The Washington Times - November 28, 2008, 10:32AM

It’s time to talk about a momentous day in Maryland football history.

October 14, 2006.

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That was the day the Terrapins erased a 20-0 halftime deficit at Virginia.

The cap to Maryland’s 28-0 run that day was Erin Henderson’s 45-yard interception return.

Sure, that rally turned the Terps’ season around. But it also included the last defensive or special teams touchdown Maryland has scored.

Put another way, the Terps’ offense has accounted for every touchdown in the last 31 games. Granted, some scores were set up by defense and special teams work. But those units have not visited the rectangular nirvana in more than two years.

Now let’s look at Boston College, which has played 32 games since Oct. 14, 2006, with the extra game coming in last year’s ACC title game.

In that span, the Eagles have a whopping 16 defensive or special teams TDs. For the sake of thoroughness, here’s a little chart to sort it all out:

DateOpponentPlayerReturnYdsScore
10-21-06@Florida State
DeJuan Tribble
INT36W, 24-19
11-18-06MarylandJolonn Dunbar
FUMBLE14W, 38-16

MarylandJolonn Dunbar
FUMBLE38

MarylandDeJuan Tribble
INT42
11-23-06 
@MiamiDeJuan Tribble
INT22L, 17-14
9-8-07N.C. State
Jolonn Dunbar
INT14W, 37-17
10-6-07Bowling Green
Jamie Silva
INT65W, 55-24

Bowling Green
Nick Larkin
INT7
12-1-07vs. Virginia Tech
Jamie Silva
FUMBLE51L, 30-16
9-27-08Rhode Island
Mark Herzlich
INT60W, 42-0
10-18-08Virginia Tech
Rich Gunnell
PUNT65W, 28-23 
10-25-08at North Carolina 
Kevin Akins
FUMBLE13L, 45-24
11-1-08ClemsonRoderick Rollins
BLOCKED PUNT 
25L, 27-21
11-8-08Notre Dame
Paul Anderson
INT76W, 17-0
11-15-08at Florida State
Marcellus Bowman
INT87W, 27-17
11-22-08at Wake Forest
Mark Herzlich
INT34W, 24-21

So much of this rests on good fortune, whether it’s having a clear path to the end zone on an interception or a friendly bounce on a fumble or simply deploying a dangerous punt returner.

But at some point, the cause of a disparity of non-offensive touchdowns between two teams moves from luck to something else. I’m not exactly sure what that “something else” is (though “overall talent” and “coaching” are the clubhouse favorites). But that shift of explanation – whatever its cause – probably happens well before that gap grows to 16-0 between teams in the same conference.

Patrick Stevens