Maryland football lost by a lot of points on Saturday. It’s not the first time the Terps have been blown out this season, but it is the first time head coach DJ Durkin has felt that his team didn’t put forth the requisite effort to compete.
Here's DJ Durkin after the Penn State game. https://t.co/dJ4nZ5FnxE— Testudo Times (@testudotimes) November 26, 2017
“This is the first time I really felt that we didn’t compete, and that’s disappointing,” Durkin told the media after the loss. “The margin between winning and losing is very fine. It’s just how the season goes. You take our team and our mindset at the beginning of this year and if we were able to stay healthy at the quarterback position, I think things go a lot differently, but they didn’t. The thing is that you learn a lot of lessons going through this.”
The entire season has been a learning process for players and coaches alike. In less than three games, the team went from the high of dominating a ranked Texas team on the road to losing its second starting quarterback in less than seven quarters of football. The first two games of the season showed what this team could have been, and there were flashes of that kind of performance intermittently throughout the rest of the season, but the final 10 games were largely dominated by Maryland’s opponents.
With this season officially in the rearview mirror, Durkin is wasting no time looking to the future of this program, which still seems bright.
“We have a group of older guys that had not really won in their careers and young guys who don’t know how,” he said. “You need to have a team, to respond to these types of things, that’ve been through it and had a solid backbone about like ‘Hey, we’ve been here, done that. We’ll be fine and weather the storm.’
“We’re not there yet. It’s a process. Building a football team is a process ... I know we’re recruiting the right guys who are talented.”
Those guys will (hopefully) be signing in less than a month, during the new early signing period that starts on Dec. 20. Maryland’s Class of 2018 sits at No. 19 in the country, and still has the opportunity to add more pieces in the coming weeks. If the Terps finish with a second consecutive top-25 class, it’d be the first time the program has accomplished such a feat. Those back-to-back classes will be the backbone of this team going forward, which should make for more exciting football in College Park for years to come.
“I’m ready to get started right now for next season because I think we have a really good football team. We have guys that do things the right way and we’re going to be prepared and make sure that nothing like this ever happens again.”