Cal's '08 loss to Maryland serving as motivation

September, 1, 2009
9/01/09
4:47
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich


Maryland fans might be interested in my colleague Ted Miller's latest post on the Cal-Maryland matchup. This is another huge nonconference game in which the ACC can make a statement against a ranked opponent, and the Terps were able to do that in Byrd Stadium last year.

But what goes around comes around.

Last year, Cal played in what equated to about a 9 a.m. kickoff on their campus, while this year, Maryland will be playing on the West Coast at 10 p.m. their time. The Bears were a wee bit sleepy for the first three quarters of that game.

This is a different Maryland team than the one that beat Cal a year ago. Kevin Barnes, the former cornerback who laid the nasty, yet memorable, hit on Jahvid Best, was one of 30 seniors who graduated from last year's team.

Maryland's offensive line will likely struggle against a defense that returns eight starters. And Cal was 7-0 at home last year. Maryland quarterback Chris Turner is at his best against ranked teams, and it will be a homecoming of sorts for the California native, but this is the Bears' turf, and they're looking to redeem themselves from last year's poor performance. Maryland is fighting an uphill battle and a cross-country plane ride before this game even starts.

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