Sifting through the wreckage

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Let’s start with the day’s money quote from Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen:

“Until we stop turning the ball over, we can work 24 hours a day, they can work as hard as they want to work,” Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen said. “We’re just giving games away. I don’t think these teams are really better than us. We just keep shooting ourselves in the foot. Until that gets corrected, it’s not going to happen.”

With seven games to work with now, there’s a pretty substantial sample size.

Maryland has allowed 236 points, 71 of which have come off turnovers. So no arguing that.

But is Maryland better than Virginia? Or Wake Forest? Or Middle Tennessee? Or Rutgers?

The evidence from what all those teams have accomplished to date – and not just their victories against the Terps, all but Wake’s in the increasingly vacant confines of Byrd Stadium – suggest no, no, maybe and probably not.

It’s mildly ironic to be mentioning one of those Bill Parcells chestnuts on a night one of his old assistants sent Maryland to its latest loss. But if it’s true that you are what your record says, well, at this point the Terps just aren’t very good.

Unquestionably, the primary culprit for this listing 2-5 ship is the minus-13 turnover margin. Friedgen’s harped on it since the opener, and it torpedoed the Terps against Middle Tennessee, Rutgers and Virginia.

But that aside, one pertinent question remains: Can Maryland win even four of its next five to secure bowl eligibility?

Based on what’s been shown in the last seven weeks, the answer seems rather clear barring some massive turnaround in the next month.

Patrick Stevens

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