It was the biggest game of the year and we all had tickets. My fellow Maryalnd alumni had planned an elaborate tailgate and had already worked out several post-game celebration scenarios, most of which started with burning something and ended at the Fe. We braved the cold in Lot 11 for four hours, fueled by grilled pork products and warm mixed drinks, preparing to take our cold steel bench seats hundreds of feet about the field at Byrd Stadium and cheer our heads off.
The first half of Saturday’s season killing, buzz killing, crowd killing game seemed to go by in an instant. It was a blur of sacks, turnovers, and Seminole marches toward our end zone. There is no blame to assign for Saturday’s loss. There is no singular moment or singular weakness that resulted in Maryland’s demise. This Saturday was Florida State’s day, and we were totally dominated on both sides of the ball. Our offensive line seemed outmatched and overwhelmed. Our defensive line got pushed around. This loss was not a result of a lack of preparation. We’re too late in the season for that. This loss was a result of a bigger, faster, better group of players coming to town and razing our house.
By halftime we were freezing and dejected. The score was 21-0, the rout was on, and Maryland was clearly not coming back. We picked-up our stuff and joined a halftime exodus toward the parking lot. My final image of Byrd Stadium from 2008 will be that of Terps fans quietly getting into their cars and filing out. Hardly anyone said a word. We didn’t even need to watch the second half when we got back to my buddy’s house because we knew this season had already ended.
Now we’re left with the strange irony that if Maryland beats Boston College it would open the door for Florida State to go to the ACC Championship Game. I’m not saying that I’m rooting for us to lose, but I wish that winning would not pave the way for the Seminoles to advance. I guess this is our punishment for failing to appear on Saturday.
Emerald Bowl here we come.