The Washington Times - September 14, 2008, 10:29AM

Loyal reader Slatter e-mailed me yesterday at about the time Maryland was going ahead 21-3 on California the following question:

How often during Fridge’s tenure have the Terps won after scoring first? How often have they lost after letting their opponent score first? It doesn’t seem like Fridge leads a lot of comebacks.


This is a good question. But by the time the Southern Cal-Ohio State game wrapped up 11 hours later, I started looking up Maryland’s record of holding onto a lead or rallying from behind at halftime under Ralph Friedgen.

So congrats, loyal readers. It’s time for a 2-for-1 day.

We’ll start on the original question. Maryland is 46-9 under Friedgen when it scores first. The record when an opponent takes the initial lead is 12-23.

Because things almost always can be broken down neatly into two parts of the Friedgen years, here’s the splits between Ralph’s first three years and the time since:

2001-03: 25-5 when scoring first, 6-3 when opponents score first
2004-08: 21-4 when scoring first, 6-20 when opponents score first

The first category is pretty much a wash (other than that Maryland scored first more often in Friedgen’s first 39 games than it has in his last 51, which is its own ball of wax). It’s the second where things get interesting.

That would support Slatter’s observation that Maryland hasn’t made many comebacks in recent years. By the way, the six games in the last four-plus seasons the Terps won despite not scoring first were 2004 Northern Illinois, 2005 Temple, 2005 North Carolina, 2006 Virginia, 2006 Clemson and 2007 Rutgers.

But let’s test this a bit further (and use the halftime stats I looked up in the process). Without getting into the gory year-by-year details (e-mail me at the link below if you really want to see the gory details), Maryland is 50-7 under Friedgen when leading at halftime, 8-23 when trailing at the break and 0-2 when tied.

Now let’s do the same breakdown as before:

2001-03: 27-0 when leading at halftime, 4-7 when trailing at halftime, 0-1 when tied at halftime. 2004-08: 23-7 when leading at halftime, 4-16 when trailing at halftime, 0-1 when tied at halftime.

Seems to be more of the same. Maryland had nearly as many comebacks from halftime deficits against N.C. State in Friedgen’s first three seasons (three) than against everyone in the last four-plus seasons combined.

For those interested, Maryland has rallied from halftime deficits to upend N.C. State (2001-03), Wake Forest (2003), Navy (2005), North Carolina (2005), Virginia (2006) and Rutgers (2007).

Meanwhile, the Terps squandered halftime leads against Clemson (2004-05), Florida State (2005), N.C. State (2005), Georgia Tech (2006), Wake Forest (2007) and Virginia (2007).

So to finally return to Slatter’s original question, no, there haven’t been many huge rallies in the last few years. Since 2004, Maryland has erased three deficits of 10 points or more:

* Won 28-26 at Virginia in 2006 despite trailing 20-0
* Won 23-20 vs. Navy in 2005 despite trailing 14-3
* Won 33-30 at North Carolina in 2005 despite trailing 27-17

—- Patrick Stevens