A few weeks ago I posted something on here about Maryland’s football team having a massive turnaround from the 2009 season and were in contention for a trip to the ACC Championship game this year. I also said that the Terps have had some collapses late in the season. Notbaly, 2006 vs. Wake Forest and 2008 vs. Florida State. Last Saturday night, all Maryland had to do was beat Florida State and they would be one game away from an ACC Championship berth, again. Well, that didn’t exactly happen.
For the first time all season, Maryland made it on network television — ABC, and it was primetime game. The first one in two years. It was also Maryland’s “Blackout” game, which I love and hate at the same time. Here’s what I love about it: the all-black uniforms are always cool to wear during a night game, it makes the game feel bigger, the crowd is more into it and the players get especially jacked up for the game. Here’s what I hate about it: Maryland always loses when it has a “Blackout” game — 1-5 overall in “Blackout” games since 2005. My shining hope for the game vs. Florida State last Saturday was that Maryland’s lone “Blackout” game win came against the Seminoles in 2006.
Even though I watched the game, I made it a point to DVR it too. Since the Terps lost in such a demoralizing way, this game is going in the “permanently delete and never watch again” pile along with the Maryland-Michigan State game from the 2010 NCAA Tournament, any accidentally recorded episode of “Becker” and the movie “Meet Dave,” which inevitably assassinated Eddie Murphy’s legacy. So, instead of writing a recap of the game, I’m going to keep a running journal of the fourth quarter and post my thoughts that way. If I don’t make it through, it’s because I impaled a pen through my temple because I couldn’t take watching the ending again.
Here’s what you need to know: Florida State 20, Maryland 16; Seminoles ball; 2nd-and-9 from the Florida State 17; our commentators are Mike Patrick and Craig James. The game is being brought to us by Southwest Airlines. This is what happened…
14:51 — Nine seconds in and already our first graphic. Mike Patrick goes through Florida State, NC State and Maryland’s paths to the ACC Championship. This was a lot more fun to discuss a week ago.
14:21 – 3rd-and-1 from the ‘Noles 25, Chris Thompson runs straight ahead for seven yards. Craig James points out FSU in now 3-for-3 on 3rd down conversions in the second half. I wonder if he figured that out all by himself or if his producer was feeding him stats. Nothing against James, but he doesn’t come off as one of the most intelligent analysts ESPN has.
12:59 – Christian Ponder drops back and completes a pass to Rodney Smith for 19 yards. Smith then gets drilled by Antwine Perez. Say what you want about the ACC, but this was a pretty physical game. ‘Noles still driving down the field with ease racking up first down after first down. Good thing there aren’t any pens around.
9:40 – Maryland sacks Ponder, then bottles up a short pass play to force fourth down. Florida State kicker Dustin Hopkins runs onto the field, sets up from 51 yards out and … WIDE RIGHT! WIDE RIGHT! At this point in the game, Hopkins is 2-for-4 on field goal attempts. Did anyone tell him he’s playing Division 1 college football? At Florida State? The guy literally has one job to do and only does it half the time.
8:18 – Maryland quarterback Danny O’Brien gets flushed out of the pocket, rolls left and throws a pass to Adrian Cannon that’s intercepted by Greg Reid. Mike Patrick, Craig James and myself are totally convinced that the ball hit the ground. ABC provides indisputable video evidence of it and the call will be overturned, right? Right?! Wrong.
Time out: How in the world was that not overturned? The ball clearly hit the ground. It bounced off the grass into Reid’s hands. I’m still in shock about this. Mike Patrick says it’s hard to believe, Craig James asks how the replay officials miss that call. I don’t know what else to say. At this time, Florida State fans please thank your ACC replay officials: Jim Joyce, Stevie Wonder and Richard Harrow from “Boardwalk Empire” (a WWI sniper with only one eye).
6:11 – After Maryland safety Kenny Tate makes a phenomenal play to force fourth down, Shane Powell pooches the Florida State punt and it hits Maryland player Cam Chism in the back. Since that is a glorified fumble, the ‘Noles were able to recover the ball on Maryland’s 17 yard line. Another bad break for the Terps. Everything was against them in this game it seems. I forgot how painful this fourth quarter was. I need to listen to “Jumper” by Third Eye Blind after re-watching this.
4:42 – 3rd-and-4, Ponder throws up a fade to Rodney Smith and it’s caught, but out of bounds. Thank God. Out comes Florida State head case—I mean kicker, Hopkins who boots it through the upright. ‘Noles up 7, 4:37 left to play.
3:33 – O’Brien takes a one-step drop and throws a flanker screen to Cannon. That was the 51st wide receiver screen Maryland threw in the game. I don’t understand it. Against Virginia the week before, O’Brien was throwing down field all game. The Terps didn’t take a shot down field this whole game. I think James Franklin forgot his play sheet at home and was trying to call the plays from memory but could only remember four different ones.
1:34 – O’Brien completes a pass to tight end Will Yeatman for a couple yards. Brings up 4th-and-1 from the 23 and O’Brien runs a QB draw to pick up the first down. There is hope. Terps still down 23-16.
0:54 – 4th-and-7. O’Brien drops back and throws a pass over the middle that’s picked off by Nick Moody. Game over.
Reason No. 73 I hate Florida State: Nick Moody. He took the interception back for a meaningless touchdown after his teammates and coaches were telling him to get down. Maybe I’m just bitter, but I don’t care. I hope this guy never gets drafted and if he does, I hope his career ends worse than Lindsay Lohan’s.
Terps lost 30-16 to the ‘Noles, knocking them out of an ACC Championship game for good. It’s the third time in five seasons Maryland has squandered away an opportunity to play for the ACC Championship. It can still win nine games with a win against NC State and a bowl victory.
That sucked to watch. I’m questioning why I even tortured myself like that. Remind me to never re-watch such a painful game again. Deleted from my DVR. Forever.