Maryland hung tough with Clemson for the majority of the game Saturday, but ultimately the Tigers were able to pull away, helping move on from the devastating loss to Florida State one week prior. It was just a six-point game heading into the fourth quarter, but Clemson scored a pair of touchdowns in the first seven minutes or so of the final period to blow the game open.
Even though it ended up being a relatively comfortable victory for Clemson, SB Nation's Tigers blog, Shakin The Southland, walked away generally unsatisfied with the performance of the team. Quarterback Tajh Boyd didn't bring his best effort to College Park, in STS's opinion:
He was obviously staring down Watkins all day today. Just by watching his head you can see he was not going through his progressions and was forcing balls into tighter spots than he needed to. He did not take what the defense gave him. He didn't throw the ball away when there was nothing to take either, which is probably a by-product of him always pulling it and running himself. Today he couldn't run. At one point I would've benched him for a series to wake him up.
The offense managed to put together several extended drives early on, but had to settle for short field goals three times. It sputtered for a significant portion of third quarter, which allowed the banged up Terps to hang around. Boyd did end up finishing the day with 304 passing yards, though.
Terrapins blog Testudo Times found reason to be optimistic after the game even though Maryland came up short. TT's Pete Volk liked the effort and play of the defense and is encouraged about several winnable games remaining on the schedule.
After Maryland's own ACC embarrassment against Wake Forest, this game will certainly feel better for the Terrapin faithful. Yes, it is a loss, and yes, Maryland is now 5-3, but it's an encouraging result with some very winnable games ahead (don't think I don't see you getting blown out by UNC, Boston College). The Terps forced three turnovers against a very good Clemson offense -- their first three turnovers forced in ACC play this year -- and seeing the defense return to form is a fantastic sign.
Maryland isn't the same team that started the season 4-0 as injuries have ravaged the depth chart. Quarterback C.J. Brown couldn't play against the Tigers, and the team is also without its top two receivers, including the awesome Stefon Diggs.
It's difficult to overcome those sorts of losses no matter who you are, and on Saturday, Maryland's offense wasn't good enough to pull off the upset. But this team is probably going to get bowl eligible anyway, as Pete alludes to above, and that would be a promising step forward for Randy Edsall and his staff.
Here are the highlights from Clemson's victory: