College Football Preview: Virginia vs. Maryland
Published 12:00 am Friday, November 4, 2011
COLLEGE PARK, Md. ó Because he’s a newcomer to the Maryland-Virginia rivalry, Terrapins first-year coach Randy Edsall probably can’t convey the significance of a series that began 91 years ago.
No matter. Edsall’s predecessor, Ralph Friedgen, already took care of it.
Unlike Edsall, Friedgen was a Maryland grad. Friedgen was fired last December after a 10-year run, but the message he delivered to his players still lingers.
“Ever since Friedgen was here, he always said, ‘You have to beat UVA and West Virginia,'” senior receiver Quintin McCree said. “Those are two things he installed in us.
“I don’t know why I hate UVA, but I hate them.”
The Terrapins (2-6, 1-4 ACC) will face Virginia (5-3, 2-2) for the 76th time today, the most games they’ve played against any opponent. The series has gone uninterrupted since 1957.
“I know that it is a rivalry and a border war,” Edsall said.
But it’s more than that. It’s about honor, tradition, a recruiting edge and a whole lot more ó especially for the Cavaliers, who need a win to become bowl eligible.
“This challenge right here, this game against a good team on the road once again, that’s another opportunity,” Virginia coach Mike London said. “The byproduct of that is that when you count wins up, it is the sixth win. But we’re looking at it as a border state rivalry. They beat us last year, a lot of our players are from Maryland, the recruiting implications, different things like that. That’s how we’re approaching this.”
In other words, there’s no understating the importance of this game to both teams.
Sixteen Maryland players will perform at Byrd Stadium for the last time. The Terrapins have lost four in a row.