The Upstate Life
The Upstate Life

Thursday, October 04, 2007
"That another Rutgers... fourth down!"

How is it that I've gone five days without talking about Maryland's thrilling victory over previously ranked #10 Rutgers? It was downright incredible and the range of emotions felt, from the highs to the lows back to the highs made this game a memorable one. I have to admit, I thought it was Wake Forest all over again after the Terps gave up 14 points in less than two minutes left in the first half. This time, however, Maryland's starting quarterback (Jordan Steffy) was taken out of the game by a helmet to helmet hit (which was never called but later recognized as such, a few days later 'natch). Steffy left the field with a mild concussion and injured shoulder. The situation appeared very bleak for Terp fans going into halftime, especially after commanding a 17-3 lead and giving up two touchdowns AND losing their starting quarterback.

Who knew things would take a positive turn when the Terps ran back onto the field. Chris Turner, essentially the Terps' only backup QB (Portis was ruled ineligible and Robinson is a true freshman whose redshirt Maryland cannot afford to burn), took over and played marvelously. Amidst the hostile environment of the 40,000 or so red-clad Rutgers fans, Turner remained cool, calm, and collective in the pocket, engineering drives which resulted in 20 points in the second half. Not only did the offensive line step up, but Turner knew where and when to get rid of the ball from the oncoming Rutgers blitz packages. Needless to say, I was very surprised how well Turner played for a redshirt sophomore who not only played sparingly prior to last Saturday but who also remained so poised under pressure. It also helped that the Terps defensive efforts took an immediate 180 after the first half. The highlight of the night had to be this absolutely ridiculous catch by LaQuan Williams thrown by Turner which pretty much sealed the game for us. Amazingly, it didn't make SportsCenter's Top 10 despite the commentator claiming it as "one of the best receptions you'll see all year in college football."

No knock to Steffy, but to see a backup come in and throw pass after pass like that without any sort of error was very encouraging to say the least. Steffy is still questionable going into this Saturday's game against Georgia Tech but I'm pretty confident the Fridge will start Turner despite conflicting reports. No one wants to see a player take over a spot due to injury but you also don't want to rush Steffy back onto the field after taking a hit to the head like that. Regardless, if Turner is to start, it should be an interesting measuring stick of how well he can perform in four quarters compared to just two. One competitive advantage Turner has is that his dad was in Ratt. Yes...Ratt! I mean my dad met Debbie Harry once, but I digress.

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