After the Terps' third-most lopsided defeat since 2000, Edsall was frustrated. So were his Maryland players. Only a 63-0 loss to Florida State last year and 55-6 loss to Virginia Tech in 2004 were worse.
"It's extremely disappointing," center Sal Conaboy said. "I thought it was a team we could have came in and beat, and they just out-executed us and outplayed us. Collectively, we didn't do our job."
Maryland (5-3, 2-2 Big Ten Conference) was confident in its game plan going into Saturday's game at Camp Randall Stadium. The Terps were aware of the pressure Wisconsin (5-2, 2-1) likes to bring with its front seven. They knew the Badgers were going to be playing a lot of press man-to-man coverage. And Maryland prepared all week to neutralize star running back Melvin Gordon and a Wisconsin ground game that entered Saturday having rushed for a Football Bowl Subdivision-best 343 yards per game.
What has to make Saturday even more frustrating for the Terps is that they did manage to slow down Gordon, at least somewhat.
While Gordon finished with 122 yards, three touchdowns and 5.5 yards per carry in three quarters of work, he had just 73 yards on 19 carries midway through the third quarter, or 3.8 yards per attempt.
The problem? Badgers quarterback Joel Stave took advantage of Maryland's commitment to stopping the run with a 43-yard pass to set up Wisconsin's first touchdown, a 47-yard touchdown pass to extend the lead to 31-0 midway through the third quarter and an 8-yard touchdown throw five minutes later.
Wisconsin also got a 60-yard touchdown run from backup quarterback Tanner McEvoy. And despite Gordon's diminished output, the Badgers still finished with 311 rushing yards.
Wisconsin led 24-0 at halftime, 38-0 by the end of the third quarter and 45-0 after McEvoy's touchdown run less than two minutes into the fourth quarter.
"We gave up big plays again, and that hurt us in the passing game," Edsall said. "We didn't tackle as well as we needed to and we got out of sync a little bit, where we had guys trying to do some things that they normally don't do and didn't adjust properly to a couple things. ... We all just didn't get it done today."
The same could be said of the Terps offense.
Before a late touchdown drive that produced Maryland's only points, the Terps went eight drives — and about two hours of real time — without gaining a first down. Maryland was being outgained 511-102 and had just five first downs before its final drive of the day.
The Terps offensive line had trouble with Wisconsin's defensive front, which limited Maryland to just 46 yards on 28 carries. Brown was sacked twice and was under constant pressure.
Maryland wide receivers had problems getting open, and Brown missed some throws even when he did have time in the pocket. The redshirt senior finished 13-for-29 for 129 yards and a touchdown pass to wide receiver Stefon Diggs with 57 seconds remaining.
"We were trying to run the football, and we weren't able to do that," Brown said. "And then in the pass game, I've got to be able to complete more passes than that."
It did not help that the Terps were called for six offensive penalties — five false starts and one for an illegal formation.
"The 'D' line kept making noises, and we just kept jumping, and you can't have that," Brown said. "It was tough. For some reason, we couldn't get it settled down, and it's hard to get it going when you're backed up like that."
After beating Iowa last week, Maryland had a chance to further prove its viability in the Big Ten, especially against a team with a rich history and intimidating home-field advantage.
"We wanted to come out and make a statement, and we failed to do that," cornerback Jeremiah Johnson said.
Maryland will look to rebound at Penn State next Saturday.
"We didn't come out here and do what we wanted to do," Johnson said when asked about Edsall's message to the team after the game. "But we've got to use this and come back next week motivated, come in to practice [Sunday] motivated and get better from it."