Muench's Trenches: Three big battles
October, 11, 2013
By Steve Muench | ESPN.com
Maryland OLB Marcus Whitfield makes his third consecutive appearance in this blog. To sum up quickly: A lower level of competition likely inflated Whitfield's sack production early in the year. He had a chance to make more of an impact with talent evaluators while working against Florida State LOT Cam Erving on Oct. 5, but don’t be fooled by his production in the Terps' 63-0 lopsided loss to the Seminoles. His two-tackle performance in that game was more impressive than his three-sack performance against Connecticut earlier in the year.
Erving took the edge away from Whitfield, who doesn’t show great burst or flexibility as a pass rusher. However, Whitfield had some success pressuring FSU QB Jameis Winston. Whitfield was the better hand fighter of the two, and his skill of generating speed-to-power gave Erving problems. Whitfield’s ability to set the edge and line up all over the front also stood out against Florida State. On the flip side, his eyes weren't great in coverage, so he was late locating the ball at times, and he appeared to wear down over the course of the game -- though it’s worth pointing out that he doesn't come off the field much.