There was reason for excitement after the 4-0 start. And it feels like those reasons have all but vanished, bludgeoned, ripped away, torn out, burned, wood-shampooed, stomped on, thrown out of a burning building, drowned, hit with a rake, seared with an iron, slashed behind the knees, speared, scalped, mauled, trashed, blown up, incinerated, incarcerated, and buried. It is not fun, and it feels like it is not fair.
To be very easily discouraged would most likely be an understatement after the last three weeks of play from this team. Injuries just make it worse. Whether College Park is cursed or this is just unprecedented bad luck carrying over from last year, I wonder what these players did to deserve this. Though after pondering away, I only came up with the answer is nothing. Maryland Administration did not cause this as one ludicrous comment proclaimed. And as so many want to say that Edsall is the cause for injuries, they can easily just go screw themselves. It is so unfortunate, frustrating, and even go on to say unfair. But at this point, lets just screw things being fair or unfair, and let's just make it right.
After last season and the rash of injuries earlier during this season, I watched the games with the mentality of which Terp will go down next. It is awful to sit there and every time Diggs catches a ball cringe at the hit he takes as he turns up field. Seeing him go down in the Old Dominion game for a minute after hitting hard on the turf out of bounds towards the end of the game, my heart skipped a beat. Seeing him go down on the same play as Long made me skip two beats. Right after Long was carted off the field, I still thought everything would be okay since Diggs appeared to be okay. And then Diggs went down ... and that okay feeling turned into "Well, Shit." Sadly injuries are part of the game.
My friends in our suite on campus play a lot of FIFA, a game where you can control injuries by turning them off. During the game one of them jokingly stated that all the teams we play turn injuries off, and why the Terps haven't found that magical options pad in the game to do likewise. It is simply frustrating. And before you go off and say the Georgia and Florida are battling injuries, they sure as hell are, but did they have all their QBs go down last year, and now have both sides of the ball being hit hard by the injury disease again?
However, as the mentality goes "Next man up." We have depth at wide receiver, albeit not the play makers that are the tandem of Diggs and Long. But they are still fast, have functioning arms, and the ability to make plays. Unless College Park truly is cursed, we most likely will not be having a linebacker be playing wideout. (Though anyone see that hit Petty had on that kickoff after the touchdown? To think that guy was our QB looking back is laughable.)
The question looms as to what should happen at quarterback. Whether to go to what appeared to be a banged up Brown, who has seemed to have lost that luster of his first few games and revealed a somewhat brown underside, or Caleb Rowe, who has shown he can make a key play or overthrow/ underthrow his receiver by ten yards. Or go with Ricardo Young just for the hell of it.
Will the offense be able to find a consistent run game behind an O-line that seems to play consistently at the lower level? Will the void at wide receiver be able to be mended? Will a leader step up in practice this week to right the ship for a homecoming bout against a Clemson team that just got pulverized at home? Will turnovers be limited? (Hey, no botched punts this weekend, that has something good about it, right?) Will the defense be able to overcome the dearth of original starters in the corner position and the rash of injuries at linebacker? Will the pass rush regain the momentum it had in the first four games of the season even with YCV down for the year? I don't have the answers, and at the end of the season they should all be revealed. I am not going to make an speculations on these questions either but hope that this team answers them all positively.
The question I have an answer for: Am I concerned about this team? And that answer is hell yeah. But I will be there for the Clemson game, a game where a bounce, a couple turnovers, a big play by Jacobs, Etta-Tawo, or Likely could change the game in the Terps' favor. It is homecoming, half of my student peers will leave at half time, and half are showing up for a free T-shirt, and hopefully these players that we have left scratch out a victory, put up a classic that these students miss out on. Here is to hoping, and keep the faith.
Now just to rant: I am so tired of ESPNU and the inept play by play of Anish Shroff. How many times can you mistake Long for Diggs. Number one looks like "1" and Number six looks like "6." One is a vertical line, the other has a curve! I guess now that both are out for the season that will no longer happen ... Also Will Likely is number 4, he is not Diggs. Likely is much smaller than Diggs height wise, and his number is Number 4. Ah, there is a veritical line in 4, but there are also two others... The past games the Terps have been shat on by the announcers, sure it was bad play, the games were out of hand, but how much more could the announcers be up the other team's.... Seriously it is ridiculous (sorry not in a punny mood with Diggs). And screw injuries, and turnovers. Screw away games, and a single receiver who catches everything. Screw a tightend that doesn't drop a pass. Screw a QB who stays in to pad his heisman stats (Respect for all those three players, but just frustrated) Screw being frustrated. Screw the ACC. Screw losing, screw angry fans who want to get at the coach's head every game, screw students who leave at halftime, screw people that troll, screw people that lose faith in a squad, screw the SEC for having ranked teams week after week after those teams lose multiple games, multiple games!!!! Screw rankings, screw ESPN, EPSNU, ESPN2, ESPNwhatever else. Screw injuries again. Screw Wake and UVA. Screw the rest of the ACC. And as always, Fuck Duke.
Yet, we are still one game shy of bowl eligibility. With the remaining schedule it is hard to fathom not pulling out one (knock on wood) [Screw superstitions]. These Terps will prove resilient. They have a hard shell, they can flip themselves over off their back, make a turn, and win a game. They have the ability to make a bowl. Thank you for reading. Keep the faith.