Fans at Byrd Stadium stood and applauded Rutgers offensive coordinator Ralph Friedgen when the former Maryland coach was shown on the video board along with a short message during the first quarter of Saturday’s game. Friedgen was making his first appearance in College Park since he was fired in 2010 after going 9-4 and being named ACC coach of the year in his 10th season at Maryland.
After Rutgers shocked the Terps by pulling off the biggest comeback in school history, Friedgen downplayed his messy divorce from his alma mater.
“Well, obviously it’s a special win for me, but I think it’s an even better win for our program,” Friedgen told reporters after the Scarlet Knights’ 41-38 win. “We win the bowl game, and we have a chance to have eight wins. The whole thing about Maryland, to me it’s ancient history.”
Friedgen didn’t talk to the media about his time at Maryland in the days leading up to Saturday for fear of making the game too much about himself. Following the win, Rutgers Coach Kyle Flood presented Friedgen with a commemorative poster signed by the team and gave him the chance to address his players in the locker room.
“I talked to the offense earlier today,” Friedgen said. “And I want to thank you for this win. It’s special to me, it really is. But this win just tells us what we can be. Not me, but us. You’ve got a chance to win a bowl game and be 8-5. Not just somebody that’s average, somebody that’s good. That’s what we’ve got to build on. That’s what you’ll remember, seniors — being 8-5. … You’ll forget about this game, but you won’t forget about your record. That’s what we’ve got to get right now.”