In 120 years of playing football, the University of Maryland has faced the University of Virginia 78 times, owning a 44-32-2 record against their rivals from Charlottesville. There is no team the Terps have faced more often than UVA. But after Maryland's win on Saturday, their final as ACC foes, the future of the series appears to be over, for now, as Maryland transitions to the Big Ten beginning in 2014.
"It is good to beat Virginia in the last time we will play them for the foreseeable future" head coach Randy Edsall said following the game. " I am very, very proud of our team."
UVA entered Saturday's match-up against Maryland struggling on offense and coming off a bad loss to Ball State the previous week. Many expected Maryland to be in command of the game, despite starting quarterback C.J. Brown not playing against the Cavaliers. But it quickly became apparent that the Hoos weren't going to go quietly into the October night, in their last game against Maryland.
"I know that we got their best game today" Edsall said. "And we knew that we were going to get their best game because of the situation that they were in."
Playing Virginia one last time was something that several of the Maryland players were also thinking about, in addition to rebounding from a tough loss to Florida State last week.
"It's a rivalry game and we're leaving the ACC" sophomore Stefon Diggs said following the game. "It's good to leave the ACC [with] games like this under your belt. It's just good to win a game."
Diggs, who made two spectacular catches during the game, finished with six receptions for 96 yards, his best game since Maryland's win over UConn on September 14th.
"Every game is important to us" said quarterback Caleb Rowe, who completed 18 of his 34 passing attempts for 332 yards and a touchdown while filling in for C.J. Brown. "We don't put more emphasis on the game because you want to play every game to your potential, and if you win, you win."
"It's nice to go out with a win, for maybe the last time we ever play them again" said senior tight end Dave Stinebaugh, who caught Rowe's only touchdown throw of the day. "But the main picture, we just wanted win number five and that's what we were able to do."
While the Terps will certainly be gaining a lot by joining the Big Ten next season, losing historic rivals such as Virginia are one of the unfortunate negative externalities that come with conference realignment. So while Maryland march on towards bowl eligibility and preparing for life in the B1G, we bid farewell to another ACC foe, breaking up with a rival that Maryland first started playing almost 100 years ago. At least they went out on a positive note.