And it will fill Byrd Stadium for some of those big teams.

Exactly. We should have better attendance because of the people that you’re playing. I know this: I’d want to be a season-ticket holder and have the opportunity to see the teams coming in there, but also watching Maryland play.

Let’s look back one more time. Was there ever a moment for you when the injuries started to mount this season, because of all that had happened last season, when you said, "This may not happen for us"?

I never thought that. I never did. This season was very interesting because we started off very well — 4-0, 4-1, 5-1 — and then we hit that stretch and we did get some injuries. But it wasn’t so much the injuries that took place. The thing that took place was, we got away from being a team. We ended up becoming a little bit selfish. Guys didn’t know how to handle the success that we had. I think what happened is, we got a little bit ahead of ourselves and we started thinking more about ourselves than about the team. And then, I remember, we ended up having a team meeting, and I asked our guys, "What is different now than what where we were earlier in the season?" I called on people and asked people to speak to give their reasons why and guys came up with stuff. You could see the difference, because where we were was right, but just because we had success shouldn’t change who we are. We won because we were a team, not because of this. Some guys were [saying], "Maybe I’m not touching the ball as much" and doing all that, and we kind of got out of what got us to where we were. After we had that meeting, that’s when we went down and beat Virginia Tech and ended up getting the seventh win. We played better because we got back to being a team instead of worrying about different things. I never doubted it, because I knew that we did have some strong leadership in our leadership council and that guys wanted to do it. I think the thing was, after we had that meeting and we went down to Virginia Tech, and see our guys on the sidelines — you could just feel it going into that game. There was no way we were going to lose that game.

Has there ever been a point in the last two years where you ever felt that maybe the administration was losing confidence in where this football program is going?

A: No. I don’t concern myself with what other people think. My obligation is to, yes, the school, but to the players. I knew that we were on the right track. I knew that what we were doing was right, and it was just a matter of us getting a win for them to really understand, and I think that happened at Virginia Tech. But, no, not at any time did I think that. If they were, they didn’t express that to me. They didn’t show that to me. I knew that in terms of what they asked me to do when I came here, we’ve been doing, and we’re making the inroads and the progress exactly to where we want to go, and we’re going to keep building on that.

peter.schmuck@baltsun.com

jeff.barker@baltsun.com

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