“All the sudden, we just couldn’t make a play,” Edsall said.
It wasn’t enough, though, to construct the second-largest comeback ever in an ACC game, behind only Clemson’s rally from a 28-point deficit to topple Virginia in 1992.
Maryland punted down a point, then allowed N.C. State another touchdown march. The Wolfpack finished things off when C.J. Wilson returned a Brown interception 59 yards for a touchdown in the final minute.
“It was kind of a waterfall or whatever you want to call it,” defensive tackle Joe Vellano said. “Just one after another.”
And so the end finally arrived to a bunch so decimated by injuries and suspensions that it used more defensive starting lineups (12) than uniform combinations (11) over the last three months.
There will be plenty of time to analyze and assess the difficulties encountered in Edsall’s first season. For his part, Edsall declined to say if he anticipates significant roster or staff turnover, merely acknowledging “in due time, I’ll sit down and evaluate the whole season.”
No matter how long the look, the results won’t appear appealing. That’s especially true of Saturday’s second half, which at one point featured the the Terps enjoying their largest lead of the season and ended with Maryland shuffling back to its team buses as the Carter-Finley Stadium scoreboard helpfully directed fans to a website to purchase bowl tickets.
That wasn’t going to be an option for Maryland and its fans on Saturday. It wasn’t on the table for the last three weeks. But it didn’t soothe any of the pain of arguably the worst loss in one of the school’s worst seasons.
“We come out here and play hard and do what we need to do and just dropped the ball,” Hartsfield lamented.