I don't know if Maryland has hit rock bottom, but I hope things won't get any worse than this. In driving rain and snow and in front of a crowd that wouldn't have filled Cole Field House, Boston College walked all over the Terrapins, rushing for 372 yards - a near-record 243 coming from Rolandon Finch - en route to an easy 28-17 win that wasn't as close as the score.
It's easy to tell that Maryland's performance was underwhelming, but let's put it fully in perspective. Boston College came into today standing at 1-6. They lost to Duke earlier in the year, and had a 30-3 dud against Central Florida. They had the worst offense in the ACC and were missing Montel Harris. Frank Spaziani was on track to be fired. They were easily the least imposing opponent still on Maryland's schedule. And yet that still happened.
So Maryland drops to 2-6 on the season, and given that they just lost at home to probably the worst opponent still on their schedule, they can probably write off postseason play this season. They'd need to go 4-0 the rest of the way to make a bowl, a slate that includes a game against Notre Dame and a trip to Wake Forest. That's unlikely at best.
The Terps got off to an inauspicious start, knocking the opening kickoff out of bounds and allowing BC to run down the field with consummate ease. Maryland could only answer with a 33-yard Nick Ferrara field goal after (again) flaming out in the red zone on their first drive. Boston College would find the end zone on two of their next three drives, which more or less sealed the game. The two teams ended up trading touchdowns in garbage time to get to the final scoreline.
C.J. Brown got the start at QB, but was replaced by Danny O'Brien after going 2-6 with an interception. O'Brien ended up with a final line of 14-35 for 165 yards with one TD and one interception. Obviously, poor performances from the wide receivers, plus poor conditions, played a big role in the below-average passing game. In truth, I was a little confused as to why Brown got pulled so quickly: the conditions were definitely better for the running game.
It might be telling that Edsall stuck with O'Brien for so long, but I don't think this is over. Despite O'Brien playing just about all game, it was Brown who had the only good drive against BC's starting defense. (Maryland's two TD drives came against BC's scrubs late in the game.) O'Brien's receivers let him down, but A) he still missed several throws, and B) Brown is working with the same guys. I guess the real question is why the staff seemed to forget that it was raining and Maryland's receivers have been drop-heavy all year.
Anyway, I think there's still something to this controversy.
Defensively, things were better, but not much. They got run over, but made enough important stops to be good enough to win with a better offense. You can win when you give up 28 points, but it's just about impossible to win a game in which you score 3 points against a team's first-team defense. That's not an endorsement by any means, though: Todd Bradford made no adjustments, and the defensive line was utterly gashed by Boston College's OL. It was a pure case of BC winning the line of scrimmage; everything after that was easy. Just saying that I think the bigger culprit today was the offense.
After a performance like this, there are a thousand different topics to discuss. There's the obvious problem with attendance. There's the poor coaching performance, with the team appearing completely unmotivated for the second time this season. The weather. The strange reappearance of D.J. Adams.
We'll hit on them later, but for now, go enjoy what's left of your likely-snowy Saturday.