Posted by Chip Patterson
After 2010's Maryland squad put together one of the biggest win-turnarounds in program history, the 2011 edition is dangerously close to making history in the opposite direction. The Terrapins closed out their home schedule with a 31-17 loss to Virginia on Saturday, a frustrating loss played before an announced attendance of 37,401.
With thirteen scholarship players no longer a part of the program, and the significant drop off from last year's 9-4 season, there is plenty of reason for concern within the Maryland fan base. First-year head coach Randy Edsall was brought in to change the culture of Maryland football, but the transition has been much rockier than many imagined. Edsall addressed some of those concerns on Sunday, offering a reminder that this is not his first time struggling with a coaching changeover.
"I've been through this before," Edsall said in a teleconference on Sunday. "I know how to handle it. I know what to do. There is no panic. It was like this the first year when we put the team together in Jacksonville. ... It's Connecticutall over again, 13 years ago. Jacksonville Jaguars all over again. It's going to Boston College when we were there. I've been through all of this. This isn't earth-shattering. It doesn't have me discouraged. I have a vision of what we're going to do and I know we're doing things the right way."
Athletic director Kevin Anderson brought Edsall in with hopes of a focus on getting things done "the right way." There have been reports of players not agreeing with some of the dress code and discipline policies instituted by the new head coach, and the inconsistent on-field performances do not offer much evidence that this team is unified behind the scenes.
The Terps have been forced to deal with several injuries to key players and changes in both the offensive and defensive scheme, but even with those set backs few people believed they would see Maryland tied for last place in the ACC in November.
Things won't get any easier down the stretch, either. The Terps face Notre Dame at FedEx Field on Saturday before finishing the season on the road against Wake Forest and NC State. Edsall could really use at least one more win to avoid finishing with a 2-10 record: identical to that dreadful 2009 Maryland season.
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