Maryland lost big lead vs. N.C. State last year
There were several low points for Maryland in its debut year under Randy Edsall. But the one that resonated the longest was the fitting conclusion to the 2-10 season, a 56-41 debacle at North Carolina State in which the Terrapins surrendered a 27-point lead.
In scoring touchdowns the last six times it touched the ball over the final 18 minutes, N.C. State staged the second biggest rally in ACC history and extended the misery of Maryland, which closed with seven straight defeats, none more humiliating.
"It was the icing on top of the cake," junior cornerback Dexter McDougle said. "It was a feeling I can't even describe."
|N.C. State at Maryland|
|When » Saturday, 3:30 p.m.|
|Where » Byrd Stadium|
|TV » ESPNU|
|Radio » ESPN 980 AM|
Nobody took last year's loss harder than senior linebacker Demetrius Hartsfield, embarrassed in his hometown of Raleigh, N.C. Saturday at Byrd Stadium, Hartsfield and renewed Maryland (4-2, 2-0) have a chance to erase the memory against N.C. State (4-2, 1-1).
"I definitely haven't forgot about it," Hartsfield said. "We've all been reminded [of it] and remembered that moment. It was our last game. It was a big loss for us. I know for myself I was real emotional after the game because to lose in that way definitely hurts."
The Terrapins' three most decisive victories this season have come against teams they lost to in 2011. But Edsall downplayed the revenge angle on Tuesday.
"This team is a different team. You focus on what this team can do," Edsall said. "It's not good to live in the past. You gotta be able to move forward."
The stakes are high for Maryland on Saturday. The Terps are the only team in the ACC without a league loss. Their following two games are at reeling Boston College (1-5, 0-3) and at home against struggling Georgia Tech (2-4, 1-3) -- two chances to become bowl eligible and put some distance between themselves and Atlantic Division powers Florida State (6-1, 3-1) and Clemson (5-1, 2-1), which loom on the schedule in November.
"You can't look at that big picture because you gotta take care of the small things first," Edsall said. "When that game's over, you win it, you put it in the bank, and you gain interest."
There is a laundry list of concerns. First is line play. In Saturday's 27-20 victory at Virginia, the Terps' defense surrendered a season-high 168 yards rushing, while the offense netted -2 yards on 29 carries.
Another concern is Wolfpack quarterback Mike Glennon, who Edsall called the best pro quarterback prospect Maryland will face this season. The 6-foot-6 senior threw five touchdown passes and ran for another in last year's game. Hartsfield insists however that Glennon will face a much different team and defense this time.
"We just remember how bad they beat us last year, and how we didn't finish," Hartsfield said. "This team is completely different from the one last year. We're actually finishing games."