Terps search for motivation in final 2 games

Maryland playing the spoiler role to avoid 2-win season

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Each week is becoming more difficult than the next for the Terps. The losses are piling up, injuries are as widespread as the common cold, and although head coach Randy Edsall won't admit to it, it's a rebuilding season.

The worst part is that there's really nothing anybody can do about it.

"It's really life as normal," Edsall said. "Sometimes years don't go the way you'd like them to and there's things that crop up. With injuries, it's luck. Some years you're lucky, some years you're not. And other situations come up that you say ‘wow' – you didn't anticipate that happening. You just deal with it and move on."

The number of injuries have been well documented. Seven potential starters, including linebacker and captain Kenny Tate, have been sidelined on the defensive side of the ball. On offense, the team lost senior left guard Andrew Gonnella and quarterback Danny O'Brien for the year.

With such thin depth plaguing the team prior to the start of the season, the freshmen have had to fill the voids left by injury. Seven different freshmen have started on defense, and Edsall has trotted out a different starting defense in each of the team's 10 games.

Still, the team will not use the rash of injuries as an excuse.

"You can dwell on the injuries, but it's part of the game," cornerback Trenton Hughes said. "The next guy up has to be better than the first guy."

Instead, the Terps are finding a way to salvage their season, looking for motivation anywhere they can.

For one, they are embracing the spoiler role. They'll travel to Winston-Salem in hopes of upsetting Wake Forest, a team one victory shy of bowl eligibility, that will also be honoring 18 seniors.

"It's going to be an emotional day for them because it's senior day there," quarterback C.J. Brown said. "They're going to be fired up so were going to have to match their intensity. Going down there and knocking them off – it's always a great feeling."

At 2-8, this year is reminding some of the veterans of 2009, when the team finished 2-10. That season also encompassed its share of injuries. Starting cornerback Nolan Carroll missed the majority of the year, while left tackle Bruce Campbell, all-ACC punter Travis Baltz and starting running back Da'Rel Scott all missed game action.

Similarly, the injuries opened doors for players like Demetrius Hartsfield, A.J. Francis and Nick Ferrera, all of whom have been critical components to the team since.

The 2009 squad, however, ended the season on a seven-game losing skid. Playing for their pride and the avoid the offseason scrutiny that comes with just two wins, Brown said Saturday the team must begin to improve.

Hughes said a win over Demon Deacons are the first step in that direction.

"Two-and-10 is not the number of choice since we've already been there before. I'd rather be 4-8. That's where I want to be," he said. "We're trying to be 4-8 and in their in the way."

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