If you read enough local headlines on Maryland football, you’ll begin to see a disturbing trend that sports copy editors have picked up on covering this year’s debacle. They regularly call their self-inflicted defeats “stumbles.”
Terps stumble against the Cavs . Terps stumble against Duke . I would say the Terps stumbled against Cal , fell flat on their faces against Middle Tennessee State, and have been getting kicked in the ribs by the likes of UVA and Duke.
FreieOne of the common threads of the malaise is Maryland’s impeccable timing for mistakes. They can look as serviceable an offense as you’ll find in the lackluster ACC until the second half of games; usually the fourth quarter. You can almost set your watch to a Chris Turner interception or a fumble to give the ball to the opponent, followed by a miscalculation on defense that gives up the go-ahead score.
When a college team wins big, it’s the players. When they win close, its the coaching. But when you lose them every which way but forfeiture, everybody has to take some accountability. We know that Ralph Friedgen is working with slim pickings in the recruiting game, but it may be time to dial back his complex offensive strategy for the salvation of execution.
And the players? They just have to commit to mistake free football. Of course we know that its easier said than done, but turnovers have become a habit that will set the program back years if they don’t go on a winning streak to end the year.
The bad thing about stumbling is that your halfway between upright movement and falling; it’s much harder to decide whether going down or fighting to stay upright is most appropriate. The good news for Maryland football is that it stumbled a long time ago.
They only have to decide how and when to get up off of the ground.