The Washington Times - September 19, 2009, 09:24PM

For anyone paying attention the last two weeks, this really isn’t a surprise.

No, the fact Maryland lost 32-31 to Middle Tennessee should come as a shock to no one.


The season has only hit the quarter pole, but it’s already time to start figuring out how the Terrapins can reach the six-victory plateau that would portend a late-December visit to RFK Stadium.

If the Terps keep playing like this, that could be a gargantuan task.

A lot about this night was ugly. A starting tailback who can’t hold onto the ball. A defense that even on its best night to date eroded in the second half. A somewhat banged-up quarterback Maryland is clearly desperate to protect taking some more hard hits.

Oh, and that swath of empty seats in the upper deck (not to mention the unsold suites on the other side of the stadium). Those don’t bode well, either, and losses to Middle Tennessee and scared against James Madison don’t exactly do much to attract fan support.

It’s going to be a long week in College Park. Coach Ralph Friedgen is promising to “start getting real tough.” Whether that makes a difference heading into next week’s game against Rutgers, who knows?

But at this point, no loss is a surprise. Not one. And Maryland needs to do some growing up, and fast, for that to change at any stage this season.

—- Patrick Stevens