They came in as baby turtles, and they are leaving as Terrapins. The Class of 2014 will ..."/> They came in as baby turtles, and they are leaving as Terrapins. The Class of 2014 will ..."/>

Maryland’s ACC Pomp And Circumstance


They came in as baby turtles, and they are leaving as Terrapins. The Class of 2014 will be leaving behind a life of late night study sessions at McKeldin Library, memorable (or not-so-memorable) nights at Cornerstone and Bentley’s; relaxation and peace on the mall during the spring and fall, frigid walks across campus during the winter; gatherings with new-found friends in the dorms, early morning/late night strolls across Route 1, and gameday atmospheres at Byrd and Comcast. The entire 2014 class are now a part of this great university’s history, and they can hold their heads high with pride knowing that they are Maryland Terrapins forever.

What makes the graduating class of 2014 rather unique, is that the university itself will also be graduating with them. Like the students leaving the college life behind as they walk across the stage with their caps and gowns, Maryland will be leaving behind 61 years of memories of both glory and hardship, as they venture out into unfamiliar territories and new possibilities. It is a feeling that, as Maryland fans, is both exhilarating and unpredictable. The University of Maryland chose to take a risk with moving to the Big Ten rather than being complacent in comfortable surroundings with the Atlantic Coast Conference. It’s a risk that will take time before it can be judged one way or the other, but it will be an exciting ride nonetheless.

With graduation comes reflection. You find yourself looking back over the years and recalling certain events that do nothing but make you smile. These memories stick with us, and no matter how many months fall off the calendar and the years that follow, these events continue to live on. Maryland athletics, along with all its fans, has plenty of these to choose from. As TerpNation prepares to move away from their ACC neighborhood, lets reflect over some of the best memories that made us smile:


Maryland football leaves the ACC with an overall record of 620-553-43, including 11 bowl victories, 9 conference championships, and one National Championship (1953). Many of us are too young to remember the undefeated ’53 team, but there were plenty of great memories between now and then:

  1. “Big-Play Caravan” – Clemson (12): 28 Maryland (11): 24 (1978 – ACC Championship)

I hate when losses make their way onto these kinds of lists, but this one is the rare exception. Considered one of the most exciting games during the 70’s, this back-and-forth battle included Steve Atkins taking it to the house on a 98 yard run to take the lead in the 3rd quarter (longest run in ACC history). Clemson ultimately won with a late game-winning touchdown run by Lester Brown.

  1. “Maryland Miracle” – Maryland: 42 Miami: 40 (1984)

The defending National Champion Hurricanes, led by coach Jimmy Johnson and star QB Bernie Kosar, held a 31-0 halftime lead. Maryland quarterback Stan Gelbaugh was replaced by Frank Reich and the Terrapins outscored Miami 42-9 in the 2nd half to win 42-40. Considered one of the greatest comebacks in college football history (UMD went on to win the ACC title that year).

  1. “Nick the Kick” – Maryland (20): 20 Georgia Tech (15): 17 (2001)

2001 was a special season for the Terrapins. In Friedgen’s first season at the helm (and first game back in Atlanta where he once coached), Maryland was 5-0 with a chance to become bowl eligible for the first time in over a decade. The game featured a fumble recovery for a TD by ALL-American LB EJ Henderson and 2 FG’s by freshman kicker Nick Novak (one that sent the game into overtime as time expired, and one in overtime that would prove to be the game winner. The game earned Novak the nickname “Nick the Kick.”

  1. “Run Josh Run!” – Maryland: 20 FSU(5): 17 / “The Block” – Maryland: 27 Florida State: 24 (2006) (2004) (2004) (2006)

Couldn’t choose one over the other here; Maryland’s victory over Florida State in 2004 was their first win EVER over FSU, but the Terps went 5-6 that year. In 2006, their victory over FSU helped UMD capture a 9-4 record, but FSU finished the year 7-6 (3-5 ACC) so that puts a slight damper on the win. Either way, both victories were significant in MD football history. And for good measure, here’s Vernon Davis tossing a FSU defender like a rag doll in 2008:

  1. “The Steve Suter Show” – Maryland(23): 41 West Virginia(20): 7 (2004)

The 2003 season got off to a really bad start with consecutive losses to NIU and FSU. But Maryland would win 10 out of their next 11 games (including a 34-7 win over WVU in College Park) to earn a Gator Bowl birth to face the rival Mountaineers. WR Steve Suter and QB Scott McBrien went nuts on WVU, putting up over 500 yards of offense while the Terps D held the ‘Neers to 86 yards passing and forcing two turnovers.

Others of Note:

–          Maryland: 23 NC State: 19 (2001):

  • Late TD from Hill to Gary cements Terps trip to the Orange Bowl

–          Maryland: 30 Tennessee: 3 (2002):

  • LB EJ Henderson destroys the Vols in Peach Bowl

–          Maryland: 26 NC State: 24 (2003):

  • Terps spoil Philip Rivers Senior Day – making Rivers 0-4 in his career against Maryland

–          Maryland: 28 Virginia: 26 (2006):

  • After trailing 20-0 at halftime Terps score 28 2nd half points & CB Josh Wilson seals the game by breaking up 2-pt attempt

–          Maryland: 14 Miami: 13 (2006):

  • WR Heyward-Bey scores two early TD’s to defeat Miami in their first game since the death of DL Bryan Pata

–          Maryland: 34 Rutgers(10): 24 (2007):

  • 3rd-string QB Chris Turner comes in for Steffy & leads UMD to 20 2nd half points to defeat Ray Rice and the Knights in NJ

–          Maryland: 42 Boston College(8): 35 (2007):

  • Big plays from RB Da-Rel Scott & WR Darrius Heyward-Bey help UMD offense put up 472 yards against top-10 BC defense

–          Maryland: 35 California(23): 27 (2008):

  • UMD offense scores 5 TD’s while holding Cal offense to just 38 yards rushing to seal first win over Pac-10 school since ‘55

–          Maryland: 20 Clemson(19): 17 (2008):

  • Big reverse to Heyward-Bey sparks 14-0 2nd half for Terps as they hold James Davis & CJ Spiller to 31 yards rushing

–          Maryland: 17 North Carolina(16): 15 (2008):

  • RB Da’Rel Scott rushes for 129 yards, Terps D holds UNC to 1-11 on 3rd downs. UMD gets school-record 6th straight W over ranked opponent

–          Maryland:17 Navy: 14 (2010):

  • DB Kenny Tate stones Navy QB Dobbs at the goal line to seal victory for Terps in Baltimore

–          Maryland: 51 East Carolina: 20 (2010):

  • Coach Ralph Friedgen goes out on top in the Military Bowl at RFK Stadium

–          Maryland: 32 Miami: 24 (2011):

  • The Randy Edsall era (& Maryland Pride) begins with a bang at Byrd as CB Cam Chism seals the victory with a pick-6 on a potential game-winning drive for Miami

–          Maryland: 37 West Virginia: 0 (2013):

  • Terps force 6 turnovers (including an AJ Hendy pick-6) as UMD beats WVU to stop a 7-game losing streak to the ‘Neers

–          Maryland: 27 Virginia Tech: 24 (OT) (2013):

  • The injury-plagued Terps get their first win over VT as an ACC member in Blacksburg to become bowl-eligible


The Terrapins (and their fans) will miss the matchups that made ACC basketball the conference to watch for many years. Maryland will have to face new enemies in the Midwest, but the remembrances of the clashes that took place in mighty Cole and Comcast against the adversaries of the Atlantic Coast Conference will last always.

The Terps run in the ACC consists of a 1368-962 record; 23 20+ win seasons, four conference titles, 23 NCAA Tournament births, 13 Sweet Sixteen appearances, five Elite Eight’s, two Final Four’s, and one memorable National Championship in 2002. This list was difficult to put together, but some of the most memorable games for the Terrapins as members of the ACC include:

  1. “Greatest Game Ever Played” – NC State: 103 Maryland:100 (1974)

Unfortunately for Lefty Driesell and the Terps, Maryland basketball history could have been even richer than it is now. Maryland was the 3rd ranked team in the country, and yet did not make the NCAA Tournament due to ACC rules that only conference champions could receive a bid. NC State won the game in overtime, and then went on to win the National Championship. The result of this game would change the format of college basketball forever. The following year teams who were not conference champions were eligible to receive NCAA Tourney bids. Had that been the case the year before, Maryland might have two NCAA Championship trophies in their trophy case.

  1. “Down Goes Dean!” – Maryland: 77 North Carolina: 72 (1986) (the steal/reverse jam)

Dean Smith is still argued today as the greatest coach in college basketball history, and in Chapel Hill, he was unbeatable (literally). Every team that entered the Dean Dome exited with a loss under their belts – until Len Bias single-handedly changed that. He scored 35 points and outscored UNC 8-4 in OT…by himself!

  1. “An Improbable Run” – Maryland: 95 Duke: 87 (2004 – ACC Championship)*mute until the 3:45 mark)

When the ACC Tournament began, Maryland was an afterthought when it came to the NCAA Tournament. The 6th seeded Terps would have to win the ACCT to get in the dance; to do that, they’d have to beat 3-seed Wake Forest (led by Chris Paul), 2-seed NC State, and 1-seed Duke…in Greensboro, North Carolina. The Terps gutted out victories against WF and NCS, but Duke had won the previous five ACC Championships and had a starting five that would all end up future NBA draft picks. Maryland was down by 10 with 2:55 left in the game when John Gilchrist took over and forced overtime. Gilchrist finished with 26 points to go along with Tournament MVP honors to give Maryland their first ACC Championship since 1984.

  1. “Oh He Steal” – Maryland(3): 87 Duke(1): 73

In my opinion, the best Maryland-Duke game in school history (from a Maryland standpoint). It was hyped as the college game of the year, even after Duke manhandled the Terps in Durham earlier that season. The game was never really close as Maryland punished Duke in their last visit to Cole Field House. Here were the numbers from Maryland’s starting five: Wilcox – 23 points, 11 rebounds; Dixon – 17 points; Mouton – 15 points; Baxter – 11 points, 10 rebounds; Blake – 8 points, 13 assists, and the signature “oh he steal” moment to close out the first half. (*also note the hilarity in the second clip where Dunleavy tried to say Duke overlooked Maryland – sorry Mikey, you don’t “overlook” the #3 team in the country. You guys just got pummeled).

  1. “And the Kids Have Done it!” – Maryland: 64 Indiana: 52 (NCAA National Championship – 2002)

The highlight of Maryland basketball! It seems like it was ages ago, but Gary Williams’ Terps made it the top of the summit of college basketball glory while going through the toughest bracket for a #1 seed. The game was sloppy, but thanks to Juan Dixon, Indiana only held the lead for a total of 10 seconds in the entire game.

Others of Note:

–          Maryland: 94 Duke(1): 92 (1995):

  • Joe Smith drops 40 in Durham on Senior Night

–          Maryland: 97 Kansas: 88 (Final Four–2002):

  • Wilcox dominates Drew Gooden & Gary gets the best of Roy…again

–          Maryland: 69 Florida(1): 68 (2003):

  • A UMD made up of 9 freshmen & sophomores play stifling D to get the upset over David Lee & the Gators

–          Maryland: 75 UNC Wilmington: 73 (NCAA Tournament – 2003):

  • Drew Nicholas buzzer-beater…you know what I’m talking about

–          Maryland: 89 UNC(5): 87 (2007):

  • Terps were down 10 with a little over 6 minutes remaining, but DJ Strawberry & Mike Jones bring UMD back for the upset

–          Maryland: 82 UNC(1): 80 (2008):

  • Vasquez & company take down #1 Tar Heels in Chapel Hill as Osby makes a layup with 21 seconds left

–          Maryland: 88 UNC(3): 85 (2009):

  • Vasquez drops a triple-double on Hansborough, Lawson & the Heels

–          Maryland(23): 79 Duke(4): 72 (2010):

  • Vasquez bests Scheyer on both Senior Night & for the ACC Player of the Year

–          Maryland: 83 Duke(2): 81 (2013):

  • Len & Wells team up to take down Plumlee & Curry as the #2 Devils fall in College Park

The End of an Era

We make a lot of jokes at the ACC’s expense, but the truth is that the conference will be missed. The hate for Duke is genuine, but we’ll miss playing them on the hardwood. We despise Virginia, but we’ll miss the battles on the gridiron. Such is life in the endless transforming landscape of college athletics; change is inevitable, and the time has come to meet new challenges and build new rivalries. Before you know it, Maryland fans will loathe other schools and their fan bases just as we did in the ACC. The memories will last forever, but the anticipation of turning the pages to a new chapter of life in the Big Ten can’t come fast enough. Thank you ACC – it’s been real.