The Fridge goes out in dominating fashion
It was clear early and often that the military personnel on hand for the Military Bowl weren’t the only warriors in the building at RFK Stadium on Wednesday afternoon. Maryland played with a tremendous amount of emotion and was on a mission to end its season with a victory.
The Terps were out to prove they’re not an afterthought of a program. They wanted to prove they deserved the shot to finish in the top 25 for the first time in their collegiate careers. Mostly, they were out to play for each other and prove how much they love the man that has lead them now to a nine win season, the man we lovingly know as “Fridge.”
Well, the Terps proved everything they wanted to and then some, in convincing fashion no less. Other than a couple of errant kicks and a questionable penalty or two, it seemed as if Maryland could do no wrong.
On defense, the Terps were absolutely dominant. In my post on Tuesday, I said that East Carolina’s offensive style played directly into Maryland defensive coordinator Don Brown’s game plan and the Terps' defense helped to prove me right. The Pirates were able to move the ball from time to time, but never without a little help from penalties or punt returns. ECU’s offense came into the game averaging 38 points and 445 total yards per game, and the Terps held them to 20 points and 343 total yards of offense. It was a stunning team effort, and I’d argue their finest performance of the season.
Offensively, the man of the day was senior running back Da’Rel Scott. Scott was utterly electrifying, busting off touchdown scampers of 61 and 91 yards, even when everyone in the building knew the Terps were going to run the ball. I couldn’t have picked a better student-athlete to break out either. After having a breakout year in 2008, Scott battled injuries last season and seemed to have trouble getting his engine revved up again this season. It was a truly special performance for the senior in his last collegiate game.
You also have to give a little love to the five most unheralded players on any football team, the offensive line. They played a great game in their own right, keeping quarterback Danny O’Brien’s jersey washing machine clean and plowing open holes for the Terps running backs to run for nearly 300 yards and six touchdowns.
Last but not least, I have to applaud Terrapin Nation. After having our fanhood questioned by just about everyone you could think of, we showed up in droves to RFK Stadium and made it rock one last time for our Terrapins. Put it all together and it was a special night for Maryland football.
Let this serve as a lesson to all of the haters. Don’t underestimate the Terps, and don’t underestimate Terrapin Nation. We are and will continue to be a program and fan base to be reckoned with.
Now, it’s time to look to the future of Maryland football, and it’s a lot brighter than it was in early 2000. Thank you once again for all of the memories, Coach Friedgen. We all love and appreciate everything you’ve done for Terrapin football, and you will be missed.
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