The folks over at Testudo Times wondered this week about Maryland combining a popular element in college offenses (the Wildcat formation) with an explosive player who happened to also be a high school quarterback (Torrey Smith).
It was actually a really, really good question. And that meant is made a whole lot of sense to bring it up with offensive coordinator James Franklin this evening.
But for anyone looking for a true Wild Turtle, it doesn’t sound like it’s worth holding your breath for long.
“Yeah, we used a guy in that offense last year; it didn’t go very well,” Franklin said. “Could you do those things with Torrey? Yeah. What you have to be careful of as a coach is you try to do so many different things that you do nothing well. Right now, I’d like us to get good at some things and then you can expand. To be honest with you, if you watch the tape and study, we’re doing a lot of different things. We’re picking our spots and trying to find ways to be creative and have a chance to be successful.”
A good part of this makes sense. There’s no reason making things more complicated than necessary right now for an offense that isn’t quite sure what it will receive from its line on a weekly basis. It’s no secret Maryland has what can be described as personnel limitations.
At the same time, holding up the failed Josh Portis experiment as a reason to never try the Smith-out-of-the-gun idea isn’t entirely sensible —- unless the problems with the Portis Package went far deeper than the man taking the snaps.
In any case, Franklin is very much in favor of the general idea of involving Smith —- who leads the country in all-purpose yardage, scored two touchdowns Saturday and has caught 14 of the 17 balls thrown his way this season —- as much as possible.
“Obviously getting the ball in Torrey’s hands is what you’re alluding to —- get the ball to Torrey,” Franklin said. “I agree. I think that’s a valid point.”
—- Patrick Stevens