As someone who has been in attendance for the last two weeks (I will admit I missed the opening week thriller against William & Mary), I am going to swear to you that I think the Maryland Terrapins are better at the moment than they were at the end of 2011.
It appears as though kids are still trying (which at times wasn’t the case late last season), there’s definitely a level of young talent on the roster and having one road win (and one non-conference win over a FBS team) already this season make accomplishments the 2011 Terrapins couldn’t claim.
That doesn’t mean anyone in the general population is seeing the progress.
Immediately after the Terrapins’ defeat, reaction via social media returned to the calls for Edsall’s head and typical name calling that were common in 2011 but were hidden for a week after a big win at Temple seven days earlier. Going into a Week 4 trip to West Virginia next Saturday, it was easy for fans to start imagining a complete slide for the Terrapins.
Further embarrassment was provided by the fact that Saturday’s loss came to the school Edsall abandoned after taking them to a BIG EAST Championship and Fiesta Bowl appearance two seasons ago. The anger and hurt caused by Edsall was still evident in the small but vocal contingent of Huskies fans who mockingly chanted the coach’s name after the final gun.
It was way more emotion than was seen or heard from Maryland fans at any point during the three hours plus the teams convened at Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium.
Even without passion, it might have been nice for Maryland fans to be able to say after the game “at least we’re better than the school the coach came from.” It might have been nicer for Randy Edsall to have been able to say the same thing.
A win over UConn wouldn’t have suddenly brought a fanbase to life like a September series against the New York Yankees at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, but it would have served at least a minimal purpose in beginning to curry favor for an embattled coach. Instead, it can be expected that the Terps will return home to face Wake Forest October 6 in front of another less than impressive crowd still unwilling to give Edsall the benefit of the doubt.
Even without a win, it might have been better to be coming off an effort where fans could say “they really tried to get back into it, they just fell a bit short. You can’t blame Edsall for that.”
The weeks ahead appear to promise nothing but a level of “status quo” instead.