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Monday Night Madness Podcast No. 10

Scott Kornberg and Luke Jackson begin the show by interviewing Maryland Terrapins offensive tackle recruit Mike Madaras from Good Council High School. The duo then discuss Danny O’Brien, Terps basketball and Major League Baseball before speaking with Baseball America’s Aaron Fitt to talk about the revelation of Maryland baseball.

You can download our interview with four-star Maryland football recruit Mike Madaras or listen to it here:

You can download our interview with Baseball America’s Aaron Fitt or listen to it here:

You can also download the Monday Night Madness podcast on iTunes or download the show by clicking here!


Monday Night Madness Podcast No. 9

It’s the very first Monday Night Madness of the year! Scott Kornberg and Luke Jackson preview the Super Bowl and talk Maryland basketball. The duo also interviews brand-new ESPN.com and ESPN the Magazine columnist Kevin Van Valkenburg.

You can download our interview with Kevin or listen to it by clicking below:

You can also download the Monday Night Madness podcast on iTunes or download the show by clicking here!


Cirovski Reaches 300 Wins, No. 2 Terps Host No.8 Boston College Tonight

The No. 2 Maryland Terrapins men’s soccer team was not at their best Sunday night. Facing an upset-minded Radford Highlanders team, a victory did not come easy, but the Terps earned one nonetheless.

“I thought that this could be a trap game after the three teams we played so far, but our guys came and responded quite well in the first half,” said head coach Sasho Cirovski.

Coming into Sunday night, Maryland had won convincingly over three brand-name schools – St. John’s, No. 17 West Virginia and Stanford. The Terps outscored their opponents 10-1. However, after goals from forwards Patrick Mullins (3- 20th minute) and Casey Townsend (4- 31st), Maryland was not able to simply use firepower to blowout another opponent. With freshman Kyle Roach starting for injured senior Alex Lee on the backline, the Terrapins (4-0-0) had to fend Radford off after Anthony Payne cut the lead in half in the 61st minute for the Highlanders (1-2-0).

“We haven’t had to manage a game at the end,” Cirovski said. “Today, I thought, we did that pretty well.”

The Terps’ ability to take control of the game late in the second half halted any thoughts of a Radford comeback and gave Cirovski his 300th career win, which places him 10th all-time among active Division I men’s soccer head coaches.

“I didn’t even know it until about three or four days ago when it was on the website,” Cirovski said when asked about the pressure of getting his 300th victory. “I would like to thank all of my former players and assistants who helped contribute and build this program. This is a collaborative team effort with all the great players, and the blood, sweat and tears and the coaches, what they’ve put in, it’s more of achievement for the program than it is for an individual coach.”

With Cirovski’s milestone out of the way, the Terps turn their attention towards ACC play. They host the eighth-ranked Boston College Eagles (4-0-0) tonight at rain-soaked Ludwig Field. The match will be Maryland’s first in conference play as they seek to defend their ACC Championship from last season.

“I really like this group,” said Cirovski. “They’re a fun group to coach. They’re very mature, very committed for such a young group and I think I’ve seen a lot of good things.”

Some notes for tonight’s game:

  • Boston College is tied with Maryland and Virginia for the ACC lead in scoring. Each team is averaging three goals per game.
  • Amit Aburmad, Kyle Bekker and Charlie Rugg have accounted for 10 of the Eagles’ 12 goals this year.
  • The two teams tied 1-1 last season in a game played in Chestnut Hill. Maryland is 5-2-1 all-time against Boston College.
  • Casey Townsend, John Stertzer and Patrick Mullins have combined for 10 of the Terps’ 12 goals this season.
  • Maryland has outscored its opponents 12-2 on the year.
You can listen to the action on WMUC Sports at 7:20. Pauly Kwestel and Luke Jackson will be on the call.

A Darkhorse Heisman Candidate

Plenty of other quarterbacks received more fanfare after the first weekend of the college football season. The obvious names already in the Heisman Trophy discussion are Stanford’s Andrew Luck, Oklahoma’s Landry Jones and Ryan Broyles, Oklahoma State’s Justin Blackmon, South Carolina’s Marcus Lattimore, Alabama’s Trent Richardson and Boise State’s Kellen Moore. However, judging from his performance against Miami in the rain Monday on national television, Maryland’s Danny O’Brien could emerge as a darkhorse in the Heisman running if he plays the rest of the season like he did against the Hurricanes.

There were concerns coming into the season if new Terps head coach Randy Edsall would utilize O’Brien’s special skill set after featuring a ground-and-pound attack during his 12 years as Connecticut’s head honcho. Here is a look at how often the Huskies liked to run the football under Edsall:

2010 UConn: 357 passes, 501 rushes (41.6 percent passing)

2009 UConn: 375 passes, 528 rushes (41.5 percent passing)

2008 UConn: 329 passes, 556 rushes (37.1 percent passing)

2007 UConn: 361 passes, 534 rushes (40.3 percent passing)

2006 UConn: 313 passes, 486 rushes (39.1 percent passing)

2005 UConn: 307 passes, 486 rushes (38.7 percent passing)

2004 UConn: 464 passes, 421 rushes (52.4 percent passing)

In Edsall’s last six years at UConn, the Huskies never threw the ball more than 41.6 percent of the time on offense. In three different seasons, Connecticut kept the ball on the ground more than 6o percent of the time. As evidenced by the chart above, the last time UConn put the ball in the air more than they ran it was seven seasons ago when future-NFL quarterback Dan Orlovsky was under center for the Huskies. Granted, from 2005 through 2010, Edsall had a very gifted stable of running backs that included Donald Brown and Jordan Todman to help ease the pressure on an overmatched group of quarterbacks. In 2005, 2006 and 2008, the Huskies did not have a passer throw for more than 900 yards the whole season. Tyler Lorenzon’s 2,367 yard performance in 2007 is the only time UConn has had a passer throw for more than 1,500 yards in a year since Orlovsky graduated after the 2004 season. Even with his team’s ineptness at quarterback in his last six years at Connecticut, there were reasons to doubt whether Edsall would be able to transform to a more passing-oriented offense in his first season in College Park after featuring a run-first offense for so long.

The first Maryland drive of the 2011 season put to rest the doubts that Edsall and new offensive coordinator Gary Crowton would be reluctant to allow O’Brien to air it out consistently in the brand-new Terps attack. O’Brien, who threw for 2,438 yards, 22 touchdowns and eight interceptions last season while completing 57 percent of his passes en route to becoming the first Maryland player ever to take home ACC Freshman of the Year honors, lined up in the shotgun almost exclusively as the Terps spread the field and ran a fast-paced offense that did not allow the Miami defense time to make substitutions.

The accelerated offense kept the Hurricanes defense on their heels as O’Brien shredded a weakened Miami secondary, finishing 31-for-44 (70.5 completion percentage) for 348 yards, one touchdown and one interception. The redshirt sophomore quarterback showed maturity, poise and coolness beyond his years with under four minutes to play and the Terps trailing 24-23. At Maryland’s own 26 yard line, O’Brien launched a 52-yard bomb to Kevin Dorsey to help set up Nick Ferrara’s game-winning field goal. Staying calm and collected under center, O’Brien piloted a fourth-quarter comeback drive to give the Terrapins their first win of the season.

The one area O’Brien left for improvement was his redzone management. He led the Terps inside Miami’s 20-yard line on seven of Maryland’s eight drives, but the Terrapins could only muster one touchdown out of those possessions. O’Brien also tossed an interception in the endzone on a play where he could have instead just walked across the goal line to score another touchdown. But while Maryland came away with a touchdown on only one drive that finished inside the Hurricanes’ 20, O’Brien failed to lead the Terps into the redzone only once all night. The Maryland redzone offense should improve in the coming weeks with the return of running back D.J. Adams, who scored 11 touchdowns last year but missed the Miami game due to a violation of team rules. More practice time with his brand-new receiving corp should also allow O’Brien to become more comfortable throwing to his set of weapons in the heavy traffic that comes with passing deep in an opponents’ territory.

Sure, five Miami Hurricane defensive starters were suspended for the season-opener Monday night. But Danny O’Brien’s performance, poise under pressure, ability to lead his team consistently down the field, the willingness of the new Maryland coaching staff to open up the passing attack and what should be an improved redzone attack in the coming weeks have to make O’Brien a darkhorse candidate for the Heisman Trophy. His success has largely gone under the national radar in his Maryland career so far. However, as long as he continues to mature and develop as a quarterback, it won’t be long before the rest of the country takes notice and O’Brien plays himself into the running for college football’s top honor.


On The Subject of Maryland’s Uniforms

There has been a lot of debate regarding Maryland’s new state pride uniforms. There is obviously a lot going on with them, but like them or not, the uniforms have to already be considered a success. They are the buzz around the whole nation. Twitter blew up regarding the uniforms, as #Maryland was trending both during and after the Terps-Miami contest not because of the game, but because of Maryland’s new look. Sportscenter dedicated a whole segment of the show to discuss them. For a brand-new coaching staff looking to rebrand the program around the state of Maryland, the attention that has now been thrust upon the Terps over their uniforms after a nationally-televised win is tremendous. And for a fanbase that had a lukewarm response to the hiring of head coach Randy Edsall over Mike Leach, the uniforms, as well as an exciting opening-night victory over a brand-name opponent, go a long way in building consistent fan support in this undoubtedly new era of Maryland football.

The new uniforms are based on the state flag of Maryland. Both the Baltimore Orioles and Baltimore Ravens use elements of the flag in small ways, but the Terps made a statement with their brand-new digs tonight. The University of Maryland is the flagship university of the state of Maryland. However, for years, “Maryland” has been associated with the Terrapins’ basketball team while “Terps” has been used to describe the football team. The new uniforms, as well as Maryland’s new marketing campaign, create an immediate association between University of Maryland football and the state of Maryland.

In a state that obsesses over its flag, the direct use of the flag in the design of the jerseys is perfect. The new uniforms are a source of state pride. Maryland is now the only school that has uniforms that are a direct representation of the state they play in. With the buzz the uniforms have already provided to give Maryland football this kind of attention and the connection the jerseys and helmets bring to its home state, the new Maryland football uniforms are an immediate success to a program that needs as much attention as possible on a national stage as it looks to take the next step towards becoming a national powerhouse. The buzz they have created, as well as the direct connection to the state pride Marylanders feel for in their flag, give Maryland the best uniforms in all of sports.

Here are more pictures of Maryland new state pride uniforms:

 


No. 4 Terps Soccer Highlight Package vs. West Virginia, Battle Stanford

Maryland got off to a sloppy start Monday in their Ludwig Field opener against No. 17 West Virginia, trailing 1-0 in just the seventh minute. Like their explosive second-half Friday against St. John’s though, the Terps offense came alive in the second half against West Virginia despite trailing 1-0 at halftime. John Stertzer got the rally started with a penalty kick goal in the 54th minute and headed in another for Maryland to take the lead just seven minutes later. Eight minutes after that, a crisp passing attack that brought the ball across the field from Alex Shinsky to Casey Townsend to Widner Saint-Cyr and then finally to Jereme Raley put the icing on the cake. The Terps won the match 3-1 to improve to 2-0-0 on the season.

Listen to the highlight package of the game here:

The Terps take on Stanford tonight in the first two weekend matches, as Maryland also plays Radford Sunday night.

Some notes for tonight’s game:

  • Maryland head coach Sasho Cirovski is 298-123-29 at the helm in College Park. He needs just two wins to reach 300 victories as the Terps’ head coach.
  • All six of Maryland’s goals have come in the second-half. Maryland has outscored its opponents 6-1. John Stertzer leads the Terps in scoring with three goals.

You can listen to the action on WMUC Sports at 7:20. Josh Fendrick and Eric Morrow will be on the call.


No. 4 Terps Soccer Takes On No. 17 West Virginia

umterps.com

After a shaky first-half Friday against St. John’s in which they were outshot 7-3, the Maryland offense took off. Patrick Mullins (1) scored the season’s first goal in the 51st minute before John Stertzer (1) followed up just four minutes later to give the Terps a 2-0 lead. In the 76th minute, senior forward Casey Townsend (1) scored his first goal of the year by heading in a corner kick from freshman midfielder Alex Shinsky and Maryland all but ended things, winning 3-0 over the Red Storm. In his first game in goal since 2009, Will Swaim recorded his sixth career shutout.

The Terps will play their first regular season game at Ludwig Field this year as No. 4 Maryland takes on No. 17 West Virginia at 7 p.m tonight. The Mountaineers are coming off a 1-0 victory over No. 11 Virginia and boast a very strong defense. West Virginia did not allow a shot on goal in their win Friday and the Cavaliers only tallied three total shots. Junior goalkeeper Pat Eavenson played in all 90 minutes in goal for his first career shutout. Their backline will be put to the test against a very talented scoring group for the Terps, who ranked as college soccer’s best offense last year and return plenty of offensive firepower this season.

Some more notes for tonight’s game:

  • Maryland head coach Sasho Cirovski is 297-123-29 at the helm in College Park. He needs just three wins to reach 300 victories as the Terps’ head coach.
  • Maryland is 7-3-1 on its opening weekend since 2006. The Terps fell to No. 24 Michigan State 4-3 in overtime in their home opener last season before pounding Northeastern, 5-0, two days later.
  • Two players on the watch list for the MAC Hermann Trophy will match up with each other tonight. West Virginia senior defender Raymon Gaddis will clash with Maryland senior forward Casey Townsend as the Mountaineers look to slow down the Terps’ offensive attack.
You can listen to the action on WMUC Sports at 6:45. I will be on the call with Eric Morrow.