In a breakthrough effort that spans 477 reels of footage dating back as far as 1946, the University Archives have unearthed and digitized evidence that the Terps football team has, in fact, won a football game.
The library system’s Digital Collections now includes film of games from between the end of World War II and 1979, in addition to some footage from the 80s in which Terps not only won, but smacked down the amazing, spectacular, dirty rotten Miami Hurricanes in spectacular fashion.
It was Nov. 10, 1984. The Terps were in their first season after the graduation of star quarterback Boomer Esiason, and they were down 31-0 by halftime against the Hurricanes. Starting QB Stan Gelbaugh was replaced by Frank Reich, who proceeded to complete 12 of 15 passes for 260 yards in what became a 42-40 victory that was at the time the largest comeback in NCAA history.
The History Channel has a thrilling post about the game that includes an awesome, unsourced anecdote about how angry the team was:
In the first two quarters of the game, Miami out-gained the Terps 328 yards to 57 and ran up their 31-point lead–but they didn’t do it graciously. “The comeback never would’ve happened if it had not been for the attitude of the Miami Hurricanes,” one Maryland player remembered. “No question about it. Those guys were the biggest cheap-shot, trash-talking, classless outfit of football players I’ve ever seen in my life.” He added: “You can almost take getting beat if a team is kicking your butts and they’re doing it cleanly. And there was no question that they were kicking our butts in the first half. But that team made us mad, and it gave us a little extra incentive.” And the Terps dug in their heels.
(The unnamed player was kicker Jess Atkinson, speaking to the Washington Post several years after the game.)
The University Archives has all the footage (disregard the incorrect date):
To see the rest of the videos, university archivist Anne Turkos says to search for “football,” “bowl” and “film” in the “University AlbUM.” Included in the list is a September 1950 game that, in addition to being the first one played in Byrd Stadium, has some crazy footage of the empty fields that North Campus used to be.