The Ralph Friedgen era at the University of Maryland is now over.
The Terps played their final game under their departing coach by giving him a decisive victory over the East Carolina Pirates, beating them 51-20.
The game's most valuable player, Da'Rel Scott, rushed for 200 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries. And while Scott was doing major damage to the ECU defense, the Terps defense contained an explosive offense. Maryland held the dangerous Pirate offense to just 20 points (and 13 while the game was competitive), showing how much progress they have made during the course of the season.
While this game certainly was notable for what happened on the field, it was the significance of what was happening off the field that made this performance so compelling. Terps fans wanted to say goodbye to Friedgen one last time and see him go in style, and with today's performance, they got their wish. More than anything , this game was more a tribute to Friedgen and all the great memories he provided for Terps fans over the last 10 seasons.
Now that the season is over, there are certainly many questions marks going forward about the Maryland football program. Will Maryland be able to continue the build on the positive momentum from this season? Will Danny O'Brien improve under a new coaching staff? How will players respond to the new coach? But most importantly, who will be the new coach? Terps fans will seek the answers to these questions in the coming weeks and months ahead.
As for Friedgen, he will now ride off into the sunset, his future ventures yet unknown. And in his final game, the Terps showed one more time what made him a great coach in the first place, and that's his ability to get his players to play for him. They played with a passion for football shared only by their head coach. It may not always have been pretty, but they did whatever they could for their head man.
And that is the greatest parting gift the Terrapins could ever give their head coach.