-3 in those situations this season.
Yep, Maryland has just as many losses while surrendering less than 100 yards on the ground in the last six games as it had in the eight years previous to it.
For those wondering, the fewest yards rushing allowed in a loss in the Friedgen era:
||at No. Illinois
||at N.C. State
Obviously, those passing totals had something to do with the outcomes of a couple games this season, and (in the case of Duke) came against a team with only token interest in running for much of the day.
Still, the Terps didn’t get trampled up front in three of their six losses. If there’s any reason to believe Maryland will look better in November than the last two months, the fact its run defense is better than its middle-of-the-road, No. 62 national rank is probably it.
—- Patrick Stevens