Terps’ first road game of 2012 will start at noon and be shown on ESPNU
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Maryland’s first road game of the 2012 season, a matchup against Temple on Saturday, Sept. 8 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, will kick off at noon EDT and be shown nationally on ESPNU.
ESPN and the Big East Conference office announced a select group of game times and television outlets Thursday afternoon.
Maryland opens the season at home vs. William & Mary on Saturday, Sept. 1. That game will begin at 3 p.m. from Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium and be video streamed on ESPN3.
The Terps’ second home nonconference contest, a tilt vs. UConn on Saturday, Sept. 15, will begin at 12:30 p.m. and be televised regionally on the ACC Network.
Kick times for remaining games will be announced at a later date.
Atlantic Coast Conference game times are generally declared 12 days prior to the contest. The start times for Maryland’s other nonconference road game (at West Virginia, Sept. 22) will be announced by the Big 12 office.
A variety of season-ticket options are available starting as low as $114. There are also family 4-packs available for $420 and season-ticket holders have the ability to spread their cost over six monthly installments.
Edsall to Play in Two Charity Golf Events: Head coach Randy Edsall will participate in a pair of charity golf tournaments this month. He is scheduled to play in Monday’s 25th Annual Safeway Foundation Celebrity Pro-Am in Ellicott City, Md., which benefits Easter Seals in the Washington-Baltimore region. Edsall will also take part in the 16th Annual National Capital Golf Classic on Monday, June 18 at Trump National Golf Club in Potomac Falls, Va. That event will benefit the American Cancer Society.
Terps’ second home game of 2012 will start at 12:30 p.m. and be shown on ACC Network
GREENSBORO, N.C. – Maryland’s third football game of the 2012 season, a home contest against the University of Connecticut on Saturday, Sept. 15, will kick off at 12:30 p.m. ET and be shown regionally on the ACC Network.
The Atlantic Coast Conference office announced game times and television outlets for the first three weeks of the 2012 season on Thursday.
The start time for Maryland’s season opener vs. William & Mary (Sept. 1) was previously announced. That contest will begin at 3 p.m. from Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium. The ACC confirmed the game will be streamed on ESPN3.
Kick times for remaining games will be announced at a later date.
Conference game times are generally declared 12 days prior to the contest. Start times for Maryland’s two nonconference road games (at Temple, Sept, 8; at West Virginia, Sept. 22) will be announced by the Big East and Big 12, respectively.
Tigers Add Guthrie & Marshall To Recruiting Class Rafriel Guthrie and Marquis Marshall Sign National Letters Of Intent To Play For Towson
TOWSON, Md. - Towson head men’s basketball coach Pat Skerry has announced the addition of Rafriel Guthrie and Marquis Marshall to the Tigers’ 2012-13 recruiting class. Guthrie, a Washington, D.C. native, is a 6-3, 200-pound physical wing and Marshall is a 6-5, 170-pound versatile sharp-shooting guard from Reading, Pa.
Guthrie, who spent this past season playing for the College of Southern Idaho, will be a junior at Towson and can play immediately with two years of eligibility remaining. Marshall committed to Towson during the late signing period after starring for Berks Catholic High School.
“Rafriel Guthrie provides us with a level of tenaciousness that we sorely need,” said Skerry. “He can score, rebound and defend, but most importantly he plays extremely hard at all times. Marquis Marshall comes from great genes and is a terrific long-range shooter. He has a tremendous upside as he develops physically.”
During the 2011-12 season, Guthrie played in all 36 games with 34 starts at Southern Idaho, helping the Golden Eagles to a 31-5 overall record, a SWAC and Region 18 Championship and an eighth-place finish at the NJCAA National Tournament. The sophomore averaged 15.1 points, 7.7 rebounds and had 47 steals, all ranking second on the team. He also shot 49.0 percent from the floor and 35.0 percent from beyond the arc en route to being named an honorable mention National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) All-American.
Guthrie came to CSI from Seward County Community College where he started 27 of the team’s 34 games as a freshman in 2010-11. He averaged 13.0 points and 4.4 rebounds per game while helping the Saints to a 27-7 overall record.
Prior to his time at Seward County CC, Guthrie starred at Cardozo High School in Washington, D.C. During his senior year, Guthrie averaged 28.2 points and 8.0 rebounds for the Clerks. He also was a member of the Cardozo football team where he played outside linebacker and wide receiver.
Marshall led his high school team to a 28-3 record and the Berks County and District III championship in 2012. He was named All-County and Third Team All-State (Pa.) after averaging 16.0 points per game during his senior season.
Marshall is listed as a two-star recruit and has been rated as one of the Top 20 players coming out of the state of Pennsylvania this year.
Marshall’s father, Donyell, played in the National Basketball Association for 18 years. An All-American at the University of Connecticut, he finished his collegiate career by being selected as the BIG EAST Player of the Year in 1994. Donyell was drafted after his junior year at UConn by the Minnesota Timberwolves as the fourth overall pick in the 1994 NBA draft. He played for eight different NBA teams from 1994-2009 and averaged double figures in scoring in a season on 10 separate occasions.
Guthrie and Marshall join Towson’s early signees –Barrington Alston, Jerome Hairston, Frank Mason and Timajh Parker-Rivera to make up the Tigers’ six-man 2012-13 recruiting class. Towson’s recruiting class was listed as the best in the Colonial Athletic Association and No. 6 among non-BCS schools by CBS Sports during the early signing period. Towson will also gain the services of BIG EAST transfers Jerrelle Benimon and Mike Burwell, who both sat out the 2011-12 season per NCAA transfer rules.
You’re going to have to indulge me on this one. I have no one to yell at and no incredible statement to make about a current sporting event.
Instead, if this column was called “Your Saturday Reality Check”, I would have gotten this perfectly to the date.
Ten years ago-Sunday, March 24, 2002-the University of Maryland met the University of Connecticut in the East Region Final (or the Elite 8 if you well) of the NCAA Tournament. The game was at the Carrier Dome at Syracuse University.
For full disclosure, I wasn’t there. It was my freshman year at the University of Maryland, but I didn’t make the trip. I didn’t make the trip to the Georgia Dome for the Final Four either, which is one of the greatest regrets of my still very young life. I actually think our own Luke Jones was at the game, but I’m just rambling now.
You certainly remember the shots that defined the game. The Terrapins trailed the Huskies 77-74 with just under four minutes to play as Caron Butler simply wouldn’t let UConn go away quietly. Juan Dixon calmly sank a three pointer from near the top of the key to even the game back up. Then in the final minute, a previously scoreless Steve Blake altered a play call in the huddle and used a ball fake to create an open three for himself to put the Terps up 86-80, effectively the final nail in the coffin of a 90-82 victory.
What I remember was how the game felt like the most intense college basketball game I had ever witnessed. While Gary Williams likely ruined an expensive suit due to sweat that afternoon, Glenn Clark also ruined a number of t-shirts and a pair of pajama pants. This was a game where neither team ever appeared to have the upper hand. Lonny Baxter was absolutely dominant in the paint against future NBA standout Emeka Okafor, but Butler’s 32 points kept the Huskies at Maryland’s heels all afternoon.
We’re planning to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the University of Maryland’s only basketball championship throughout the week on “The Reality Check” on AM1570 WNST.net. I’ve admitted regularly that I openly wept at Cole Field House that early April night (the anniversary of the championship is this Sunday for those scoring at home) in College Park. I had two goals for my life from about the time I was eight years old. One was to become a professional broadcaster, the other was to attend the University of Maryland.
Being a “Terp” was in my blood. My grandmother (a journalism teacher in Baltimore County and later professor at Morgan State University) is a University of Maryland alum. While I was too young for the Bob Wade era of Maryland basketball to mean much to me, the early years of the Gary Williams era (which were not always pretty) shaped who I wanted to be when I stepped on a basketball court at Chapel Hill Elementary School or Perry Hall Middle School. I pretended to be Evers Burns. I pretended to be Kevin McLinton. I ABSOLUTELY pretended to be Walt “The Wizard” Williams, Joe Smith, Keith Booth and Sarunas Jasikevicius.
I really had no idea I’d ever witness my heroes playing in a Final Four or for a national championship. I had felt the 1999 team (lead by Steve Francis) had a legitimate chance, but Erick Barkley and St. John’s extinguished those hopes in the Sweet 16. Just weeks before Maryland’s initial Final Four run in 2001 there were calls for the head of Gary Williams after an embarrassing streak of five losses in six games (including a “rock bottom” defeat at the hands of Florida State on Valentine’s Day).
But there was something about the 2001-2002 Terps that made you believe the entire time that team was capable of finally breaking through. The heartbreak of blowing a big loss to Duke in the Final Four the year earlier seemed to fuel them to an ACC regular season championship and back to that afternoon at the Carrier Dome. The confidence of an incredible group of upperclassmen was never lacking at any point during the season.
Maryland’s run to the National Championship was unprecedented. After an opening round win over Siena, the Terps faced a modern day “Murderer’s Row” of basketball programs as they ran through Wisconsin, Kentucky, UConn and then Kansas and Indiana. Maryland faced the highest seed they could possibly face in every round as a 1 seed (16, 8, 4, 2, 1, 1) as well. Yet somehow they never really seemed to be in danger of losing.
In the Final Four a huge second half lead was cut into by the Jayhawks, but it never appeared particularly nerve-racking. The Hoosiers briefly held a second half lead in the National Championship game, but a quick baseline jumper from Dixon turned the game back toward the favor of Maryland.
The only game that involved great drama was the UConn game. It was the type of drama that sees eight ties and seven lead changes in the final 13 minutes. It was the type of drama that almost could never be fairly described in words. (ESPN’s Dick Vitale described it as a “Maalox Masher” immediately after the game. He’s certainly a wordsmith if nothing else.)
It was the type of drama that made you think “whoever wins this game is winning a national championship” in the second half. At least it made me feel that way…and I was right.
To this day, this is still my absolute favorite game I’ve ever watched. More so than the Tennessee Titans/Baltimore Ravens AFC Divisional Playoff in 2001, more so than the Mike Mussina/Randy Johnson showdown at Camden Yards in Game 4 of the 1997 ALDS, even more so than the Andre Agassi/James Blake thriller at the 2005 U.S. Open. If your heart can take it, it’s worth reliving below.
I’m not sure mine can, but I’m still grateful for these memories some ten years later.
Terps will play six home games in 2012, including matchups with Florida State, Georgia Tech and Connecticut
GREENSBORO, N.C. –The 2012 Maryland football schedule, which includes league home games against Florida State and Georgia Tech, and a nonconference tilt with Connecticut, was announced jointly Monday by the Atlantic Coast Conference and the University.
Maryland will open 2012 season, the second under head coach Randy Edsall, on Saturday, Sept. 1 with a game against William & Mary, the first of six home contests.
The Terps, who face eight bowl teams from last year, will not play consecutive road or home games throughout 2012.
After a road trip to Temple on Sept. 8, the Terps return home on Sept. 15 to face Connecticut, where Edsall spent 12 years as head coach.
The Terps will face interstate rival West Virginia on Sept. 22 in Morgantown. Maryland and WVU will be facing each other for the third straight year after taking two years off in the series.
Maryland will enjoy a bye (Sept. 29) before entering conference play with a home game against Wake Forest (Oct. 6).
The Terps will play at border rival Virginia on Oct. 13 before facing a pair of Atlantic Division foes in NC State (Oct. 20 at home) and Boston College (Oct. 27 on the road).
Georgia Tech then visits College Park for the first time since 2007 on Nov. 3 and a road game against defending Atlantic Division champion Clemson follows on Nov. 10.
The Terrapins will face Florida State on Nov. 17, the final home contest for its senior class, before closing out the regular season at North Carolina on Nov. 26. The Terps and Tar Heels have not faced each other since 2008.
Game times will be announced at a later date. League home games are selected on a 12-day option by ESPN or the ACC Network. During the season, ESPN can choose certain ACC games on a six-day window. Times for early-season nonconference home games are announced in the summer.
Season tickets are now available for purchase and renewal. A variety of season ticket options are available starting as low as $114. There are also family 4-packs available for $420 and season-ticket holders have the ability to spread their cost over six monthly installments.
Fans can purchase tickets by going to www.umterps.com or by calling the Terrapin Ticket Office at (301) 314-7070 or 1-800-IMA-TERP. Single-game tickets will be available at a later date.
Sept. 1 William & Mary
Sept. 8 @ Temple
Sept. 15 Connecticut
Sept. 22 @ West Virginia
Sept. 29 Open
Oct. 6 Wake Forest
Oct. 13 @ Virginia
Oct. 20 NC State
Oct. 27 @ Boston College
Nov. 3 Georgia Tech
Nov. 10 @ Clemson
Nov. 17 Florida State
Nov. 24 @ North Carolina
Home games in bold and played at Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium; Times are TBA
Nine bowl teams from last year appear on Maryland’s 2012 schedule: West Virginia (Discover Orange Bowl), Temple (Gilden New Mexico Bowl), Wake Forest (Franklin American Mortgage Music City), Virginia (Chick-fil-A Bowl), NC State (Belk Bowl), Georgia Tech (Hyundai Sun Bowl), Clemson (Discover Orange Bowl), Florida State (Champs Sports Bowl) and North Carolina (AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl).
Maryland and William & Mary will be meeting for the fifth time. The series is even at 2-all. The last meeting occurred in 2006 with the Terps posting a 27-14 victory in College Park. The teams hadn’t met since 1946.
Maryland leads the all-time series with Temple, 6-1. The Owls won their first game in the series last season, downing the Terps, 38-7.
Maryland and West Virginia are playing for the third straight season after taking two years off in the series. The two schools met annually from 1980 to 2007. The Mountaineers hold a 25-21-2 advantage in a series that dates back to 1919.
Connecticut and Maryland will be meeting for the just the second time. The Terps downed the Huskies, 34-0, in 1946. Randy Edsall was the head coach at UConn from 1999-2010.
Maryland owns a 42-17-1 advantage in the series against Wake Forest, including victories in nine of the last 13. The Terps have won five of the last six in College Park.
The Terps lead the all-time series with Virginia, 42-32-2. Maryland has won two of the last three in Charlottesville.
The all-time series with NC State is tied, 32-32-4. The Terps have won eight of the last 12 in the series.
Boston College leads the all-time series 6-3. Maryland and Boston College met for the first time in 21 years in Massachusetts in 2006 with the Eagles winning, 38-16 (in Chestnut Hill). Maryland’s 42-35 home victory in 2007 over the eighth-ranked Eagles snapped a three-game BC winning streak in the series. Maryland won the last time it visited Chestnut Hill (2010), its first victory in three trips.
Georgia Tech leads the series with the Terps, 14-6, having won four of the last five meetings. Five of the last seven games have been decided by five points or less.
Clemson holds a 32-26-2 advantage over Maryland in the series, but the Terps have won six of the last 11.
Florida State has a 20-2 edge in the all-time series, but both Maryland wins have come at home in the last eight meetings.
Tigers Travel To Cross-Town Rival Coppin State Wednesday
Towson has won four straight verse the Eagles
TOWSON, Md. – After a three-game homestand, Towson returns to the road Wednesday, but only for a short trip to cross-town rival Coppin State. The Tigers will be looking for their first win of the season as the Eagles welcome them for a 7:30 p.m. tip at the Physical Education Complex in Baltimore.
The game can be heard locally on WNST-AM 1570 with Spiro Morekas and Vince Angotti calling the action.
Towson (0-9) has won four straight verse Coppin State, including an 89-74 home victory over the Eagles a year ago. Senior Robert Nwankwo has been outstanding in five games away from the Towson Center this season, averaging a double-double with 14.8 points and 10.2 rebounds.
Coppin State (3-5) has played the nation’s toughest non-conference schedule thus far according to the Pomeroy Ratings. The Eagles have played road contests against Oklahoma, UConn, Purdue and Illinois.
The Eagles are led by senior Tony Gallo’s 18.1 points and 4.3 assists per game. The point guard has drilled 24 three-point field goals on the year, including four in Sunday’s loss to Illinois.
Towson leads the all-time series with Coppin State, 6-3, and both squads have won once in the two games played in Baltimore.
As Drew Forrester has said here at WNST.net, Randy Edsall is going to be the football coach at the University of Maryland in 2012.
The #FIREEDSALL trend on Twitter is certainly alive and John Feinstein absolutely shredded the coach this week in the Washington Post, but neither will have an effect on his job status.
Despite a 2-10 record in Edsall’s first season with the Terrapins, Athletic Director Kevin Anderson has every intention to stick with the man he hired after firing 10 year head coach and Maryland alum Ralph Friedgen nearly a year ago.
He’ll be doing that for a few reasons.
The first of those reasons is because no one is fairly considering how significant a role injuries played in the team’s downfall. The team was decimated by injuries throughout the season, forcing defensive coordinator Todd Bradford to turn to a number of redshirt and even true freshmen throughout the season. Competing for an ACC Championship was a tough task to begin with, but nearly impossible as injuries mounted.
It of course doesn’t forgive the nature of how the team finished with just one win over an opponent at the FBS level (their season opening Labor Day victory over a depleted Miami squad), but it has to be considered.
Another of the reasons why Edsall will return is well known. Maryland is in a LOT of financial trouble at the moment. The athletic department is on the verge of cutting eight varsity teams due to financial issues and has admitted that the football program must generate more money to sustain the 17 programs that will remain. With Edsall only one year into a six year deal worth $12 million, Maryland does not have the financial ability to get out from under such a costly deal.
The notion that Under Armour CEO/Maryland alum Kevin Plank could pony up the $10 million necessary to buy out Edsall is preposterous. Plank has become one of the most successful businessmen on the face of the planet buy making good decisions. Giving away $10 million wouldn’t qualify as such a thing.
(Just to inject here. There have been some rumors that Edsall would be a candidate for the Jacksonville Jaguars opening after the team fired Jack Del Rio. I think we can move on from those rumors about as quickly as they appeared.)
But money and injuries are not the only reasons why Randy Edsall will remain as the school’s football coach. The more significant reason why Edsall will not be let go by the school is because coaches who receive six year deals just aren’t dismissed after one season.
When Anderson hired Edsall away from the University of Connecticut, he absolutely did not tell him “if you leave the Huskies, you’ll have one year to make things work in College Park.”
Had Anderson done such a thing, Edsall’s response would have been something along the lines of “I would never leave UConn. UConn is my dream job.”
It’s safe to say that when hiring Edsall, Anderson made it clear the former Connecticut coach would be able to build his program as necessary, despite the success the team celebrated (nine wins including a Military Bowl victory, ACC Rookie of the Year in QB Danny O’Brien) the season before his arrival.
As Jeff Jacobs of the Hartford Courant pointed out this week, there were reasons to believe Edsall’s reputation in Storrs exceeded his actual accomplishments. During an appearance on “The Reality Check” Wednesday on AM1570 WNST.net, Jacobs referred to something he had written in January just after Edsall’s departure from the area…
There was something unnervingly self-serving in Randy Edsall’s words in the month leading up to his BCS Bowl spanking. As he talked about all the milestones the program has reached since the days of working out of the trailers, Edsall wondered if there were any more notches in the belt he could cut at UConn.
The answer to Edsall’s question about notches in the belt, of course, was there were plenty left. And we’re not talking pie-in-the-sky national title. For starters, how about an outright Big East championship? Or how about getting to a BCS Bowl game where you aren’t automatically penciled in as a hopeless underdog the moment you qualify for it.”
The scene at the Towson Center Saturday afternoon rivals some of the most incredible I’ve seen in Charm City sports history, but sports had very little to do with it.
The most special moment of the visit from President Barack Obama & First Lady Michelle Obama (Michelle’s brother Craig Robinson is the head coach of the Oregon State team that crushed the Tigers Saturday afternoon) came at halftime.
Athletic Director Mike Waddell introduced Head Coach Rob Ambrose & the CAA Champion football team, who were enjoying a week off as they prepared for their FCS playoff showdown with Lehigh next Saturday at Unitas Stadium. The President walked out to greet the team, then posed for a picture to the absolute delight of the young men.
It was the type of moment that induces chills. Wow.
They duo (and Cincy QB Andy Dalton) were vital in the Bengals’ come from behind win over the Cleveland Browns Sunday in a game that judging by the attendance no one in the Queen City knew was happening…
Can’t help but notice a few empty seats in the background there, gang. This is a team fighting for AT LEAST an AFC Wild Card spot, not completely out of the AFC North race. This is the best you can do? Maybe “Los Angeles Bengals” has a nice ring?
Since we’re here, here’s a picture of Colt McCoy Tebowing…
The other candidate in the mix (and perhaps the frontrunner) is Alabama RB Trent Richardson, but we’ll get back to him.
After an incredible performance a week earlier against Oklahoma, the Baylor QB might have been one more spectacular performance away from locking up the chance to hear his name called in New York in two weeks. Unfortunately, RG3 was taken out of the game in the second half (probably for a concussion) and had to watch the second of the Bears’ win over Texas Tech from the Cowboys Stadium sideline…
So…Stanford QB Andrew Luck (the preordained winner of the Heisman before the season) was back in the picture with the chance to lock the thing up. Luck was good but not great in the Cardinal’s win over Notre Dame and left the thing up for grabs again.
As I searched YouTube for a recap video of Luck’s final game at Stanford Stadium I believe a Fighting Irish fan summed it up well by channeling M*A*S*H…
I don’t even know what that means!
The (regular) season is over for Richardson so he won’t have another chance to make a statement. Luck’s Cardinal don’t get another chance either since Oregon won the Pac-12 North. Baylor will play host to Texas next week in Waco, but Griffin’s status is up in the air due to his injury.
If none play again, I think I’d vote Luck. Someone will yell at me for that. Go ahead.
Fourth on the list (of three) candidates to win the Heisman is Cougars QB Case Keenum, who shredded Tulsa Friday in a manner similar to the way he’s shredded everyone else he’s played this season.
If the Cougars top the Golden Eagles in next week’s C-USA title game, they’ll become the first ever team from the conference to make a BCS bowl. Teams from the WAC and Mountain West have played BCS buster, but never C-USA.
Someone will call the occasion “historic”. Those people won’t really know what the word historic means.
You know what’s the ONLY THING IN THE WORLD that could make us not spend the entire week talking about the Denver Broncos’ QB? How about a picture of San Diego Chargers kicker Nick Novak peeing on the sidelines at Qualcomm Stadium?
LANDOVER, Md. — The University of Maryland Terrapins went through the motions lost to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish 45-21 Saturday night at FedEx Field.
The good news (for me) is that I won’t be attending another Maryland football game this season.
That’s where the good news ends.
This isn’t the final game on the schedule for the Terps (2-8, 1-5) this season, but I’ll guess it will be the final time I offer more than a handful of words to discuss them. I’ll imagine most of you can understand.
I remember back in August I had a thought that the team’s visit to North Carolina State November 26 could have ACC Championship implications. I remember thinking that with the Baltimore Ravens set to host the San Francisco 49ers on Thanksgiving night I would have my weekend free and perhaps a trip to Raleigh would be in order.
As you’d assume, I have no travel plans for my Turkey Day weekend.
I’ve paid my dues. I’ve showed up for every game the Terps have played this season in the state of Maryland. The first game (Miami) was fun. The second half of the second game (West Virginia) was fun too. There was no more fun to be had this season.
I don’t write this in hopes to illicit sympathy from anyone. I write it because I know I’m not the only one who has suffered through the misery of Randy Edsall’s first season in College Park.
There’s no way of polishing this. No lipstick here can make this not look like a pig. Randy Edsall’s first season in College Park has been an unparalleled mess.
That would probably be an appropriate way to describe Maryland’s effort against the Irish (7-3) Saturday night as well.
“We’ve got to tackle better, get off on third down, (we’ve) got to make third downs, we can’t drop the ball” Edsall said after the loss, but even that probably couldn’t fully describe the effort.
After inheriting a team that finished with nine wins (including a Military Bowl triumph) a season ago, Edsall’s Terrapins (with aide of significant injury) have been unthinkably impossible to watch in 2011. Not only has the team struggled to win games, they’ve failed to maintain relevance. Not even the return to the buzzworthy Under Armour “PRIDE” uniforms could generate interest Saturday night, as the 70,251 fans who packed the home of the NFL’s Washington Redskins Saturday night overwhelmingly backed the home team.
The home team wasn’t Maryland. The team from South Bend, Indiana played that role Saturday night.
It isn’t so far-fetched to have thought Maryland would struggle after their transition from former coach Ralph Friedgen to Edsall. Many first year coaches are forced to establish roots before they can find future success. There was hope Maryland wouldn’t experience those types of growing pains as they returned the ACC Rookie of the Year (QB Danny O’Brien) and many of the players who experienced a victorious postseason one year earlier.
The best the Terrapins can hope for at this point would be a 4-8 finish (3-5 ACC), but a 2-10 (1-7 ACC) finish appears more likely with trips to Wake Forest and NC State left on the season.
Making things worse for a team that has been awful is the unwatchable nature of the games they’ve played in the past month. Instead of growing as a team during the course of the season, this team appears to have taken significant steps in the opposite direction.
COLLEGE PARK, Md. — It was a fun couple of weeks for the University of Maryland football team, wasn’t it?
At one point, everyone in the country was talking about them. They had spiffy new uniforms thanks to the full support of one of the world’s biggest apparel companies in Under Armour.
Coming off a season where they won nine games (including the Military Bowl), they introduced a fun to watch new offense under new Offensive Coordinator Gary Crowton. It helped them claim an impressive Labor Day victory over the University of Miami in a game seen by much of the country on ESPN.
Even in a Week 3 defeat at the hands of the West Virginia Mountaineers, the Terrapins mounted an impressive 2nd half comeback that made fans believe they were capable of playing alongside the best teams in the country.
They did it all under new head coach Randy Edsall, just a year removed from leading UConn to a Big East title and Fiesta Bowl appearance. Edsall had done and said the right at every turn since his arrival in College Park, allowing him to receive immediate popularity from the Maryland faithful. Edsall kept the momentum of the new uniforms going by taking to Twitter to announce the teams’ weekly duds. A mostly apathetic fan base was invigorated, with Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium sold out for the first two games of the season.
It was certainly fun while it lasted.
Maryland’s exciting start took a painful turn Saturday, as they were crushed 38-7 by Temple University in front of a less than enthusiastic announced crowd of 39,102. An “announced” crowd of 39,102 if you missed it the first time.
After looking like a “team on the rise”, a “budding national power” or a “program at a turning point” for the first three weeks of the season (which included an early bye following their Monday night win over the Hurricanes), the Terps’ display Saturday could only be fairly described as piss poor.
The team was outgained 425 to 240 by their MAC opponent, including a 285 to 45 advantage for Temple on the ground. The Terps could not have purchased an answer for Temple RB Bernard Pierce, who gauged the Terps for 149 yards and 5 TD’s on 32 carries. Maryland managed just 14 first downs on the day compared to Temple’s 21. The Owls held the ball for 41:01 while Maryland managed just 18:59 of possession.
Sometimes a game is closer than a final score might indicate. In no ways was Saturday’s thumping any closer for Maryland than the final score indicated. The Terps indeed suffered a good old-fashioned ass kicking at the hands of a Temple program which clearly IS on the rise under the guidance of new head coach Steve Addazio
Just in case I hadn’t yet done a fair job of describing Maryland’s ineptitude in defeat, here are some individual numbers. QB Danny O’Brien completed just 17 of 33 passes for 153 yards and an interception. The Terps’ leading rusher was backup quarterback CJ Brown, who managed 29 yards on the ground after making a late game blowout cameo (he also guided the team’s only scoring drive).
The Terps were equally awful on both offense and defense.
“There’s nowhere to point the finger” OL Andrew Gonnella said after the game. “It’s a team failure and we just have to come back fierce.”
The outcome alone wasn’t the worst part about the game though.
The worst part about Saturday’s game was that for all of the progress it appeared the program had made early in the season, the scene Saturday reeked of familiarity.
Plenty of empty seats? Check. No national interest? Check. Little local or regional interest? Check. Uninspired effort against what was believed to be an inferior opponent? Check. Disastrous result to leave a team 1-2 despite having not played a road game yet on the season? Check.
Yes, Saturday’s game had the stench of Maryland football all over it.
At every turn during Maryland Football’s “rebranding” period, I have stated that nothing they are doing will matter if it isn’t paired with winning.
Without allowing too much publicity to Charlie Sheen, Saturday’s debacle was about as far from “winning” as a team can be.
Edsall went into full coach-speak mode again after the defeat, saying things like “we’ll get better and we’ll move forward”, “nobody said it was gonna be easy”, “we’re not gonna use any excuses” and “it’s their duty and their obligation to go out there and play as hard as they can for 60 minutes.”
But it will take much more than coach-speak to truly change the culture of a program that has simply failed to find relevance for the better part of its history.
The coaching staff and the uniforms are different, but nothing has truly changed yet in College Park.
Edsall was right in describing Saturday’s loss as “embarrassing.” It was absolutely was.
And for a program hoping to make strides and truly find themselves “on the rise”, the embarrassment proved Maryland football still has an incredible amount of work to be done.