2011 Predictions & Game Story
Week 5 - Towson at Maryland
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Oct. 1 at Maryland 28 ... Towson 3
CFN Analysis: This wasn't the game the Terps needed coming off the Temple disaster. The offense sputtered and coughed throughout the first half and the defense bailed the team out with four takeaways in the second half. Towson has a great FCS defense, but there's no excuse for Danny O'Brien to only complete 14-of-21 passes for 123 yards and two touchdowns in a game like this. Davin Meggett ran well and O'Brien put the game away, but it was a shaky 25-point win. The punting game was a major plus with Nick Ferrera pinning Towson deep with four kicks put inside the 20. If the Terp offense is going to continue to have problems, field position will be at a premium.
(AP) COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Danny O'Brien threw two second half touchdowns and Maryland's defense forced four second half turnovers, helping the Terrapins pull away to a 28-3 win over in-state foes Towson on Saturday.
Maryland (2-2) snapped a two-game losing streak with the win, but failed to convert on any of its third or fourth downs in the first half, and led 7-3 at halftime.
O'Brien completed 14 of 21 passes for 123 yards. Davin Meggett added 102 rushing yards; as Maryland finished with 335 yards total offense -- 198 rushing.
Towson came in leading all Football Championship Series teams in scoring defense, allowing an average of 10 points per game, and they held the Maryland offense in check until the Tigers began committing turnovers.
The Tigers (3-1) had the ball for 21:30 of the game's first 30 minutes, keeping Maryland's offense off the field, but committed four turnovers in the second half.
Maryland took just 85 seconds to score against the Tigers when D.J. Adams ended a 65-yard drive with a 15-yard touchdown run. The score came one play after a roughing the passer penalty on an incomplete pass allowed the Terps a first down rather than facing a fourth down at the 30.
D.J. Soven's 23-yard field goal at the end of a nine-minute possession in the second quarter by the Tigers made it 7-3 after the Tigers were stopped on a goal line stand by the Terps.
The Tigers missed a 24-yard field goal try as the first half ended, rushing to get the kick off with no timeouts left and the clock ticking down.
Towson's defense blocked a Maryland field goal on the team's second possession and also held the Terps on a fourth-and-1 try on their very next trip down the field. Maryland had the ball for just six offensive plays in the second quarter as Towson held the ball for almost seven minutes before the missed field goal.
Maryland extended its lead to 14-3 on its first possession of the second half, which followed an interception by Kenny Tate at the Towson 45. Maryland scored eight plays later with Justus Pickett going in from the 5.
Following a Towson punt, Maryland drove 78 yards and scored on a 7-yard pass from O'Brien to Kenny Dorsey for a 21-3 advantage with 7:09 to play.
Another Towson fumble gave Maryland the ball at the Tigers 26, leading to a 5-yard pass from O'Brien to Tyler Cierski.
Peter Athens started at quarterback for Towson in place of Grant Enders, who was injured last week.
Athens, who missed all of 2010 with an injury, had career-high totals of 29 passes, 17 completions and 217 yards.
Tom Ryan caught seven passes for 103 yards for the Tigers, who finished with 378 yards offense.
The game was the first ever between the two teams and was a reunion of sorts for Maryland coach Randy Edsall and Towson coach Rob Ambrose, who coached together for seven years at the University of Connecticut.
Towson (3-0) at Maryland (1-2) Oct. 1, 3:30
Here's The Deal … It was just three weeks ago that Maryland beat Miami on Labor Day in front of an elated Byrd Stadium. In College Park, it feels like three years ago. Since that feel-good 32-24 victory, the Terps have dropped consecutive games to West Virginia and Temple, the latter completely resetting expectations for the program in head coach Randy Edsall's first season. The Terrapins were dominated from wire-to-wire by the Owls, 38-7, leaving the home crowd in a state of disbelief. They better regroup on the fly because the continuation of the ACC portion of the schedule is only a week away. Though separated by just about hour-long strip of highway, Maryland and Towson will be meeting for the first time.
The Tigers have been one of the FCS' big surprises so far, starting 3-0 after winning just a single game in 2010. If fact, they've yet to even be challenged, shocking Villanova two weeks ago to snap a 14-game losing streak in Colonial Athletic Association games.
Why Towson Might Win: In terms of psyche and intangibles, the Tigers have a clear edge. While they'll be eager to knock off a much larger in-state program, Maryland might still be dwelling on last Saturday's debacle. Or next Saturday's trip to Georgia Tech. Towson has done little wrong through the first three games, using a committee of backs to churn out 246 yards a game on the ground. The defense leads the country in scoring, yielding only 10 points a game. Led by S Jordan Dangerfield, the Towson secondary is allowing just nine yards a completion to earn some new-found respect from opponents.
Why Maryland Might Win: Beating Villanova was impressive, but upsetting an ACC team in its building will be an entirely different challenge for Towson. After getting stuffed by Temple, the Terrapins offense ought to get back on track against the Tigers. Struggling QB Danny O'Brien will play with a sense of urgency following back-to-back poor performances, hooking up with WR Kevin Dorsey as much as possible. It'll also be a good week to turn loose RB Davin Meggett, who had nowhere to run on Saturday. The Tigers won't have nearly enough balance from QB Grant Enders and the passing game to keep the chains moving on a motivated Maryland defense.
What To Watch Out For: In the event that anyone is wondering, O'Brien's backup for the time being is sophomore C.J. Brown. Now, Edsall has been steadfast in his support of his starter, but what's a coach to do if that guy continues to have problems executing? Brown played well in mop-up duty last week, completing all four of his passes for 42 yards and a touchdown. He should see more action this weekend. Depending on the score at the time will say a lot about O'Brien's ability to maintain a tight grip on the top spot.
What Will Happen: If Maryland was 3-0, this game would be a little more dangerous than it is right now. Since the Terps have dropped consecutive games, Edsall will make sure his kids are properly motivated and focused on a visit from an FCS team. Towson is beginning to author a very interesting story just outside of Baltimore. On this day, however, the Tigers will get outclassed by O'Brien, Meggett and the rest of a program trying to locate the energy it enjoyed a month ago.
CFN Prediction: Maryland 38 … Towson 14
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