Randy Edsall reacts to the Terps becoming bowl eligible
COLLEGE PARK—Saturday presented a crossroads for Maryland head coach Randy Edsall and his football team.
With pressure, frustration, and displeasure mounting following three straight failures to attain bowl eligibility, the outcome of Saturday’s game against Virginia Tech would either assure Maryland a bowl invitation or sending them tumbling into more uncertainty about whether that win would ever come.
But surrounded by a crowd of more than 66,000 cheering against them, they got it done, a 27-24 overtime win over the Hokies at Lane Stadium.
Now the pressure is diffused—not gone, but certainly much reduced—as Maryland prepares for Boston College on Saturday in College Park.
“A lot of people counted us down and out and didn’t think we could get another win the rest of the year,” Edsall said on Tuesday. “I think sometimes that’s a tough hurdle to get over, to get over the ‘woe is me’ attitude and ‘Why us?’ or ‘How did this happen again?’”
Injuries, for the second season in a row, appeared poised to derail a promising early start, but Edsall says the mindset has changed.
“Now they know that, hey, regardless of who we have available, we can go win games if we do it the right way.”
The sixth win on Saturday marks the first time Edsall has won a game at Maryland after Oct. 13 of a calendar year and the first time he and the Terrapins have become bowl eligible during his tenure.
As Maryland begins its stretch run and tries to improve its bowl position, the words “antsy” and “anxious” have been dropped from their collective vocabulary and replaced with words that are markedly more positive.
“I think it was a huge win for us,” quarterback C.J. Brown said Tuesday. “After the game, it was kind of a tipping point. The season could go either way and I was glad the way it did.”
Remaining on the team’s schedule are Boston College on Saturday and a road game against NC State the following week, with a mathematical chance to finish 8-4 after what seemed like such a bleak picture less than one week ago.
But in Edsall’s uncharacteristically joyful outburst following Saturday’s win was the escape of a good deal of pressure that was riding on this team’s success, though Edsall had a more comical explanation.
“I didn’t really do much during the day. I just felt I needed to get some exercise, you know, at the end,” Edsall joked. “Sometimes I show my emotions in different ways and I was just very happy for our kids.”
Maryland-Boston College kicks off at 3:30 p.m. and will be broadcast on Comcast SportsNet.