Notes on Ga. Tech 21, Maryland 16

Was that a moral victory for Maryland? Is there such a thing at this level? You tell me, Terps fans.

The Terps, starting four first-year players on defense, held Georgia Tech to less than half its scoring average of 51 points. Georgia Tech averaged 587 yards per game and 378 rushing yards heading into the game. It got 386 and 272 on Saturday. But, still, Maryland lost.

I'll remember this game for all the unusual images, one of them unsettling.

*For about 15 minutes (and it felt longer), Maryland offensive lineman Andrew Gonnella was on the ground after a gruesome leg injury. His leg got "twisted back," said defensive tackle Joe Vellano, who had 20 tackles. "He's my roommate. It's just crazy how it could happen to anybody that quick." I saw Gonnella wave one of his arms as he was being raised into the ambulance. He's being evaluated at a local hospital.

Gonnella, a former walk-on, is a team leader with a history of not missing games. I've been told he gets so keyed up before games that he has to calm himself down.

*Linebacker Demetrius Hartsfield left with a leg injury. He was joined on the sideline by linebacker Kenny Tate (undisclosed injury). That's a lot of absent defensive talent.

*Did you think you'd see quarterback Danny O'Brien spending the second half on the sideline with the headset on (instead of a helmet)? I knew coaches were enamored of C.J. Brown. He is so athletic (he can do a 360-dunk on the hoops court). Still, it was jarring to see O'Brien go 1-for-6 with an interception.

Maryland rushed for a season-high 246 yards. Brown had 124 of them. But the quarterbacks combined for 6-for-24 with two interceptions.

What I see is receivers seeming occasionally out of synch with the passers. There were also some drops.

Who do you think starts at quarterback next week?