Simply inexplicable

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CHARLOTTESVILLE – I was talking with Turtle Sports Report’s Seth Hoffman while walking back up to the press box, and we were racking our brains to come up with a more bewildering result in Ralph Friedgen’s eight seasons.

Not necessarily that Maryland lost, but rather how they lost.

It was plausible the Terps could lay an egg. It’s always plausible the Terps can lay an egg. But a 31-0 egg? Not so much.

By my count, it’s the second-craziest result under Ralph. Here’s the top-five countdown…

5. 2007: Maryland 37, N.C. State 0. Remember, how a game unfolds matters as much as the result. A win over the Wolfpack was not surprising. The fact the Terps could so dominate a conference opponent with all their injuries allowed this game to edge out the 2007 victories over Boston College and Rutgers as the most jaw-dropping performance of the season.

4. 2002: Virginia 48, Maryland 13. The Terps had won eight straight as they entered Lord Groh’s Realm, and rather than stick around in the conference race they were instead obliterated. Scooter Monroe’s drop on a near-certain touchdown just before halftime sucked the life out of Maryland, which sleepwalked through the rest of the game.

3. 2008: Middle Tennessee 24, Maryland 14. The Terps set a temporary standard for abysmal play in Murfreesboro, clearly not showing up and barely seeming to care along the way. The Blue Raiders, who nearly won at Kentucky and upended Florida Atlantic earlier this week, look better than expected. But at the time, a Maryland team that seemed capable of winning eight games had no business losing that game.

2. 2008: Virginia 31, Maryland 0. The Terps gave up 31 points to the worst scoring offense in major-college football, and didn’t bother showing up on offense.

1. 2004: Maryland 20, Florida State 17. For sheer surprise – and befuddlement when comparing it to the five games it was sandwiched between – nothing has topped the Terps upset of the Seminoles in College Park. Florida State was No. 5 in the country, and Joel Statham somehow summoned one good game to give Maryland a little bit of hope. The fact Maryland proceeded to lose to Virginia (16-0) and Virginia Tech (55-6) in its next two games makes the result even more inexplicable.

Patrick Stevens

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