Maryland has lost four of its past five games. But there seemed something different about last week's 20-3 loss to Syracuse.
The Terps seemed deflated. The game began with Syracuse holding the ball for 7:54 during a 16-play, run-dominated touchdown drive that set a tone.
It wasn't just the Maryland fans that felt something was lacking – it was the Terps' players, too.
The team's leadership council – comprised of 10 players representing offense, defense and special teams – recently discussed the perception that some of the players maybe weren't "that into it," junior linebacker Cole Farrand said.
"Especially after last week, I feel that we're letting a lot of people down. The coaches are doing their job, giving us a good enough game plan to get the job done. But the players haven't been executing," said Farrand, a member of the council.
Injury-riddled Maryland lost top playmakers Stefon Diggs and Deon Long – both receivers – for the season in the Wake Forest game on Oct. 19. That's only the beginning of a long injury list that left the defense particularly thin last week. Farrand said the Terps on the field can't allow that to dictate how they perform.
"It doesn't matter if we're missing Stefon Diggs or we're missing Deon Long. We showed against Clemson that we can play with the team we have now. Teams play with adversity all the time," Farrand said.
Farrand missed the Syracuse game with a concussion, but he is expected back this week. He has also endured breaking a small bone in his hand this season. The injury report comes out Thursday.
Farrand had 23 tackles on Oct. 26 against Clemson.
Maryland trailed Clemson 19-13 after three quarters before losing, 40-27. The team had a bye week before falling to the Orange. The Terps had scored at least 27 points in every other home game this season.
"I think everybody felt after the Syracuse game that the Maryland football team maybe wasn't that into it. It's a terrible thing to say but we definitely need to pick up the intensity. We've got to show everybody that we're still in this 100 percent," Farrand said.
Running back Albert Reid, another council member, said Maryland needs to remember how things felt when it was 4-0. The team is now 5-4 (1-4 ACC) and remains one win shy of bowl eligibility.
"Our team hasn't been the same since we started the season. We started off the season 4-0. I felt like our team was a lot more together," Reid said. "We were working together, hanging out together, talking and all that. But I felt like our team was kind of pushed out a little bit. We're not together as we were when we started the season."
Maryland plays at Virginia Tech (7-3, 4-2 ACC) on Saturday.
"As a leadership council we got together and just talked about how we can get the team back together and we can finish out the season strong," Reid said.