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November 26, 2013

Terps trying to put BC loss behind them

Randy Edsall knows the heartbreak from a loss like Saturday's will fester if you let it. With the wounds still fresh, the Maryland coach called his players in for a film session on Sunday, less than 24 hours after they had their guts ripped out by Boston College.

He kept it simple, like tearing off a Band-Aid. Edsall ran through eight plays on defense and 12 plays on offense with his team, along the way conveying what went wrong and how it led to the unfortunate result. In doing so, however, the film also revealed some of what went according to plan.

"We understood watching the film that we left it all out there," said quarterback C.J. Brown. "Yeah, there were plays to be made and we shot ourselves in the foot. That is part of the game."

Maryland led 24-13 with just under 11 minutes to play against Boston College. The Terps had put together an impressive effort on all sides of the ball, putting the clamps on the Eagles' rushing attack and moving the ball on offense. Then, everything went sideways.

"It was one of those deals where you were proud of the effort, but disappointed with the outcome," Brown added. "Yeah, it was an emotional day being Senior Day and the last home game in Byrd and the ACC, and any time you lose in that kind of fashion, it's tough."

Just as Edsall subscribes to the theory that when one man goes down with an injury, the next must step up, he also is a staunch proponent of tunnel vision when it comes to games like Saturday.

"Once you go through that and go through the film, it's over, you've got to move on," Edsall said on Tuesday. "You can't get it back, all you can do is learn from it. So yeah, there was disappointment but they understand we have another game this week."

The Terps head to Raleigh this weekend to take on struggling NC State in their regular season finale. At 6-5, Maryland is bowl eligible but has no guarantee of a bid. Ten of the 14 teams in the ACC have at least six wins and that number will rise to 11 if Syracuse beats Boston College on Saturday. There are only so many spots to go around, and the Terps know it.

While the majority of the roster has yet to experience a bowl game, the glamour of the ensuing process is no secret inside the walls of the Maryland locker room, where players can't help but wonder where they'll play, who they'll play and the gifts they'll be showered with once they arrive. But, first and foremost, they have to get there.

"I don't have to tell them," Edsall said. "I told them that last week. They understand it. I don't think you have to sit there and remind them it this week. We're going to prepare this week to go get win number seven. That is really the bottom line."

"It's huge," Brown added. "To get number seven automatically guarantees a winning season, which is obviously a goal of ours. To go to a bowl game is another goal. Those are at the top of the list right now."

Fortunately for Maryland, the Wolfpack (3-8) are not one of the teams jockeying for position this week. They are winless within the conference and have lost seven consecutive games, a position that Maryland, under Edsall, knows a little something about.

"You never know what team is going to show up," Brown said. "They have nothing to lose. It's Senior Day and they're going to be fired up."

With the BC hangover lingering, the Terps are welcoming the distraction of the upcoming holiday. They will practice early on Thursday and then put football in the back of their mind for one turkey and family filled afternoon.

Then, with their minds clear, they'll head down to Raleigh together intent on leaving the ACC with a bang. The rest will take care of itself.

Said Brown, "That is what a bunch of us have been preaching. After this game, you're going to have a couple weeks to rest. There's no reason to hold anything back."


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