Like my fellow writer Alex, my time as a Terps fan has been relatively short thus far, limited to the three years I've been at this university. As I get set to enter my senior year, I'm still waiting to taste the NCAA Tournament or a bowl game more prominent than the Military Bowl.
Despite the lack of postseason play during my first three years at UMD, I've still had several amazing ACC memories I can take away. The Duke win at home this past year that Alex chose is obviously one of them, as is the repeat win down in Greensboro. Other notables on my list would be watching our men's soccer team take down Duke 2-0 back in 2010 and the women's basketball team's victory over Duke in 2012, when Alyssa Thomas famously blocked Haley Peter's attempt at a game-winning three pointer at the buzzer.
The game I'm choosing as my favorite ACC memory, however, is the football team's win over Miami on Labor Day in 2011. You might also call it the Maryland Pride game or Randy Edsall's first game as coach here. What I call it is unquestionably the most fun I've had at a sports game, ever.
First, you had the weather. There were forecasts of rain all day, and wouldn't you know it finally started as the students who got there early were lined up an hour half before the gates opened. We stood in a downpour until they finally let us in, so by the time we got in the stadium we were soaked and ready to rock. Normally rain would be a deterrent, but it only seemed to make the student section looser and more energized on that night.
The students weren't alone though, as Byrd sold out and created an atmosphere that so far in my time has been unmatched. And when the team came running out onto the field in the Maryland Pride uniforms and took everyone by surprise, well, that was it. I'm pretty sure everyone in the stadium collectively lost their minds.
What really made the game though, of course, was the win. It didn't matter that Miami was playing without eight suspended players, this was a huge game for Mayland - one that had been hyped all summer - and played out like a fairytale, from Danny O'Brien throwing for 348 yards to Joe Vellano lumbering into the end zone after recovering a fumble with less than a minute to go in the first half.
It was a game that went down to the wire, with Nick Ferrara putting the Terps ahead by two with a field goal with 1:39 remaining before Cameron Chism intercepted a pass with 39 seconds left to thwart a last-ditch effort by Miami.
One of my lasting memories of that game was this song the band played for the student section at halftime. Now a football and basketball staple, it was the band's first time playing the song "All I Do is Win," and with us up six and fresh off of Vellano's unexpected touchdown, we went all out in singing along, confident we would beat the U.