Stepping up in the bowls: Maryland

Well, this is a bit of an awkward situation. The Terps enter the Military Bowl Presented by Northrop Grumman knowing it's coach Ralph Friedgen's final game before the administration buys out his contract. There's still a football game to be played, though, and East Carolina will win if the Terps aren't prepared in every phase of the game.

In order for that to happen, who needs to step up?

Maryland's coaching staff. The players need them now more than ever. They're the ones who have been most affected by this week's news. Their foundation has been shaken, the men who recruited them are likely leaving them behind, and they're supposed to be excited about playing East Carolina in RFK Stadium? Some staff members are expected to follow former offensive coordinator James Franklin to Vanderbilt. That could cause some division with the assistants who were left behind, and Maryland can't afford that right now. This is one of those situations that can go either way -- they can either rally together to send Friedgen out on a winning note, or they can hang their heads and let Friedgen's dismissal beat them twice. The staff will play the biggest role in determining which outcome it is.