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Position Grades: Maryland

Gonna do things a little differently this week

NCAA Football: Maryland at Penn State Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Now that I’ve got your attention, this is not going to be your typical position grades post. I won’t be breaking down positions this week because just like the team showed yesterday, I am also checked out. Every position (with the exception of a couple) would receive a big fat ‘F’, though.

Props to Maryland where it’s due: I did fear that their passing attack would expose PSU’s secondary in a major way, and sure enough, that’s what happened. What I did not expect to see however, was the rest of the defense struggle to tackle, take proper angles, or get adequate pressure on the quarterback, allowing them to steamroll over them like they were Ohio State.

I especially didn’t foresee the offense looking so goddamn listless that it made a Maryland defense that had given up 45 points in each of their first two games look like a solid bunch. How in the hell does Sean Clifford go from being a good enough quarterback last season to looking like he couldn’t even start for a middling FCS program in just one year? How does a veteran offensive line, with a coach who has a very strong reputation in coaching circles look even worse than in prior years? For all the talk about the #LawnBoyz, the healthy running backs available have been disappointing, thus far. The wide receivers and tight end have been the lone bright spots on a team that otherwise has none at the moment.

I’ve been a fan since 1991, and have attended games since 1994. The only other instance I can think of where a PSU team got waxed by an opponent they were heavy favorites against was Toledo in 2000. That PSU team however, did not quit on the season (see: the tremendous upset of a Drew Brees-led Purdue team) like this outfit clearly has, and that’s an indictment on everybody from the coaching staff on down to the players.

I’ve read plenty of speculation that James Franklin’s focus just isn’t there this season and that it’s having a trickle-down effect on the team’s performance. Given how he hasn’t seen his wife and daughters in quite some time due to the fact they are quarantining in Florida, I do find such speculation plausible. Perhaps a recharging of the batteries is necessary. It’s also why I wouldn’t be shocked if he were to resign at the end of the season and taking a year off to spend time with his loved ones before re-evaluating his options, of which there will still be plenty.

In the meantime, there’s still another six weeks of this crap show to come. I highly suggest finding something else to do with your Saturdays for the remainder of the year. After all, if the team is checked out, why should you remain checked in?