10 Things I Learned 2010 … Maryland

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Marc Verica and UVa watched the game get away in the fourth quarter.

I hate losing to Maryland. I really, really hate losing to Maryland. So, as you might imagine, I was grumpy on Saturday night, was grumpy on Sunday, and still am grumpy now. But being grumpy about a loss really does not help in terms of trying to break down what happened in the game. So I will try – hard – to put aside my grumpiness.

1. A Low Point. For a lot of Hoo fans, a midseason loss to UNC was the low point. For others, it was the loss to Duke. For me, without question, it is this week’s loss to Maryland.

Part of that is due to the fact that the loss was to … well … Maryland. That, in and of itself, was enough. But beyond that, this was the first loss of the year that in some ways, there was little on which to build.

That is somewhat ironic to say, if you consider some of what was going right … until it wasn’t. Marc Verica arguably was having one of the best days of his career … until he tried to do too much late. Darnell Carter had a very solid game, leading the team in tackles … but all he will remember is the one missed opportunity. The special teams offered some special moments … and negated a lot of other good plays with penalties.

You could argue that the issues noted above really tell you all you need to know about the game. Mistakes that could not happen. Missed opportunities when opportunities could not be missed. And penalties … oh, the penalties.

But despite all that, this game was not the low point in the season for me until the fourth quarter. In the fourth quarter, after all, something happened that I had not seen all year. And based on Mike London’s press conference after the game, it was something he had not seen either …

2. Competitiveness. There is one word that you have seen