Three years ago, the Connecticut football team beat West Virginia in overtime, so then-Huskies Coach Randy Edsall celebrated accordingly. He skipped around the sideline and waved his arms like a third base coach. He bent low and swung his fist upwards – think Tiger Woods with a headset – with such delight that some brilliant YouTube user slowed everything down, laid Soulja Boy atop the footage and got 4,500 people to watch.
A similar situation unfolded Saturday afternoon in Blacksburg, Va., after Terps quarterback C.J. Brown scored the game-winning touchdown in overtime against Virginia Tech. Again, Edsall sprung from the sideline, arms raised and mouth wide open, looking for anyone and everyone to hug . Another YouTube user – prolific WaPo commenter Barno1, in fact — dubbed the “Chariots of Fire” theme over the slow-mo footage. That video is nearing 8,000 views.
Through nearly three years in College Park, Edsall hadn’t found much reason to celebrate like that, as the Terrapins haven’t sniffed bowl eligibility since the season before he arrived in 2011. So is that a look his players have even seen?
“Can’t say I have,” defensive back A.J. Hendy said Tuesday.
Edsall actually got to celebrate twice, first when Brown dived for the pylon, and again when the referees confirmed that Maryland had beaten Virginia Tech in Blacksburg for the first time since 1949.
“I didn’t really do much during the day,” Edsall said. “I felt like I needed to get some exercise at the end, so I felt like I would have a little bit of fun. Sometimes I show my emotions in different ways. I was just very happy for my kids in terms of what we were able to do.”
Brown, who topped 100 yards rushing for the first time since Maryland’s third game this season, stood behind Edsall during the video review and, upon hearing the confirmation, gave a subdued fist pump.
“I knew it was a touchdown, I knew it hit the pylon, none of my body parts touched the ground,” Brown said. “I just see him running like a goofball out there, hands jumping in the air and everyone’s just going nuts. It was an exciting time.
“I’ve seen him happy and excited, but anytime you see a coach run, it’s funny.”