I think I speak for most of the fanbase going into Saturday's game against #8 Clemson in saying that I didn't have much hope that MD would be competing with Clemson after the first quarter, but to my suprise it was only until Sammy Watkins ran back a terribly executed kickoff that MD was in fear of losing the game. I know I have been extremely critical of Edsall and others in the football program this year for what is looking to be a dissappointment compared to a "on paper" successful 2010 campaign.
I think there is a lot more to this situation then meets the eye and maybe the Clemson game finally highlighted it for me. First off Edsall has done a good job on making his team ready to play in each game except the Temple game. I truly think if MD doesnt lay an egg and Temple doesnt play the most efficient game of that programs history the entire fanbase would be higher on Edsall then they are right now. Outside of the Temple game MD could and maybe should have won every game they have played. All you can ask for in a game is to have a chance to win it at the end and the Terps have had that chance in each loss, except Temple.
Learn curve is natural in a college coaching change. Edsall is learning how to compete in a better football conference then what he was exposed to in the Big East. He is dealing with instilling a new code of conduct to a team that sorely needed it and he is trying to get players to change their ways of doing things in a matter of months, which many players have done it the Friedgen way for four to five years. Edsall also was dealt a dirty blow by Don Brown and leaving the defense shorthanded at the top by having to use a fill in DC. Bradford may be able to coach, but he is not DC material yet. Then you have the players who have to change their entire ways of conducting themselves on and off the field. Off the field seems to be the harder change for them since they cant break the rules and not get punished now.
After stepping back and looking at this year, essentially this is a tryout for both coaches and players. Edsall is seeing what players are buying into his system of not only play calling, but as individuals. The players are seeing whether they can succeed in this program or want to succeed. I think MD will get to six wins. This week is a huge game in order to get to the six, but it can be done. I think Edsall will be successful, maybe not up to the levels that KA proclaimed he would, but that is pretty hard given the premise of MD being a basketball school and MD football not having the facilities or fanbase that more prolific SEC and Big Ten schools have surrounding College Park.
Give Edsall time to weed out the trash...TYLER and MCCREE!!! Edsall will find his type players. Dont forget how badly injuries have killed our defense, so not all is on Bradford. Give it time and I think we will all be happy. Remember if Edsall fails that means KA fails so unless both are looking to get fired here shortly then they have to win. Winning cures all.
Now I'm ready for Turge & Co. GO TERPS!