Of course, Maryland's surprising success has left many wondering if the Terps are a one-year wonder.
"Somebody asked me where we are we on my five-year plan," Friedgen said Tuesday in a teleconference call.
"I said we're right on schedule. I'm not going to give last year back because we did better than we anticipated or anybody else anticipated. I look at the whole program, other than wins and losses - booster support, ticket sales, facilities, graduation rates - right now everything is on the increase. To me, it's the total program. The ultimate is wins and losses but what gets you to those wins and losses also."
At the moment, however, Friedgen is concerned with wins and losses. Maryland is at home Saturday against fifth-ranked Florida State in a game that will surely help define the season for both programs.
Coming off a 22-0 loss to Notre Dame in the Kickoff Classic, the Terps (1-1) battered Akron 44-14 last Saturday in the first of four consecutive home games, matching their longest stretch at home since 1983. A record crowd is expected at Byrd Stadium for the Seminoles (2-0), who were idle last weekend after consecutive victories over Iowa State and Virginia in their conference opener.
"We didn't play well against Notre Dame offensively," Friedgen said. "We played okay defensively where there were a lot of bright spots. We made improvements as a team last week (against Akron) but we are no where near where we have to be. I am being very patient with this team. I am building for the future."
It was a difficult summer for the Terrapins, who lost star running back Bruce Perry for up to eight weeks with a groin injury. He is not expected to play against the Seminoles, Friedgen said. Friedgen also had a question mark at quarterback, where transfer Scott McBrien has emerged as the starter over Chris Kelley.. Kelley tore his ACL in spring drills.
McBrien completed 9-of-15 passes for 110 yards after connecting on 9-of-23 for 84 yards against the Fighting Irish. With Perry still sidelined, Mario Merrills paced Maryland on the ground with 79 yards on 17 carries. Chris Downs added 58 yards on 12 carries. The injuries and inconsistency of have even more pressure on linebacker E.J. Henderson, just the sixth defensive player since 1974 to be named ACC Player of the Year.
Despite the spotty start, Friedgen says he's not worried about higher expectations placed on his program due to last year's success. Friedgen also pointed out he has played just eight seniors in the Terps' first two games.
"I felt like we needed to raise the expectations when I got here," Friedgen said. "I am not concerned about having higher expectations. Who knows what is going to happen. We could have a real good season or we can have a bad season. Right now, we are getting a lot more bad breaks than we had last season.That all evens out."
Even so, Friedgen admits last year was special for the Terrapins. Although Maryland lost at FSU, the Terps won the conference title outright as the Seminoles fell to North Carolina on the road and at home against North Carolina State.
"We didn't beat Florida State, but we did beat NC State and we did beat North Carolina, the two teams that beat Florida State," Friedgen said. "When you win the ACC title outright it's a very special year."
While the Terps focus on maintaining their success from last season, Friedgen admits FSU continues to serve as the league's measuring stick. However, he believes last year also serves as proof the conference can compete with the Seminoles.
"It's not what only what we did, two other teams were successful against them last year," Friedgen said. "NC State beating them at Tallahassee. That was quite a statement. All their other ACC losses were on the road. They have forced the league to raise up to their level. It's nothing but beneficial to our league that Florida State is such a dominant team because it forced everybody else to be competitive."