Avalanche Breakdown

There’s a phenomenon in semiconductors known as avalanche breakdown. Normally, a p-n junction (also known as a diode) allows current to flow in only one direction. If you apply a negative voltage to the junction, it doesn’t allow any current to flow backwards. To a point. Eventually, if you keep increasing the voltage, the junction begins to fail and quickly breaks down, becoming basically a closed circuit, offering no resistance to the marauding electrons.
That’s what happened to Maryland’s defense last night against Virginia Tech. Normally a stout defense, the Terps finally broke. All season, they’ve played hard, gone to the bench and then trotted back out a couple of minutes later after their offense failed to do anything. Last night, they couldn’t even get those few moments. Maryland’s leading tackler was probably an offensive lineman. It seemed that every other play in the first half was a turnover. The Hokies kept getting the ball deep in Terp territory, keeping the Maryland defense up against their own end zone. They couldn’t stop the onslaught and eventually collapsed altogether. I felt sorry for them.
A good team shouldn’t lose 55-6 in a conference game. At one point this year, I thought that Maryland was a good team. Even when they turned in stinkers against Georgia Tech and NC State, I thought that they just had to get a bit more consistency out of their young quarterbacks. Well, I guess they did finally get consistency, but it wasn’t good consistency. They’re consistently awful. If Joel Statham stared at his receivers any longer before throwing them a pass, he’d need to buy them flowers.
Luckily for Statham (and Jordan Steffy wasn’t much better), the rules say that after you turn ball over in football, you get to go to the bench. His defense wasn’t so lucky. They had to get crushed under the avalanche.

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