The University of Maryland has at least two intangible positives in their attempt to break a 7 game losing streak to West Virginia University on Saturday. First is a 3-0 record in which they have gained at least 500 total yards in each game.
The Terps have averaged nearly 41 points per game while allowing an average of only 14. That is an impressive start on both sides of the ball regardless of the opponent. That should at least help Maryland substantially improve upon last year's record of 4-8.
Maryland has also shown the ability at U Conn last week to fall behind early this season and come back to win by 11 points on the road. That leads us to the other factor they have going for them against WVU.
The second intangible is confidence. After 2 straight losing seasons, coach Randy Edsall has the Terps believing they can win again. After a 3 point loss at home to U Conn in 2012, Maryland managed to turn that score around by 14 points this year with star cornerback Dexter McDougle returning an interception for a touchdown.
Sixth year senior quarterback C J Brown, 6'3"- 210 lbs, led the Terps comeback against the Huskies by gaining 122 yds. on 16 carries in addition to throwing for 277 yds.
Brown scored touchdowns both by running and passing. McDougle suffered a season ending injury in the second half, costing the Terps possibly their best defensive player.
Having Brown back from a season ending ACL injury last year brings newfound confidence to the whole team. Coach Edsall said in an interview, "I would hope that we — and I think we do — have confidence. I think the players believe in themselves and they believe in all the things that we're doing."
"I think it's a good confidence that we have, it's not one that is overinflated. They're mature enough to see that we've been able to win the first three games and we haven't come close to playing our best game to date."
Brown has been an inspiration for the Terps resurgence after a dismal 2012 season. It helps that he has prolific sophomore wide receiver Stefon Diggs. Diggs has been compared to WVU's former star Tavon Austin.
In another interview coach Edsall said this of his talented quarterback, “C.J. is a young man who has had tremendous confidence in his own ability through his hard work and preparation, and what happens is, the people around him see how he handles himself, how he goes about his business.”
“I think it brings a sense of calmness, a sense of confidence to everybody else. And then to have him perform at the rate he’s been performing also brings a tremendous amount of confidence. It just seems like the game is very slow for him. He’s got everything under control. He’s operating at a level that is outstanding, just very smooth. Hopefully that will continue.”
In acknowledging the 7 wins in a row by the Mountaineers, the coach and players give lip service respect to WVU by calling it a tough game and important win. Quarterback Brown said of the Mountaineers, "They're a tough team, to go out there [and win], it would be a significant win for us."
Brown may have hinted his true thoughts about WVU when he followed that statement with, "We're going to go in there and play our game. We're going to go out there prepared to win and kind of put on a show."
"Put on a show"? There's nothing wrong with being confident. Coaches strive for that. But I've never seen a coach that didn't wince or at least shake his head in frustration when one of his best players gives his opponent something to decorate the team bulletin board.
I guess that offsets’ not letting the WVU Band play at halftime turning out to be common procedure for the visiting team that was decided months ago. Some folks will naturally be offended by Terp quarterback's probably inadvertent dismissal of the prowess of the Mountaineers.
For me, if it came from a Pitt player or fan I'm fired up and ready to fight. Coming from Maryland it's simply a verbal gaffe.
Comments and/or debate welcome and appreciated!