Terps lament mistakes

Coach says lack of focus to blame for 31-0 upset by Virginia

Maryland Rewind

October 06, 2008|By Jeff Barker | Jeff Barker,jeff.barker@baltsun.com

COLLEGE PARK - Jeremy Navarre couldn't have been more insistent.

Maryland had been upset by Middle Tennessee State in Week 2, and the defensive tackle believed the team had absorbed a painful lesson.

"We're not going to fall in that trap again," Navarre said the following week, referring to the team's penchant for looking uninspired against weaker foes.

But despite their repentant words, the Terps went out Saturday night and did it again. Maryland was dominated by Virginia, a two-touchdown underdog.

The 31-0 loss left head coach Ralph Friedgen as puzzled as anyone as the Terps (4-2, 1-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) headed into the bye week.

Friedgen told reporters yesterday that he had repeatedly reminded players that you can't ever afford to relax.

The coach acknowledged that he sometimes feels "inadequate" when the Terps don't respond to his warnings.

"I try to think what I could have done better to prepare ourselves for that situation," Friedgen said. "I don't know if it has to do with this team. It might even be a generational thing, I don't know."

Friedgen attributed the loss to a lack of focus. He said the offensive line alone made 14 mental errors.

There were plenty of parallels to the Middle Tennessee game. In both games, Maryland's opponent started quickly. Middle Tennessee began with an 80-yard touchdown drive. Virginia scored touchdowns on two of its first three possessions.

Friedgen said he wants to push the players harder in practice. But he also wants to remind them that they have six more games to redeem themselves. "We just made it harder for ourselves," he said. "But we're 4-2.

"Only one other team in our division [Wake Forest] is ahead of us right now."

Note: : Offensive lineman Dane Randolph suffered a high ankle sprain and linebacker Chase Bullock got a concussion Saturday night. Both will be evaluated.

Replay

Quarterback Chris Turner threw to Isaiah Williams, who pitched to Darrius Heyward-Bey, who lateraled to Da'Rel Scott. An enjoyable play to watch, but it ended on the Virginia 8 as the first half ended.

Erase

Desperate for a spark, Maryland began the second half with a 23-yard completion to tight end Dan Gronkowski. But he fumbled at the Virginia 39 and the Cavaliers recovered, leading to a touchdown drive.

Fast forward

After a bye week, the Terps face Wake Forest (3-1, 1-0 ACC) on Oct. 18 at Byrd Stadium.

WAKE FOREST

@MARYLAND

Oct. 18, time TBA

TV: TBA

Radio: 105.7 FM, 1300 AM

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