|ESPN.com: NCF Nation||[Print without images]|
Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich
This was exactly what Maryland needed.
|Brian Losness/US Presswire|
|Maryland Terrapins coach Ralph Friedgen and the Terrapins salvaged their season with a 42-35 win over Nevada.|
The Terps salvaged an otherwise disappointing season with their 42-35 win over Nevada, and they did it by winning the field position battle, controlling the line of scrimmage and wearing down the undersized Wolf Pack. In the process, they helped the ACC even its bowl record to 3-3 with four games remaining, and a few of the fans in the announced crowd of 26,781 began to chant "A-C-C!"
If there has been one thing the conference has excelled at this season, it's been keeping things interesting, and the Roady's Humanitarian Bowl was no exception.
Much like Maryland's entire season, the Terps' performance in the Humanitarian Bowl was filled with inconsistencies, wild momentum swings and unpredictable moments. (Who could have foreseen the wind blowing the ball off the tee?) An interception and two lost fumbles in the third quarter kept Nevada in the game.
Although Maryland's defense allowed its fair share of big plays, it was a respectable debut for interim defensive coordinator Al Seamonson, who was forced to audition for the job against one of the nation's most prolific offenses. Nevada was No. 2 in the nation in rushing offense at 291.42 yards per game, and the Terps held them to just 114 yards and 3.5 yards per carry.
Unfortunately, college football fans didn't get to see Nevada quarterback Colin Kaepernick at his best, as he was hampered by an ankle injury for much of the game. And the Terps were helped by Nevada's six drops, as Kaepernick was healthy enough to hit his receivers in stride and give them catchable balls.
Even without the seven players who were suspended from the start of the game, Maryland looked prepared and played with a purpose for four quarters.
The only problem with this win for Maryland was that it was the final game for 31 seniors, and the Terps will head into spring football sorely missing their leadership. But the first half showed flashes of promise from young players like Adrian Cannon, Torrey Smith, Ronnie Tyler and Morgan Green.
While it might have been a consolation prize for a team very much in the hunt for the ACC championship in November, it was still the senior sendoff the team was looking for and a lesson learned for next year.