Maybe it's the crowd noise getting to them. Maybe it's the unfamiliar surroundings. Whatever it is, this group of Terps just can't seem to get comfortable on the road.
If Maryland (4-2, 1-1 ACC) is going to take the next step in turning around last year's dreadful 2-10 season, it has to win a road game, starting on Saturday at Boston College (2-4, 0-3). The Terps have never won in Alumni Stadium, and are looking for their first road win since beating Clemson in Death Valley in September 2008.
"It is never easy to win on the road," coach Ralph Friedgen told reporters at his weekly news conference. "I think that the younger your team is, the more difficult it is to do so, but I know we are capable. It's about time we start maturing and be able to do that -- that is our next big component as a team."
With a rookie quarterback in Danny O'Brien and a roster that includes just eight seniors on the two-deep depth chart, Friedgen's team is young. But it showed signs of promise in the loss to Clemson -- including outgaining the Tigers 350-213 in total yards -- which is why Friedgen was unusually frustrated following the loss.
"I think part of it is a lack of experience and the number of young players that are playing for us right now," said sophomore tight end Matt Furstenburg. "We hadn't really experienced the loud crowd noise that is going to come with playing at Clemson before. This week we have to eliminate the penalties and work on not committing mental penalties like being offsides or holding. "
It hasn't been so long that Maryland forget how to win away from Byrd Stadium. Redshirt sophomore defensive lineman A.J. Francis knows what it takes to win on the road -- he was in Death Valley when Maryland silenced the Tigers fans in 2008.
"I'm actually more excited for road games because I get the feeling that nobody likes us and they don't want us to win," he said. "I like that feeling. I remember my freshman year when I was getting redshirted; we went down to Clemson and beat them. Hearing all of their fans get quiet -- that's one of the best feelings in the world. I don't know what we have to do but we have to win on the road if we want to accomplish our goals."