Greg’s Game Grades: Maryland 45, Virginia 33

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In our game preview, we noted that the ‘Hoos needed to limit the Maryland production on first and second down, keep the Terrapins from converting third downs, defend the underneath zones and limit yards after contact. The ‘Hoos did none of these things.

Maryland averaged 6.4 yards per play (eight passes and 14 rushes) on first down in the first half and that includes a two-yard loss on an end-of-half kneeldown. Things didn’t get better in the second half as the Terps averaged 8.4 yards on 20 first-down plays, including eight gains of 10 yards or more.

On third downs, Virginia allowed a Terp team that averaged a 23% conversion rate to continue moving the chains 63% (7 of 11) of the time.

And what about the coverage issues? Virginia allowed Danny Melendez, Jo Jo Walker and Vernon Davis to roam free all afternoon.

Much of Saturday’s poor play on defense was a result of a poor collective effort, not the fault of one particular player or group. But each unit had its own problems which I’ll address. I’m still trying to figure out how the Terps only scored 45 points.

Quarterback (B-)

Marques Hagans totaled 325 yards without a turnover.

Without Marques Hagans, Saturday’s game would not have been close. He was magical at times and under duress all afternoon because of an ineffective offensive line. But to describe his performance as anything more than inconsistent would be a little too forgiving.

Several of Hagans’ passes were completed because of first-rate receptions by his receivers. He underthrew receivers, threw over their heads and behind them. He missed a wide-open Michael Johnson from the Maryland 18 with under a minute to go in the first half. Johnson had split wide left and in the confusion the Maryland secondary left him unguarded. Hagans decided to pull the ball down and run, and to his credit he