The Washington Times - October 16, 2008, 10:21PM

I feel certain one of Maryland football coach Ralph Friedgen‘s least favorite holidays is Halloween.

That’s mainly because it was the night three years ago when he was able to separate the Terps’ cornerstone players from their Cornerstone players.


But Ralph is good with the dark humor sometimes associated with that holiday. And he seemed to be bringing some of the morbid Halloween spirit to his press briefing this afternoon.

He repeated a couple times his team had some good practices this week, though he’s just as unsure as anyone how that will translate Saturday against Wake Forest. At this point, he knows his Bizarro Terps well.

I asked if the fact guys were able to get away from football last weekend —- really, for the first time since the start of August —- might have helped out. It was a possibility, but he was very pleased no one took an extended leave.

“Nobody was late coming back,” Friedgen said. “Normally I have a guy miss a plane or guy gets caught in traffic. I get every excuse under the sun. If said there’d be a firing squad for everybody that was late, they’d probably make it, but I probably can’t do that.”

No, Ralph, you probably can’t. Glad to see you remain rooted in reality.

A few moments later, he started rattling off the scout team players of the week and game captains, followed by the guys selected for the Terps’ newest honor —- carrying the state and national flags onto the field.

“The pallbearers, or flag-bearers or whatever it is…,” Friedgen said before mentioning that Bemi Otulaja and Arnold Davies will run in with the flags.

Well, those are two vastly different roles. In the first instance, one might come to bury the Terps. In the second, perhaps praise them.

Friends, Romans and countrymen lend me your ears (or, in this medium, your eyes) —- we’ll know just what sort of digging deep Maryland ultimately managed to do during the bye week in a little less than 48 hours.

—- Patrick Stevens