COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) — For Maryland, being unbeaten and in the Top 25 was fun while it lasted.
The Terrapins were off to their best start since 2001 and ranked for the first time in three seasons before being jolted back to reality with a 63-0 loss to Florida State last Saturday.
“I wouldn’t say we took a step back, but I would definitely say it was an awakening experience,” senior guard De’Onte Arnett said Tuesday. “A lot of times you can really get caught up in the rankings and things like that. It was definitely a wake-up call.”
Now, it is imperative for Maryland (4-1, 0-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) to get past the humbling defeat.
“It’s no different when you win,” coach Randy Edsall said. “When you win, you go through the film and show them what they did right and what they did wrong, and you put it behind you. It’s the same when you lose. Every week’s got to be the same. Hey, things happen and you just move forward. That’s what we did.”
Coming into the game at Florida State, the Terrapins were No. 25 in the country and creating a buzz on campus. It was a euphoric feeling for a team that went 2-10 in 2011 and 4-8 last year, and the players got caught up in the atmosphere.
“Guys were a little bit drinking the Kool-Aid, hearing all the rankings and things like that,” Arnett said. “You kind of lose focus.”
Maryland also lost quarterback C.J. Brown, who sustained a concussion in the second quarter. Edsall said the senior’s status for Saturday’s game against Virginia is uncertain, and a final decision won’t come until Thursday at the earliest.
“I talked to (Brown) a couple times in the training room,” linebacker Yannick Cudjoe-Virgil said. “His spirits are up, I can definitely tell. But I don’t know his status.”
Caleb Rowe filled in against the Seminoles and went 9 for 17 for 119 yards, but Brown was one big reason why the Terrapins got off to their 4-0 start.
Regardless of who starts at quarterback, the key for Maryland is forgetting about debacle at FSU.
“It was definitely the worst loss that I’ve ever been a part of,” defensive end Zeke Riser said. “We didn’t start off the way we necessarily wanted to and we got into a hole we couldn’t get out of. But I’m not worried about the guys’ reaction to it going into Virginia. We’ll be just fine. They’re doing a really good job of staying positive and focusing on Virginia rather than Florida State.”
This could be the last time Maryland faces Virginia (2-3, 0-1) because the Terrapins move to the Big Ten next year.
“The mood of the team is good,” Edsall said. “We went out on the field Sunday, and that Florida State game was behind us. It’s over with, it’s done. We moved forward to Virginia on Sunday afternoon, looking to get our fifth win.”
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)