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Erratic or Mediocre?

The storyline throughout the season, ever since that night in Murfreesboro, is that this Maryland team is erratic, volatile, unpredictable, etc. I am starting to think this team is less erratic and more mediocre.

Five of the seven wins have come by seven points or less. Three of the four conference wins have come by three points or less. If there were another five minutes in the Cal game, Maryland loses to a team that sleepwalked into Byrd Stadium.

The best conference win was against a Wake Forest team that has shown itself to be severely offensively-challenged. The only road win came against a Clemson team that was unraveling before everyone’s eyes. And there is no way to spin the loss in Murfreesboro in a positive way.

Am I off-base? I think Maryland should feel fortunate with seven wins, especially considering it needed two dramatic late-game drives to secure two victories over the past month and a rally from an 11-point deficit to win its only road game.

By Eric Prisbell  |  November 25, 2008; 5:07 PM ET
Categories:  Football  
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Comments

In some ways, you can say we were successful and someways not. To be bowl eligible in this kind of year where there is so much parity in the ACC is a good thing. The wins were quality wins: Clemson was still considered one of the best teams around until we knocked them off and exposed their weaknesses, beating Cal when no one gave us a chance, and stymying UNC's potent offense showed a lot of mettle.
Still, to have gotten this close to the ACC Championship you could taste it and then let it slip through the fingers has left a bad stink in my mouth. It's maddening to see a talented team like Maryland underperform on a regular basis.

Posted by: ecglotfelty | November 25, 2008 5:19 PM | Report abuse

I think of a mediocre team as one that beats inferior opponents but cannot make big plays to win against superior opponents. Maryland hasn't met that definition of mediocre. If you average out their quality of play, it's maybe a little better than mediocre, but their peaks have been high enough that one doesn't expect to see quite so many valleys.

They should definitely feel fortunate to have seven wins with the way they have played, but even a team that regularly played up to its limited potential would have beat MTSU and made more of a game of it against Virginia and FSU.

I think the problem is that Maryland is very football talented but psychologically mediocre. That causes swings in performance that we don't normally see. Think of all the discussion Fridge has had about trying to get his players to take things seriously, to speak up in the locker room and on the field, to address issues with the proper urgency. But being psychologically suited to play football is a talent also, so where does that leave us? 7 and 4, I guess.

Posted by: Lindemann777 | November 26, 2008 6:00 AM | Report abuse

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