Slight correction. I think Maryland had 47 seconds at the start of their final possession. So we obviously had more time than that at the start of our final possession (maybe 2 minutes or so).I've been at every home game and have read everything I have found about the team, and watched every video. I'm in deep for sure. When we punted on 4th and one (which was near mid-field), I did not think at the moment that it was a bad decision. Peters had not played well, and we could not count on a run not getting stuffed. We had a chance to pin Maryland deep and to that point our defense had given up few points. If we had gone for it and not made it, Maryland would have had great field position. If you want to engage in further hind-sighting, you could say that if we had gone for the first down but failed, Maryland might have scored to tie it up sooner, giving us more time (more than the 47 seconds which is what I recall we had) to plan a drive toward at least a field goal without needing to pass in desperation. But that's of course just speculation.
As for Maryland, they looked and played like they were inspired and confident, with what looked to me like a good game plan. They clearly have some athletes and playmakers. I don't know if they played over their heads, but we certainly didn't catch them when they were down by any means. It is a shame that the last 5 minutes overshadowed Illinois' solid play (other than our quarterbacking) up to that point.
Anyway, I'm a believer in Bielema and his staff, and I like the direction Coach B is taking the program. I very much hope we can be at least competitive in all of our remaining games this season, and win more of them than expected. I'd like to go to the game at Purdue, but practically would have a difficult time arranging it. I look forward at least to attending each of the remaining home games.