Saturday marked the start of college football for me. Maryland managed to win their first game against Delaware 14-7. Despite getting the most rushing yards since a 2003 game, Da'Rel Scott ran for 197 of them, they barely squeak past the Fighting Blue Hens. While its true that the Terps' normally solid and consistent kicker, Egekeze, missed three field goals, two that he should have made, this score is still a little too close for comfort. To be honest, I didn't watch most of the game. I watch snippets of it at the bar but didn't give it my full attention. From the recaps, all I can figure is that if we can barely beat Delaware, its going to be a long season. So much for being the dark horse of the ACC. We don't even have a definite starter. Sounds like the Ravens. Oh well, we can only hope it'll get better as first game nerves start to settle down.
As for the Ravens, the season just looks more and more ominous. We still don't have a starting quarterback. And the battle seems to be far from over. I think it should be Smith, if he recovers from his viral illness in time. Even though he hasn't practiced in over a week, I still think he is the best choice. He has shown poise when being thrown into a game suddenly and has some experience in the pocket. While Flacco has progressed a lot since the first pre-season game, I don't think he's ready to get thrown in there yet. Let him have the 4th quarter, if the game isn't too close. And for that we'll have to wait and see how healthy the defense is. If they can come up big like they did two seasons ago then we may just have a shot at a winning record this year.
Two seasons ago, they led the league in turnover differential. That was the part of what helped them go 13-3. If they can come back to their old form, then this season might not be so bad. But with Ed Reed missing the first game and maybe more, one of our biggest threats for an interception is out of the game. Let's hope someone else steps up. We're going to need it.
Overall I'm hoping for some pleasant surprises this fall. But I'm not going to base my expectations on that hope. Realistically, the Ravens have one of the hardest schedules in football, playing in the AFC North and playing the AFC South and NFC East this season. Both of those division sent three teams to the playoffs last year. And they don't look like they will be getting much worse this season. It might be a long season.