friedgen inspired the win against cal

As I was watched the Terps beat #23 Cal on Saturday, I saw something from this team that has not been there in the past two years.  I saw a team that came out fighting.  I saw Heyward-Bey stretch for a first down to keep the drive alive on their second scoring drive.  I saw Kevin Barnes lay such a hit on Jahved Best that he went to his knees and puked.  I saw Da’Rel Scott and Davin Meggett lower their shoulders and punch it in at the goal line.  I saw a team that played with heart and confidence.

I’ll admit that I hit the panic button after the “unmentionable game”.  You can admit it too, don’t be ashamed.  After that game, Ralph Friedgen took the blame. This time around he deserves all the credit.  After a week of working with offensive coordinator James Franklin to put together an aggressive game plan that opened up the offense, Friedgen reportedly delivered one of those pregame speeches that makes men recall painful childhood memories and channel their anger.

Friedgen stood-up before the team on Friday night and asked, “Who in this room has ever been told he is not good enough?”  After raising his own hand the rest of the team raised their hands, and Friedgen went on to say, “How does that make you feel? It makes me mad. What are you going do to about it? That’s what people are saying about us. You have a chance tomorrow on national TV to show them who you are. We need to get after these guys as soon as they get off the bus.”

Despite the doubt we all shared about the state of the program after last week, it’s moments like this that remind us that Friedgen made this program what it is.  I hope this team does not forget the lesson they learned this weekend. There is a lot of season left and the ACC is weak this year.  If they keep fighting, they’ll find themselves back in a bowl game.  As someone who went to Maryland during the football dark ages, I feared the program was sliding backward to 1999. This weekend, Friedgen proved that he won’t let that happen.

Now get out there and kick some ass!

Now get out there and kick some ass!


5 Responses to “friedgen inspired the win against cal”

  1. 1 TheDymond
    September 15, 2008 at 4:01 pm

    I admit, I was questioning the future of Maryland football after the first two weeks. But games like this remind me how much better off we are now than we were before the Fridge came to town. Did we ever beat a ranked team under Vanderlin? When the only two teams we beat regularly were Duke and Temple? We’re not the most consistent team, and we definetely aren’t a perennial football “power”. But our program is miles ahead of where it was.

  2. September 15, 2008 at 6:50 pm

    I missed the first time that Best was puking after the Barnes hit. That’s gross.

    TheDymond’s argument that we should be thankful because the team, even when down, is still much better than it was 10 years ago is an interesting one (and definitely not new, as it’s also happening with Gary Williams). It’s great that we make a bowl game every year now, and it’s true that I would have killed to go to just one bowl game during my college tenure. But on the other hand, the program is backsliding from when Fridge first took over…should we withold criticism or wait to make a change until we’re back at square one? Also, people want to see the team go to the next level…they’ve tasted the sweet, sweet fruit of success, and feel like we should always be moving toward the ultimate goal of becoming a perennial powerhouse, which as Dymond pointed out we are not at, but are much closer. I don’t know which side is right…I guess both have some validity.

  3. 3 terphed
    September 16, 2008 at 4:33 pm

    I think what the Dymond and I were both saying is that Friedgen has made this program competitive. I don’t think we should withold criticism when the team loses games that it should win, but he does deserve the benefit of the doubt in the long run.

  4. 4 M.A.S.H.
    September 17, 2008 at 5:32 pm

    OK, yeah, that’s fair. I think the other side — that his benefit of the doubt should not be artificially extended beyond its normal shelf life — is fair, too. But Fridge definitely has the benefit of the doubt from me. Bill Simmons talks about a 10-year fan “grace period” that comes from winning a championship. I wonder how long the grace period should be for making the Orange Bowl.

  5. 5 terphed
    September 17, 2008 at 8:57 pm

    Ironically, TMQ called out that specific article as an example of attaching too much significance to coaching: http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=easterbrook/080916

    I guess Friedgen didn’t inspire his team, rather they were inspired by the “Football Gods”. Fucking nerd.

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