This season hasn't worked out the way the Terrapins had hoped.
Maryland (4-7, 2-6) takes the field for the final time Saturday when its hosts Penn State, and other than pride, there's not much for the Terrapins to play for, just don't say that to them.
"You want to win every game," said senior linebacker Jermaine Carter, Jr. "You don't want to just point out one game. We're going to go out here and play. It's not going to be different than any other week. We're going out and expect to win."
Maryland was eliminated from bowl game consideration last week despite a great late effort in a 17-7 loss at Michigan State in the snow and sleet. The Terps had a chance to pull within a touchdown in the fourth quarter, but missed a field goal.
"I'm proud of our guys, how they kept fighting," said Maryland coach DJ Durkin. "I thought we had a chance in the fourth quarter especially if we didn't get the running into the kicker we'd be driving at the end of the game to tie it up. We missed the field goal that would've cut it to one score, had the opportunity to either kick off or onside, whatever we would've done there."
Now they're just spoilers, hoping to throw a little shade on border rival Penn State (9-2, 6-2) and the Nittany Lions' wonderful season so far. History certainly isn't on the Terrapins side, Penn State with a 37-2-1 all-time edge in the series.
Stopping Saquon Barkley is the first priority but a lot of teams have said that this year. Maryland, at or near the bottom in a lot of Big Ten defensive categories, hopes to rally together and make a stand.
"He is very patient in the hole and has tremendous vision," said Maryland defensive tackle Kingsley Opara of Barkley. "He has power in his legs. We have to be disciplined on the run-fits and we should be okay."
"He's as good as there is," said Durkin of Barkley. "I think one of the things that's best about him is his durability. He plays the whole game. He returns kicks. He's out there the whole time. You've got to play great team defense, got to get a bunch of guys to the ball and really be sound in how you're leveraging the ball. Or he can make you pay pretty fast."
Part of the plan to slow Barkley and Big Ten total offense leader, quarterback Trace McSorley has to be to possess the ball and keep that Penn State offense off the field. Quarterback Max Bortenschlager, now making his seventh start in relief of the Tyrrell Pigrome and Kasim Hill, has shown more poise of late, particularly in the inclement weather at Michigan State, leading a fourth quarter touchdown drive and another that resulted in that missed field goal.
Now he and the Terrapins are down to one more chance to prove themselves, facing a third straight nationally-ranked conference foe.