Loyal reader Oakland Al pointed out something last night that was echoed throughout today’s interviews in College Park.
For all of Maryland’s maddening inconsistency, they have a way of bouncing back from ugly losses the next week.
Now, “ugly loss” is highly subjective, but these six games are probably the worst the Terps have endured under Ralph Friedgen. In the next game, Maryland is a solid 5-1.
Now, the list is debatable, and there are some other eggs laid by the Terps in the last few years that could be included. But there’s enough of a history to at least pause before declaring California will roll into College Park and encounter little resistance upon arrival.
* In 2002, Maryland could barely do anything on offense and was blanked 22-0 by Notre Dame in the Kickoff Classic. After a two-week hiatus, the Terps pummeled Akron 44-14.
* Later that season, the Terps were drubbed 48-13 in a visit to Virginia, snapping an eight-game winning streak. Wake Forest then came to town for the regular-season finale, and Maryland cruised 32-14.
* In the 2003 opener, Maryland found itself in a trap game at an underrated Northern Illinois team and ultimately fell 20-13 in overtime. The next week brought a trip to Florida State and a 37-10 loss to the eventual ACC champs.
* The Terps were destroyed 55-6 at Virginia Tech late in the 2004 season, ensuring the first losing season in Friedgen’s tenure. But faced with a meaningless game, the Terps rebounded to upend Wake Forest 13-7 in the finale at Byrd Stadium.
* A potential defining moment of the 2007 season was the pick-six thrown at Wake Forest that helped turn a 24-3 lead into a 31-24 overtime loss. But the next week, the Terps stunned Rutgers 34-24 in Piscataway.
* The Terps were 4-5 last season after an ugly 16-13 loss at North Carolina. Yet inexplicably, the Terps produced one of their most impressive offensive performances of the last four-plus seasons seven days later and stunned Boston College 42-35.