Edsall on the loss: I take full responsibility
It was a long, quiet plane ride back from Tallahassee for the Maryland Terrapins on Saturday, hours after being dominated, 63-0, by No. 8 Florida State.
Players like Stefon Diggs, C.J. Brown, Keith Bowers, and Cole Farrand were all noticeably affected by the loss, a historically significant shutout on national television as the newly anointed No. 25 team in the nation.
But there was a silver lining.
“Whenever guys take losses hard, that’s a really good sign,” senior defensive lineman Zeke Riser said Tuesday. “If no one cares about losing, especially the way we did, that’s when you have a problem.
“That game meant a lot to a lot of guys.”
The trip back gave way to regularly scheduled workouts on Sunday, no different in form, but very different in context than the five that had preceded them during this 2013 season.
“We went out on the field on Sunday. That Florida State game was behind us when we went out to practice,” head coach Randy Edsall told the media on Tuesday. “It’s over with. It’s done. We move forward to Virginia on [Saturday] afternoon.”
Sunday’s workouts were as significant in the context of Maryland’s attempt to return to normalcy as the Florida State loss the day prior had been in shifting the course of the season.
Players were intense, offensive lineman Sal Conaboy noted, perhaps “getting their anger out” in trying to file the loss to the Seminoles away somewhere that it could not be easily dug up.
“Even though we lost, we’re still 4-1,” Riser added. “There are a still a lot of goals we can still accomplish.”
Maryland now faces a 2-3 Virginia team that is fresh off a loss to mid-major Ball State at home by three touchdowns.
It’s a rivalry in perhaps one of its final chapters after the shifts of realignment, with two teams in different trajectories, but similar immediate circumstances.
It affords Maryland the opportunity to bounce back quickly, but still with the threat of a void at quarterback.
Starter C.J. Brown suffered a concussion Saturday against Florida State and Edsall gave no futher update on Tuesday, other than that more information would be available Thursday when the team releases its injury reports.
He refused to deal in hypotheticals, including the possibility of backup Caleb Rowe taking the field, saying only that every player is prepped as if he will enter the game at some point that week.
Edsall says he has no input into the medical decisions that are made when it comes to players who are available, but assured one thing.
“We’re never going to put any young man on the field—concussion, any injury--unless they’re fully able to go and they’re cleared by the medical people.” he said.
With or without Brown, Maryland kicks off against Virginia at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday in College Park.