The first full Saturday of college football was not a pleasant day for Maryland, Virginia and Howard.
The Bison, who lost to Hampton Institute, 13-7, dropped their second game of the season under their new coach, Willie Jeffries.
Virginia wasn't expected to have much success against Clemson -- a team picked by some as No. 1 in the nation. But Cavaliers Coach George Welsh had to be hoping for something better than a 55-0 loss.
And Maryland's 23-7 loss to Syracuse was a surprise to many, even if it wasn't really an upset.
After a full day of analysis, Maryland Coach Bobby Ross said last night: "When you have a game like that, you always get into a big self-analysis; you can worry yourself to death over analyzing.
"We haven't talked as a staff yet, but the tight end position might be up for grabs. And because of the way J.D. Maarleveld played, we may make the left tackle position competitive this week."
Ross said Keeta Covington will probably handle punt returns, but Donald Brown, who fumbled once, will probably return kickoffs as well as play cornerback.
Ross was not at all happy with special teams play and said Stan Gelbaugh, who punted 58 and 24 yards, "will have to be more consistent."
There could be other adjustments in the works this week after the offense, which in the last two years routinely totaled 300 or more yards a game, gained only 217 and committed five of Maryland's six turnovers.
The Terrapins scored first, on a 14-yard touchdown pass from Frank Reich to Greg Hill. Unfortunately for the Terrapins, they wouldn't score again.
After completing his first four passes, Reich succeeded on only one of six in the third quarter. The defense -- young and inexperienced as the linemen were -- played well enough to keep Maryland within 10-7 early in the fourth quarter.
That in itself was surprising because Syracuse began consecutive possessions on the Maryland 11, the Maryland 18 and the Maryland nine, all after recovering fumbles.
"You can't get anything started like that," Ross said. "We never had any sort of offensive continuity after that first drive."
Still, with 1:08 remaining and Maryland trailing, 23-7, Ross said he was thinking: "Score a touchdown, go for the two-point conversion, get the ball back. Score, go for the two-point conversion.
"I really was thinking that. But maybe some of our people weren't."
It came as a surprise, too, that Reich, a fifth-year senior, appeared so nervous. His preseason excellence and preparation were one reason why Ross was so confident of the offense going into the game.
Reich completed 14 of 25 passes for 132 yards, but threw two interceptions and sometimes had difficulty finding downfield receivers.
"I think we need to just back off and let Frank Reich play quarterback," Ross said. "We looked at the game film (from last year's opener) against Vanderbilt and Boomer (Esiason) made some of the same mistakes. Frank made a few mistakes -- he threw high a couple of times and didn't make the proper decision a few times -- but what quarterback doesn't? He also had five dropped passes.
" . . . I told the team tonight we're going to work very hard this week. We need good practices."
In Charlottesville, the Cavaliers gained only 171 yards Saturday night and allowed Clemson 535. So Welsh, too, is contemplating changes this week.
"We have to take a hard look at some things that we're doing and at some people. Nothing's set for sure. If you get a performance like this, I can't dismiss it," he said.
Howard took a big step backward in one of its worst offensive performances in several seasons. Hampton hadn't beaten Howard in 16 years.
Jeffries had seen some good things in his team's opening 31-21 loss at Rhode Island two weeks ago, but the Hampton game left him very distressed.
"Our offense didn't execute very well at all," he said. "When you only score seven points, you won't win many games. I thought our defense played well; we just didn't come up with any big plays."
"A couple of penalties and that first fumble hurt," he said. "We didn't get too many snaps because we allowed Hampton to control the ball."
The fumble led to Hampton's first touchdown.
Tackle Robert Sellers reported Howard's only injury, a sore hip. He is expected to play this week against Bethune-Cookman.