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Terps impress the nation in season opening win against Miami

I still haven’t decided what I’m more impressed with yet. Is it Randy Edsall coming out guns ablaze in his home opener as the head coach? Or sophomore ACC Player of the Week nominee Danny O’Brien tossing for 348 and a touchdown while carrying the Terps to the red-zone seven times? How about that defense, highlighted by Cameron Chism’s 54-yard pick-6 to seal the game with under a minute left? And, of course, the jerseys. How can you not mention the jerseys?


Maryland’s season opener couldn’t have gone any better for them. Byrd stadium witnessed an enormous, boisterous white-clad crowd of 52,875, the seventh largest in its history. Students are excited, alumni are excited, anybody who likes a flamboyant uniform is excited, and you can bet that every single player wearing the Maryland flag style helmet last night has their blood pumping from last night.


It’s not just that the Terps looked sharp for a middling ACC school; they looked good enough to compete with the Oregons and LSUs of the nation. O’Brien flashed a cannon-like arm, quick and confident passes, strong poise in the pocket, and even a few nice runs. His 385 total yards (345 passing, 37 running) ranks third in the nation in the opening weekend of college football. Senior running back Davin Meggett tallied 92 yards to add to Maryland’s impressive 499-yard offensive explosion, the most since Nov. 12, 2005 when it reached 524 against North Carolina.


The numbers alone will say it all for the gifted Terp offense. 28 first downs, 6.4 yards per play, zero fumbles despite 34 rushing attempts on a wet and rainy day, and nearly 500 yards of total offense. O’Brien, with the help of standout wide receiver Ken Dorsey’s 8 catches for 124 yards, led Maryland to seven drives of over 60-yards, but that was when the gaping hole in the Terp offense was found. The Red Zone.  Seven times they made it inside the 20-yard line but wound up settling for field goal attempts on all but two.  On another O’Brien made a rare mistake, trying to force the ball into a well-covered Dorsey rather than taking it in for what appeared to be an open gate into the end zone. Despite being awful inside the 20, Maryland still managed to put up 32 points, no doubt impressing and surprising Terpnation.


“You couldn't come to this game tonight and not be impressed,” said an ecstatic Edsall after the game. “With the different colors that the fans were wearing and the noise. It was loud and we made the decision to make the go into the student section in the fourth quarter and I thought that played a factor. I couldn't have been more proud of the effort of our fans and our administration for putting this together."


The best part is that Maryland isn’t looking to simply outscore people with its new-found air-assault. Nope. A surprisingly strong defense showed off its arsenal in full force against a very unsuspecting Miami squad. Junior linebacker Joe Vellano, who also received an ACC Player of the Week nomination, scooped up two fumbles, returning the second for the first touchdown of his career. And of course there was Chism’s heroic interception taken into the end zone to send the packed Byrd Stadium into a frenzy.

A proud and beaming Edsall was among those in the frenzy, saying after the game that “tonight was really a total team effort. The players did their jobs, the coaches did their job, and the fans were unbelievable. If we can create that kind of an atmosphere every Saturday we are going to be difficult to be



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