One way to look at today's 28-3 win over Towson is that the Terps are growing. Another way is that they averted disaster. Can you imagine the fan response if Maryland had lost to an FCS team? Even a good one?
I think it was easy to underestimate before the season how much Maryland is in transition. There are 13 players from last season's Ralph Friedgen-coached Terps who maintain eligibility but are no longer with the team. Consider that the Terps -- about to face Georgia Tech's potent triple-option offense -- started three first-year players on defense against Towson.
It's a team whose players often talk these days about forging an identity.
Some of the growing pains come from integrating new players or new systems into the mix. Some comes from injuries.
"When you lose basically five guys off your defense who are starters, you’re going to have some inexperience," coach Randy Edsall said.
I think Towson rattled the Terps with drives of nine minutes and 6:57 in the first half. Maryland's longest drives of the day were 5:05, 3:02 and 2:30. That's a function of the hurry-up offense. You just don't take much time off the clock.
Maryland won the game the same way it did against Miami -- by forcing turnovers. The Terps also did what an FBS team should do against an FCS opponent -- use its larger size to run the ball.
One of the big differences between FBS and FCS schools is bulk. Towson has talent at the skill positions. But its front defensive line has only one player listed at over 270 pounds. So Maryland did what it hoped to do in its rushing game -- it exerted itself.