Terps Last Stand - Rutgers Is A Must-Win

9/25/2009 8:33:17 AM Rutgers is a bad football team and all indications thus far point to the fact that Maryland is equally putrid.  Nevertheless, one of these two squads will have the chance to right themselves tomorrow at Byrd Stadium.  Those of you looking for quality football may choose to avert your eyes.  How's that for an exciting lead-in?

As ACCsports.com notes, the Terps are an overtime field goal away from an 0-3 start.  If you are looking for a silver lining; try this on for size:  if the Terps score 30 ponts or more aganist Rutgers, it will be the first time since 2003 that the Terps have scored 30 or more points in three straight games.  Who is ready to whip out the party hats?

The logical conclusion is that the Terps problems are on the defensive side of the ball.  If only that were the case.  Unfortunately, turnovers, penalties, inexperience, and awful play-calling are the defining characteristics of the offense.  There are so many problems, that the single bright spot thus far has been the emergence of our freshman field goal kicker.  Yikes.

In actuality, the title of this post is misleading.  Even a win tomorrow will do little to fix what ails the football team.  The ACC is not exactly filled with elite programs, but win or lose vs. Rutgers and we are still looking at a slate of  "L's" on the remaining schedule.

Many folks have mentioned that Duke and Virginia are the only schools in conference that we have a chance to beat.  I would add Wake and BC to that list, but going 4-0 against these schools is probably a pipe dream.  That means the Terps are headed for a sub .500 record this year.

I think that as Terp fans, we all realize that it is unrealistic to expect a winning season every year.  However, the decline to mediocrity has been incredible.  The Terps have not had a decent quarterback since Scott McBrien left in 2003.  How is that possible, when Ralph Friedgen was considered an offensive genius back then? QBs should have been lining up to play here.

Instead we got Hollenbach, Steffy, and Turner.

Is it bad recruiting?  I can't say.  What I do know is that Fridge and his team have lost the identity they once had as an offensive powerhouse.  We could and should have been the Texas Tech of the ACC; attracting offensive talent with an offense that is perennially exciting (and effective).

Instead, it has been a steady drop into mediocrity.  Now, the Terps have no identity.  Without an identity, Maryland, is fated to be a middling and irrelevant program in the modern NCAA landscape.  We are better than this.

I don't know what the answers are; but a program with this many problems should hardly be worried about succession planning.  Naming a "coach-in-waiting" was and is ridiculous.  Now we are all-in with a coaching staff that seems wildly incapable of performing at the required level.  Maybe that's the scariest aspect about this whole thing.  It could get worse before it gets better folks.
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