The 2001 squad set a myriad of season records and has to be considered one of the best teams in Maryland history. Led by consensus All-American linebacker E.J. Henderson, who was voted both ACC Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year in a landslide, it was a team built around a rock solid defense and a steady, mistake free offense. Running back Bruce Perry had the best season of his career and quarterback Shaun Hill was an ideal fit for Friedgen's option attack.
The season ended with a 56-23 rout in the Orange Bowl at the hands of a Florida squad that probably should have played in the national title game but that didn't diminish the accomplishments of the 2001 team. They helped to usher in a rebirth of Maryland football from the dismal decade of the 1990's when the Terrapins became perennial doormats in the ACC. It began the greatest three year span in Maryland football history during which time the Terrapins won 31 games. Fans who had not endured the futility of the previous decade cannot fully appreciate how low the program had sunk and the 2001 season was so unexpected and dramatic that it had the aura of magic.