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Terps' Performance Confuses a Nation

An unranked team losing a conference road game is going to generate the kind of national reaction that, say, USC losing to Oregon State did. But the nature of Maryland's 31-0 loss to Virginia was enough to make national college football observers take at least some notice.

Mostly the reaction was stunned confusion at how such a thing could happen (sorry, folks, we live here and we can't help with that one). Such was the sentiment in the Kansas City Star and the New Orleans Times-Picayune (which was so confused it ranked Virginia). Closer to home, the Diamondback synthesized the loss into one word: Embarrassing.

Not all the news was bad. The Boston Globe still has faith in the mercurial nature of the Terps, listing them as one of the dark horses to win the ACC.

And then there was this description from Spencer Hall in The Sporting News:

Maryland is Austin Powers hitting on 21 at the blackjack table: lose to MTSU, beat Cal and Clemson, and then. .. 31-0 to Virginia? Al Groh's Virginia Cavaliers? Maryland, I give up attempting to understand your football whys and wherefores. To determine what you will do from week to week, I will flip a coin. Heads will mean "confusing loss;" tails will mean "confusing win." The opponent, however, will not matter, since it doesn't seem to matter to Maryland, either.

Well, this week we don't even need a coin. Even Maryland can't surprise or disappoint on a bye week.

By Matthew Rennie  |  October 6, 2008; 9:06 AM ET
Categories:  Football  
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Next: Maryland-Wake Forest Kickoff Set for Noon


2 words......FIRE FRIEDGEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Anonymous | October 6, 2008 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Fire The Fridge.

You need to find a way, ANY WAY, to get the ball into your best player's hands.


It's time for a change.

Posted by: Broken Clipboards | October 6, 2008 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Too many fair-weather fans are jumping ship and calling for ralph's head after another bad loss. Yes, the loss was a head-scratcher and there are no excuses. But did you see the stat that ESPNU ran on Saturday night, that in his 7 seasons at the helm the program has more wins than the previous 14! Anybody who doesn't think they are going to come back in 2 weeks to beat Wake doesn't know this team. Yes, it was a bad loss, but they are very much still in the mix to win the ACC....

Posted by: Wake Up | October 6, 2008 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Overweight and over paid, its time the Fridge moved on. The players obviously dont comprehend what he is saying and that means they are tuning him out, get him out of there before he taints the young kids who are terp football future.

Posted by: Dan_Snydeee | October 6, 2008 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Confusing, embarrassing, inexplicable, shocking, mystifying, pathetic, frustrating, enraging

Posted by: Keith | October 6, 2008 10:45 AM | Report abuse

I'm with you. I fully expect them to beat WF. But I also fully expect them to drop the NCSU game the following week at home, on homecoming.

Fridge, while under fire, is merely a victim of the same expectations he himself created. I remember was UGLY and I do not want a return to those days.

My main problem with Fridge is his unwillingness to cut his losses and move on...Statham, Cosh, Steffy, Cosh...if it ain't working and it can't be fixed, cut it loose and move on!

Quote of the week...

"Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." -Albert Einstein

That pretty much surmises the Cosh era in a nutshell.

Posted by: @Wake Up | October 6, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Wins over Clemson and Cal or not, I've wanted him gone for awhile.

If the Terps can never recruit any above average QBs will never be consistent. In 7 years I gotta think Ralph can recruit a single QB to play the way he wants.

Also, where did the option go? All the things they did when Maryland was really good are now gone.

Posted by: Broken Clipboards | October 6, 2008 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Guess Ralph needs to go to the end of the line on the post game buffet after this one...what a sad excuse for a football coach, should have let him stay with Georgia Tech...

Posted by: | October 6, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

i have no clue. i checked the game whilst in a drinking haze and thought it was just the vodka talking and i MUST have read the score backwards.

not so much. incredibly awful!

Posted by: paul | October 6, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Even if the Terps lose the rest of their games this year, I believe RF would be back.

The expectations here are so low because people will inevitably compare his record against the 90's debacle.

However, if your memory serves you well, think back to the Ross and Claiborne eras.
When you make that comparison RF starts looking like a coach without answers.

Posted by: Charles | October 6, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

I can't stand fairweather fans. Ralph and I resurrected these programs. Have a little respect. Happy hour at Bentley's anyone?

Posted by: Gary Williams | October 6, 2008 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Those who still compare this era to the 90's are uninformed. in the late 80s and 90's, the administration abandoned football. The staffs were underpaid and we had no upgrades to the facilities other than an ill-advised upperdeck. The same is NO LONGER true under Ralph. He has a long term $2M contract and has financial and administrative support. the standards of the 90s are gone so stop living by them. college football is the meal ticket (lucky for us we have a $$$ bball program) and we cannot squander the opportunity to grow like other programs. Ralph is in major danger of losing the fanbase and not selling the suites. Season tickets have tapered off from the highs set a few years back.

as far as coaching, some of you need to pay close attention to program management and player development over the past 5 years. We have been mediocre in terms of Ws and Ls, but look at the fundamentals of our offenses and defenses during that stretch. Since Taafe and Blackney left, we've been a poor football program. the coaching staff has been inconsistent and the on-field results prove it.

When we had those two assistants, we were consistently in the top 30 in both units. since then, we've often been in the last 25% of all teams. Ralph's early successes were mainly due to those two assistants.

Posted by: MLinDC | October 6, 2008 12:36 PM | Report abuse

I loved this result.

Virginia -- 31
Maryland -- 0 (zero - zip - zilch - nada)

Maryland's - Defensive and Offensive lines and Linebacking corp are the worst in College Football.

I have seen harder hitting teams in powder puff leagues.

Maryland's recruiting efforts are going to take a major hit with this result.


Wake Forest -- 34
Maryland -- 10

Maryland will finish with a 5-7 record.

I am happy that Maryland is no longer recruiting Tavon Austin.

Jelani Jenkins, Travis Hawkins and Isaac Holmes will be signing with the University of Florida.

Go Tar Heels !

Posted by: Gary | October 6, 2008 12:53 PM | Report abuse

"Too many fair-weather fans are jumping ship and calling for ralph's head after another bad loss. Yes, the loss was a head-scratcher and there are no excuses. But did you see the stat that ESPNU ran on Saturday night, that in his 7 seasons at the helm the program has more wins than the previous 14! Anybody who doesn't think they are going to come back in 2 weeks to beat Wake doesn't know this team. Yes, it was a bad loss, but they are very much still in the mix to win the ACC...."

I have been a Maryland Terrapins fan of all sports since I was six years old. I was even a student there in the mid 1980s. I am a diehard fan, but we need to face reality. This team is HORRIBLE from the coaches to the players. WE WILL NOT WIN THE ACC! When a coach after eight years says he cannot reach the players, and it is players he recruited, he needs to be FIRED. Time for the apologists to stop apologizing for failures. If you like mediocrity and failure, you deal with it. I want the BEST. Get Bronco Mendenhall, Chris Peterson, or Kyle Whittingham over here.

Posted by: Elwood | October 6, 2008 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Fair weather fans?

I went to the bowl game in San Francisco and the weather was not fair! In fact the whole city was enveloped in a dense fog.

Also, great insight by MLinDC. I don't think any coach could have succeeded in College Park during the 90's. In fact, the entire athletic department suffered due to the fallout after the Len Bias tragedy.

Posted by: Charles | October 6, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Well said. I was a student at MD during that sad period in the mid 80s, and I knew then before transferring that athletics were going to go downhill. PR pressure killed possible success to the bigtime back then after that mess.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 6, 2008 1:32 PM | Report abuse

MD Fans are as inconsistent as the football team. We love them, we hate them.

But I've been thinking RF needed to go for a few years. He hasn't done a lot with HIS recruits. He did more the first few years--they weren't his players.

I'm riding the Terps rollercoaster and hoping the right team shows up Thursday night, Nov 6 in Blacksburg and we don't repeat the Nov 2004 nightmare.


Posted by: Rebecca | October 6, 2008 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Check out Terp Ticker -- -- for the latest news links,, videos, polls and commentary about MD athletics. Go Terps!

Posted by: TerpTicker | October 6, 2008 6:17 PM | Report abuse

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