Jan. 5, 2004
COLLEGE PARK, Md. -
The University of Maryland football team ended up in the Top 20 of both major polls in the final ranking of the 2003 season. The Terrapins finished at No. 17 in the Associated Press and No. 20 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches' poll. It marks the third consecutive season that the Terps finish the year ranked in the nation's Top 25.
Maryland has won 31 games in the last three seasons, a feat unmatched in school history. The Terps' three-straight seasons in the Top 25 are a first since Jerry Claiborne's teams from 1973-76 posted four consecutive years in the rankings.
Maryland ended the 2003 campaign ranked in the three polls of the season and in five weeks overall. The Terps have appeared in at least one of the two major polls 22 times during head coach Ralph Friedgen's first three years as head coach.
Below are some notable accomplishments by the team from the 2003 season:
Maryland closed the season by beating Big East co-Champion West Virginia, 41-7, in the Gator Bowl. In two games with the Mountaineers this year, the Terps outscored their regional rival 75-14.
Only five NCAA schools have won 10 or more games in the last three years: Miami (Fla.), Oklahoma, Texas, Washington State and Maryland.
The Terps beat Peach Bowl champ Clemson, 21-7 (Oct. 4).
They beat Tangerine Bowl champ NC State, 26-24, after trailing by 14 midway through the fourth quarter in Philip Rivers' final home game at NCSU (Nov. 22).
They beat Continental Tire Bowl champ Virginia (Nov. 13), 27-17.
The Terrapins played their best ball down the stretch, winning their final three games away from Byrd Stadium and averaging 514.6 yards of offense in their last five games.
Maryland went a perfect 6-0 at home, the third time since 1976 (and second time under Ralph Friedgen) that the team did not lose a game at home.
The Terps finished the regular season ranked in the Top 20 nationally in four defensive categories (pass defense (17th), pass eff. defense (19th), scoring defense (12th), total defense (16th)).