Maryland's fast start to 2013 led to a national ranking and belief that this could be the season the Terps put it together under Randy Edsall.
Then, for the second year in a row, injuries became a major story in Maryland's season.
Starting quarterback C.J. Brown (concussion), leading rusher Brandon Ross (shoulder) have been ruled out for Saturday's game against No. 9 Clemson, just a few of the notable additions the 24-person injury report issued to the media on Thursday. Of the two dozen players listed, only defensive lineman Zeke Riser and linebackers Matt Robinson and Alex Twine are probable, everyone else is out for the game or already ruled out for the season.
Arguably the most disappointing setback occurred last week against Wake Forest, when starting wide receivers Stefon Diggs and Deon Long each sustained a broken leg in the 34-10 loss. Both players needed season-ending surgery, and now face months of recovery -- Diggs could be full strength in February, while Long's recovery may last into April.
Sophomore Caleb Rowe will once again start at quarterback in place of Brown. Rowe has faced some uphill battles as a reliever (Florida State comes to mind), but an angry Clemson defense without Diggs, Long, and Ross will be his toughest.
Luckily, Maryland's fast start makes getting to a bowl a bit easier to manage with their thinning roster. At 5-1, the Terps need just one more win to become bowl eligible for the first time under Randy Edsall. After the Tigers, Maryland hosts Syracuse and Boston College in College Park. At this point, one of those two games seems to be the team's best chance at accomplishing that goal.