- White House: More changes to contraception mandate coming
- ‘Operation Normandy’ set to send 3,500 volunteers to border to ‘stop an invasion’
- Netanyahu’s spokesman: Safe to fly to Israel
- Oregon vandals smear cars with doughnuts, pastries, chocolate bars
- Obama’s ‘Katrina moment’ leaves his favorability factor at 42 percent
- Feds tout nearly 200 arrests, $625K in seized cash in Texas border crackdown
- Joy Behar: Sarah Palin should be ‘turning letters over on some game show’
- Rhino poacher in South Africa sentenced to 77 years in jail
- John Kerry defies FAA and flies to Israel to talk peace
- Beretta leaves Maryland over gun laws, heads for Tennessee
Injuries, penalties lead to losing month for Terps
Question of the Day
There are no time machines in college football, as Maryland quarterback Chris Turner colorfully reminded reporters a few weeks back.
But imagine, though, if there were - and a courier from the future arrived in College Park as September dawned to inform the Terrapins of the grim prognosis of a losing opening month.
“I would have told you that you were out of your mind,” linebacker Alex Wujciak said. “I didn’t think a team like this would be 1-3 right now.”
And yet it is after Saturday’s 34-13 loss to Rutgers - and facing a severe hole heading into conference play.
Maryland’s maladies are myriad at this stage - a wretched turnover margin (minus-10), a propensity for penalties (10 for 85 yards against the Scarlet Knights) and anticipated issues on both the offensive and defensive lines that have barely changed over four games.
The problems have meant the return of the Ron Vanderlinden-era parlor game of deciphering a path to the six victories needed for bowl eligibility. Should the Terps continue their self-destructive ways, they almost certainly would fall considerably short of that total.
Only one ranked team (No. 6 Virginia Tech) looms on the schedule, but it is difficult finding games the Terps would be favored to win now. Of Maryland’s eight conference opponents, only one (Virginia) is below .500.
“It’s frustrating, but we can’t - even though the loss is still fresh and we’re talking about it right now - you can’t look at that,” center Phil Costa said. “You have to be able to look forward and move past it.”
The needs of the future, though, are tinted by the mistakes of the past. The greatest question facing the Terps is basic: Can they rattle off a winning conference record, starting with Saturday’s date with Clemson at Byrd Stadium, and salvage a shaky season?
Maryland would point to a better defensive effort and its second-half leads the past two weeks. It would much rather avoid mentioning the 61 points off turnovers it surrendered this month - just seven shy of last year’s 13-game total.
“Besides the Cal game, we lost that game, but the Middle Tennessee game and this game, we should have won,” Wujciak said. “We had these games. We shot ourselves in the foot these past two weeks.”
Regardless of the viewpoint, the Terps remain hobbled. The problems started Saturday with Turner, who committed four of Maryland’s five turnovers, but it was an all-around sluggish outing from the entire offense.
The problems weren’t contained to a single miserable day. Even with tackle Bruce Campbell (turf toe) and safety Jamari McCollough (high-ankle sprain) back, the Terps lost another crucial component when punter Travis Baltz suffered a severe ankle sprain.
“I think everyone’s pretty down,” Turner said. “I know I’m pretty down. It’s hard to stay up in times like this. It’s hard as I’ve had it since I’ve been here. We’ve got to find some positives in our game, and we’ve got to find a way to come out fired up for Saturday. Whatever it is we have to do, and I don’t know what it is right now, but we’ve got to do something.”
Just four weeks ago, finding reason for optimism was not an issue. Maryland was coming off a camp that coach Ralph Friedgen praised as one of the best in his tenure, and a winning season seemed possible.
About the Author
Patrick Stevens has covered Maryland and other Mid-Atlantic college sports for more than a decade. You can reach him at email@example.com.
- George Mason's defense dissipates in 84-74 loss to Northeastern
- Maryland's Pe'Shon Howard willing to let others put ball in the basket
- At 7-5, George Mason looks on the bright side entering CAA play
- Terps beat IUPUI, set for ACC after final tuneup
- Maryland's Jake Layman shows signs of progress in freshman season
Latest Blog Entries
Retailer pays a price for getting too close to Obama
- CARSON: Costco and the perils of mixing politics and business
- David Perdue defeats Jack Kingston in Georgia Republican Senate primary runoff
- IRS seeks help destroying another 3,200 computer hard drives
- Beretta moving to Tennessee over Maryland gun laws
- D.C. appeals panel deals big blow to Obamacare subsidies
- 'Straight White Guy Festival' supposedly set for Ohio park
- HURT: The cost of 'free' water in Detroit
- EDITORIAL: Obamacare in intensive care
- Pentagon team dispatched to Ukraine amid crisis with Russia
- Contrasting judgments on Obama's health care hours apart; appeals court calls subsidies unlawful
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq