Nestled in the second half of Saturday’s blowout loss to Florida State was a lesson Maryland coach Randy Edsall could emphasize for some time to come.
Wide receiver Kevin Dorsey, he of the breakout junior season and statistically muted senior year, provided an option over the middle for scrambling quarterback Shawn Petty and turned it into a 33-yard touchdown reception.
Then in the final minute, Dorsey hauled in a 42-yard scoring catch as the Terrapins reached double figures in a 41-14 loss.
Despite the deflation of clinching a losing season, Maryland could take some satisfaction from Dorsey’s day.
“He’s not one of those guys that was going to finger point or anything like that,” Edsall said. “He just went about his business, and that’s what you do. Good things always happen to good people. If you just keep working hard and doing the things people ask you to do and you’ll get rewarded.”
Dorsey was Maryland’s most established offensive weapon coming into the season. It started a true freshman at quarterback and would use two more. Three of its four tailbacks were freshman. Its hyped recruit, wideout Stefon Diggs, still was a freshman.
The Terps have targeted Dorsey 53 times, more than anyone besides Diggs, but Maryland’s offensive limitations have forced him into other roles such as blocking. Even with Saturday’s two scores, Dorsey has just 17 catches for 285 yards and three touchdowns.
It was only the fourth multireception day of the season for Dorsey, who nonetheless found value in providing an example for the youthful Terps (4-7, 2-5 ACC).
“It may not have been my job this season to have 1,000 yards,” Dorsey said. “It may have been my job to keep the guys in it when times were hard. If anything, I feel like that’s more important. There were plenty of games were we didn’t put ourselves in the best predicament in the first half and to come back and still scrap and fight in the fourth quarter to give us a chance to win is a testament to this team.”
For all of Maryland’s injuries, this might be the most difficult week of the season. The Terps’ bowl hopes are gone. Their Senior Day ceremonies are in the past. So is the big day that felt overdue for Dorsey, who had never caught two touchdowns in a college contest.
Still, there’s a game to go. And if the second half of Saturday’s pummeling is any indication, Dorsey will help hold things together in College Park for another seven days.
“Being a captain, he’s definitely one of those guys who is a motivator and got us going all year and it’s been the biggest thing,” right tackle Justin Gilbert said. “He hasn’t said anything about not getting a lot of catches. He’s blocking as hard on the edge. To see him have a game like that was just cool.”
NOTE: Maryland’s finale at North Carolina on Saturday will kick off at 3 p.m. Comcast SportsNet will broadcast the game locally.