It must have been 100 degrees, the fire department had sprayed down to student section is was so hot. September 7, 1985 was the day for Maryland football. Ranked #1 by Sporting News magazine the team was hosting #19 Penn State.
Stan Gelbaugh was picked off on the second play of the game and Penn State returned that for a touchdown. The Terps got down 17-0 in the second quarter. From there, the Terps got a Ramon Pareedes field goal and two Badanjek touchdowns plus a two point conversion to take an 18-17 lead.
Penn State rallied for a 46 yard field goal. Maryland spent the last 8 minutes of the game missing 31 and 55 yard field goals and then fumbling away the ball with under a minute to go trying to setup the winning kick.
It was one of the best games, in intensity, that I have been to.
I thought now, as I thought then, that this was the day that the Terps were going to beat PSU and change their trajectory. How many time had the Terps come close? Too many to recount here. But with the ball and marching down the field, 9/7/85 was going to be the day.
I did not know then that it would be Nov 1, 2014, some almost 30 years later that Maryland would finally be the day.
So here we go again, Penn State and the Terps. For me, this is the rivalry game. For the 2015 version of the Terps, this might as well be our bowl game.
When I went to the Tuesday press conference I realized that the players do not share my personal history of Maryland v PSU. It will take some time to make the this the rivalry game and the focus of every season for the players and the fans. I hope that we can anchor the game as the last game of the season every year.
For my Terps, tomorrow starts a new season with a new coach. For me, it is the game of the year.