Maryland's defense was dominant all game long at Boston College - until it really mattered late.
And Maryland's offense found itself in the second half - until they had a chance to ice the game.
For the second week in a row, the Maryland Terrapins turned in a fantastic second-half performance, got a big stop from their defense, and had the win in their hands, with a golden opportunity to ice it. And for the second week in a row, the offense did nothing and the defense - imperious for nearly the entire game - folded at the worst possible time.
Despite a 60-yard Stefon Diggs touchdown reception in the fourth quarter, it was a 14-yard Chase Rettig-to-Jonathan Coleman connection in the final minute that provided the game-deciding score. And no sooner than Maryland got the ball back did Caleb Rowe throw a game-sealing interception, his third of the day, to ensure a 20-17 Boston College win.
Just like last week, it's a game Maryland could've won and arguably should've won, one that turned on a mere few plays with some unfortunately familiar goats. (A Brad Craddock missed field goal and poor pass coverage late in the game ring a bell?) Just like last week, it hurts, again. But unlike last week, this one has far-ranging consequences: the Boston College game was the most winnable one remaning on Maryland's schedule, and now they have to face that it's highly unlikely they'll make the postseason this year - and it's even a possibility that they'll finish 4-8.
It's starting to feel like this season is just one big gut punch. Between the injuries and the close losses, thinking about what could've been is an exercise in excruciation, especially when you realize that Maryland's defense is probably a pretty special unit and will be torn apart next season.
It's also an exercise in futility. What could've been is not what will be. Maryland doesn't have a consistent field kicker, fair or not. Their quarterbacks drop like flies, fair or not. And this offense is just too far away to be competitive, fair or not. It hurts, but when you look at the peripherals and the circumstances, losing games - even games like this one - is understandable.
But that doesn't mean it isn't painful.
On the upshot, Caleb Rowe settled in as the game went on, Diggs was Diggs, and the defense had spells of utter dominance. I'm not meaning to come off as though today was a disaster of epic proportions - it wasn't. But it was disappointing and piercing, for a whole host of reasons, and I'm skeptical that Maryland will be able to leverage their positives into a win down the stretch - and especially skeptical about whether they'll be able to leverage two wins out of it.
Oh well, I guess. When you lose three quarterbacks to season-ending injury, it's tough to complain too much about the direction of the season, I guess. It just doesn't make for fun viewing.