Byting Saturday: Clemson 28 Maryland 24

Please note: most of this entry was written as the game was played and therefore will be read in the current tense.

Clemson 28 Maryland 24
A nice, solid Atlantic Coast Conference football game televised on ESPN. Outside of Clemson’s first drive, the first 20 minuts of the game weren’t very well played by either team; but, the excitement picked up in the second half.

At 2-0, Clemson is putting together a nice little season. If at any point in since Norm Chow left NC State five years ago, Chuck Amato could have figured out a way to win close games the way that Clemson is doing…the Wolfpack program would be a national power by now.

==> “The Fridge”
Good GOD! Could Ralph Friedgen get any fatter? His belly is HUGE!! And it seems to just be growing out down around his waste. It is like the rest of his body can’t hold any more fat, so his belly just keeps extending and extending.

==> Go Tigers!
Here is what I’m thinking — Clemson has a big win over the Big 12. That’s wonderful for them and great for the ACC.

Maryland isn’t supposed to be that good, and I don’t think that they are. So, at the end of the year a win over the Terps should be “expected” for the Pack regardless of the results of today’s game.

State plays both teams. Therefore, it would be much better for the Pack to win (or lose) against one nationally-ranked team that garners a lot of attention rather than two middle of the road teams – which is what Clemson would become with a loss to Maryland. So, let’s just keep Maryland where they are expected to be at the bottom, and let Clemson do just fine so that our game with them will be both big and impactful.

Plus, I like Clemson a lot more than Maryland.

==> “Atmosphere”?
What kind of crack cocaine are the ESPN announcers on? and are trying to force feed us?

I actually started typing these comments because I was shocked at how empty Byrd Stadium is today for such a big ACC game – not to mention home and conference opener. It doesn’t surprise me very much because I just don’t think that Maryland is built to be a football power. (Sorry, Tim Brant. Please don’t penalize the Wolpack the next time you announce one of our games)

So, right as I started typing this, some piece of eye candy named Heather Mitts (who barely strung sentence together that sounded coherent) was reporting from the sideline about how Ralph Friedgen’s favorite part of coaching is the gameday experience in Byrd Stadium. This was hilariously followed-up by the booth announcers re-emphasizing the point as the wide-angle camera was trying to get positioned to only show the bottom deck of one side of the stadium since so many empty seats existed on the opposite side upstairs and on the side that camera was placed (as was seen earlier).

As the game has progressed, Byrd Stadium has obviously filled-up and the noise level has increased. Good for them. One still has to wonder about the production decision to run that “insightful” blurb from Heather Mitts 3 minutes into the game while the Stadium was still 35% empty. I guess if that is all that she could some up with, they had no choice. Hey…but she’s prettyand that is all that matters for sideline reporters these days.

==> Heather Mitts Follow-up
Don’t get me wrong…I am not arguing that Heather Mitts is hot…but she absolutely blew chunks in er sideline interviews with both coaches at halftime.

Her questions were so bad and simplistic that BOTH coaches had no choice but to answer her so simplisticly that it couldn’t help but come across as highly sarcastic. Ouch!

==> Quick Comparison
In comparison to NC State’s growing gameday atmosphere at consistently sold-out Carter-Finley Stadium (where the Wolfpack led the country last year in attendance by percentage of capacity), I think that Maryland’s fan support and atmosphere is a great indication of how wonderful the Wolfpack fanbase. I certainly hope and expect this to continue to translate into recruiting problems for the Terps.

==> Maryland’s Line Play
Maryland’s line play was very bad at times in this game.

Defensively, Clemson’s offense manhandled the Terps’ defensive line on the first drive of th game. Additionally, the Terps defense had no gas left in their tank n the 4th quarter. The Tigers moved the ball on the ground and ultimately scored at ground.

Offensively, Maryland struggled mightily in short yardage situations and took multiple plays to get only minimal amounts of yards on short yardage. The Terps offense is one that disproportionately relies on balance and the element of the surprise to keep their opponent at bay. When down and distance call for obvious plays (short yardage, losing the game late, etc) the Terps prove to be much less effective on offense.