Kirby Freeman’s first start was better than most could’ve hoped for. He proved that while he still has things to work on (interceptions, screen pass), he can remain on top of a highly emotional game with skill. Under his offensive leadership he was able to improve third down conversions, which has been a problem for the offense this season. Moreover, he has the ability to make quick decisions when pressed in the pocket and is able to run better than Kyle Wright.
Running Backs: B-
This was a relatively slow game for the running backs. Combined they covered 180 net yards with no significant gains or touchdown rushes
Receivers/Tight Ends: B-
This unit was kept to 140 yards but was able to secure the lone touchdown of the day by Ryan Moore. Greg Olsen followed behind Moore with a mere 41 yards.
Offensive Line: D
Although the tragic events of the week surely played into the O-Line’s inadequacies, they are consistently unable to make the blocks and open holes so that big plays can take place. It’s embarrassing.
Defensive Line: A-
Considering that this group lost one of their own this week, they played with the strength and ability expected from the D-Line. They were able to hold the Maryland ground game to only 56 net yards and were successful in stopping the Terps from extending their lead several times. The only sack against Sam Hollenbach (202 yards) was made by Calais Campbell.
Glenn Cook and Jon Beason had two solo tackles each. Darryl Sharpton followed with one. This powerful trio is able to make some serious hits and prevent game-changing plays from devastating the Hurricanes.
The secondary was able to reinforce the strength of the Miami Defense and hold Maryland in check. They prevented the Terps from breaking away, but were unable to stop the 96-yard touchdown run by Darrius Heyward-Bey.
Special Teams: A-
Jon Peattie was able to keep the game within reach, adding six points of his own to the board for the ‘Canes. Brian Monroe had four respectable punts that averaged roughly 63 yards.
The coaching staff made the right decision pressing past the loss of Pata and facing Maryland this weekend. Their one point loss was upsetting, but the coaches were able to work past a number of problems from the previous week and stayed focused on the game. The offensive line has to improve if they hope to beat Boston College.
Compiled by Stacey Arnold