I like the uniforms Maryland wore last night. While I have some reservations about using the flag of my beloved state as such a blatant marketing tool (I always hated it and still hate it when some yahoo wears it as a cape), I think Under Armour did a pretty good job of making it, well, classy.
There was the Bottony Cross and the Calvert coat of arms in a very respectful, albeit loud, manner. It was God and Country and boldness and freedom and brashness, all brought to you by a faceless corporation intent on selling you as much as humanly practicable. In essence, those jerseys are America personified. They put an interesting face on a program that until previously had an extremely limited national profile. Because of those uniforms, everyone is talking about Maryland football today, which means they accomplished exactly what they set out to do.
Uniforms, aside, there were lots of things I didn’t like about the Terps performance last night. For one, it seems like Gary Crowton is determined to stretch the field horizontally, which doesn’t make a lot of sense to me, especially in the red zone, where too many drives ended without touchdowns due to either mistakes or bad play-calling. The announcers mentioned late in the game that Maryland had been inside the Miami 20 six times, and had come away with 23 points. That’s not good. And while I love Danny O’Brien, and he’s probably the best QB in the ACC right now, he’s still pretty raw, as evidenced by his questionable throw to Matt Furstenburg, which was picked off by Vaughn Telemaque (the only way Furstenburg gets separation from Telemaque in that situation is if he’s wearing a jet pack). The defense ran out of gas at the end of the game on Miami’s massive 12-play drive that took a ton of time off the clock, but they came up with enough big plays at just the right time, such as Joe Vellano’s fumble recovery, Andre Monroe’s huge clutch sack of Stephen Morris, and Cam Chism’s game-clinching interception.
Coach Edsall mentioned at the end of the game how “proud” he was of his players, and I couldn’t help but think of Coach Friedgen, who used to say the same thing all the time, and I understand it now. You want them to win so badly because they work so hard and yet they still make huge mistakes (Cam Chism’s facemask penalty that kept a Miami drive alive, Nick Ferrara’s kicking adventures). But Chism put the game away with a pick-six, and Ferrara put the Terps ahead to stay with a clutch FG in a monsoon. They messed up, but they found a way to work through it and they triumphed. Who couldn’t be proud of that? The resilience of the team showed through at the end of the game, and told a better story than any sort of flashy uniform ever could.