Rebounding from a 63-0 loss: Can Maryland football beat Virginia?

OL De'Onte Arnett says, Photo: Maryland football/ AP

WASHINGTON, October 10, 2013 — At Tuesday’s media conference, University of Maryland offensive lineman De’Onte Arnett explained that the Terps’ previous game against Florida State University was done, over, in the past.

“That one’s in the books.” 


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Well, it is definitely in the records books, but for the wrong reasons. By the numbers, Saturday’s 63-0 loss against a strong FSU defense was Maryland’s worse score since a 70-7 loss against Penn State in 1993. Not only that, but quarterback sensation CJ Brown left the game early with a concussion, the team lost its top 25 ranking, and it suffered it’s worst shut-out since going 0-45 against University of Virginia in 1997.

Ironically, Maryland (4-1, 1-0) has a chance to erase the bad taste from last week with a win against Virginia (2-3, 0-1) this Saturday. Despite the score against FSU, Maryland’s first loss of the season, confidence is still high and expectations remain the same for both coaches and players: win a conference title and win every future game.

“It’s no different when you win,” Coach Randy Esdall said. “When you win, you go through the film and you show them what they did right, what they did wrong and you put it behind you. It’s the same thing if you lose. Every week’s got to be the same, and that’s how we try to do it.”

“It’s really positive because I’ve been on really good teams and really bad teams, and whenever guys take losses hard, that’s a really good sign,” added defensive lineman Zeke Riser.  “Even though we lost, we’re still 4-1. There are a lot of goals we can accomplish. We’re not dwelling.”


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The desire to win an ACC championship for the tenth time is especially enticing as Maryland plans to join the Big 10 next year. Each ACC game has become a “last game,” including this Saturday against UVA.

“We don’t like Virginia,” Arnett said. “That’s not a team that we befriend. We are definitely looking to win this game. It being the last time, it is something special, but we always look to beat Virginia”

In order to beat UVA, the Terps will have to do two things. The first is to contain the Cavalier’s running threat Kevin Parks, who Coach Edsall called a plain and simple “tough runner” and “good football player.” That already could prove difficult if Maryland’s defense plays the way it did, giving up 614 yards to Florida State.

“We didn’t match [FSU’s] intensity, we didn’t match their aggressiveness,” offensive lineman Sal Conaboy said. “I think we came out flat and we never picked it up to the next level. You can’t do that with a good team.”


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Maryland’s defense will need to be aggressive against a Virginia offense that has put up big numbers this season behind Parks’ 409 total rushing yards. On the other hand, the Cavaliers have allowed almost as many yards against. 

In order to capitalize on a weaker Virginia defense, the second step starts with deciding who will quarterback the game for the Terps. Edsall reiterated multiple times on Tuesday that he would not comment on CJ Brown’s condition until after Thursday’s practice.  Brown went down late in the second quarter on Saturday with a possible concussion. Players said they have confidence in back-up Caleb Rowe, especially after his 240-yard performance last year against Boston College, but could miss the authority and leadership that Brown provides.

“No sense in talking about hypotheticals,” Edsall argued.

While Coach Edsall won’t talk about hypotheticals, we will. You tell us:

1. Can Maryland win against UVA if Caleb Rowe takes over for CJ Brown?

2. Can Maryland win against UVA if the Terps defense doesn’t show up?


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Alex Sopko

Alex may be one of the few sports writers who doesn’t have a favorite team. Or a favorite sport. But she does have favorite stories. Buying into the words “it’s not the score that matters, it’s the athlete,” Alex has for the past six years covered personal sports stories that range from inspiring to fascinating to down right weird.

 

Alex is a former Division I athlete and sports editor at Harvard University. After interning with The Washington Times sports department in 2009, she now contributes regularly to the Washington Times Metro, Sports, and Communities sections.

 

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