Tonight’s game against Miami started out on a solem note as the Miami Hurriances had to open the day without the presense of defensive end Bryan Pata, who was shot earlier this week outside of his off campus apartment.
Miami who decided to play this game anyway because it would be what Pata wanted observed a moment of silence in their end-zone prior to the start of the game and also wore the number 95 patch on the rear of the helmet in memory of they key player of this 2006 squad that has experienced one of the rougest roads Miami football has seen.
For the second straight game, Terps quaterback Sam Hollenbach found a way to connect with reciever Darrius Heyward-Bey and this time he did it in big ways. Hollenbach connected on two long touchdown passes in the first half, one which went for a school-record 96 yards.
“I don’t know to explain it,” said Maryland Coach Ralph Friedgen, who has watched his team win five straight games by a combined 13 points. “It’s miraculous.”
“Well, it was just another day at Byrd Stadium. I’m lucky [that] I’m a guy of faith. We got some breaks tonight. I take my hat off to Miami. They played really well under a very tough situation. The coaching staff is to be commended. They had an excellent gameplan. Our kids played hard, but I think we weren’t as emotionally high as we have been. We were able to make two big plays and that was enough to win the football game. It was kind of an old-fashioned football game,” said Friedgen.
The Terps did have one scary moment tonight and it wasn’t that Miami was coming back to win this in dramtic fashion, but Terps offensive lineman Donnie Woods suffered a neck injury early in the third quarter. Medical personnel formed a ring around Woods as he remained motionless on the ground for nearly 10 minutes. Woods was airlifted to the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Unit in Baltimore. Woods was able to move his extremities, and he was to undergo more tests later last night.
At the end of each Maryland home win, the school tradition calls for the Terrapins to race toward the student section where the two groups join to sing the school’s fight song. But last night, again for the second straight home game, the students raced to the players, forming a sea of red on the Byrd Stadium field to celebrate Maryland’s dramatic 14-13 victory against Miami.
The Terps biggest quest of the season comes next week when they travel to Boston College to face the Eagles who have many plans to try and swoop away with a victory and keep the Terps out of the ACC Championship game in Jacksonville. Friedgen says his troops are ready for the challenge and next Saturday at Noon should be a good challenge for the Terps.” We’ve got to get back, refocus and practice well. It’s going to be a very, very good game.”