#93 Maryland Football 2013 Preview

Maryland Terrapins

Overall Rank: #93
#14 ACC

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Maryland has one more chance to make a splash in the Atlantic Coast Conference before they head off to the Big Ten. Coach Randy Edsall has spent a couple years building up the Terrapins and so far it has gone pretty well. After garnering just two wins in 2011, Maryland boosted that total to four last season. Getting two more wins and becoming bowl eligible may be asking a bit too much from this group, but that does not mean the program is heading in the wrong direction.

2012 Record: (4-8, 2-6)
2012 Bowl: None
Coach: Randy Edsall (6-18 at Maryland, 80-88 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Mike Locksley
Defensive Coordinator: Brian Stewart

Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Brandon Ross, RB, 390 yards
Passing: Perry Hills, QB, 1,336 yards
Receiving: Stefon Diggs, WR, 848 yards
Tackles: Cole Farrand, LB, 78
Sacks: Jeremiah Johnson, CB, 1.5; Darius Kilgo, DT, 1.5
Interceptions: Anthony Nixon, S, 1; Matt Robinson, LB, 1

Other Key Returnees: G De’Onte Arnett, RB Wes Brown, C Sal Conaboy, WR Marcus Leak, OT Mike Madaras

Key Losses: WR Kevin Dorsey, LB Darin Drakeford, DE A.J. Francis, S Eric Franklin, G Bennett Fulper, TE Matt Furstenburg, OT Justin Gilbert, LB Demetrius Hartsfield, LB Kenneth Tate, DE Joe Vellano

Maryland was horribly unlucky on offense during the 2012 campaign and the bad numbers should be ignored for the most part. The rushing offense ranked 112th and the passing offense ranked 100th. Overall the team averaged under 285 total yards of offense per game. That is a really, really bad number. With all of the injuries, there are high hopes that the offense can be surprisingly effective. Wide receiver Stefon Diggs caught 54 passes for 848 yards and six scores as a freshman and he will be one of the best receivers in the ACC, if he is not already. Nigel King and Marcus Leak have some experience and both could turn into big playmaking threats. The addition of junior college transfer Deon Long makes this a very talented group of receivers, yet somebody has to get them the ball. C.J. Brown missed last season with an ACL injury and will now take over the starting job. The 6-3 senior, who will have two years left in College Park, started five games back in 2011 and is a dynamic playmaker with his legs. However, Brown is not the most consistent passer. The hope is the talent at wide receiver will help fix that little problem. With enough talent on the offensive line and three running backs who are all capable of handling the starting job, Maryland’s offense could be extremely productive as long as Brown stays healthy and plays reasonably well.

The defense held the Terps together in 2012 and now there are quite a few holes to fill. Cornerbacks Dexter McDougle and Jeremiah Johnson are talented and safeties Anthony Nixon, Sean Davis and A.J. Hendy have starting experience, but they could be in for a long year if they do not get much help from the front seven. Nose tackle Darius Kilgo and linebacker Cole Farrand are the only starters back in the front seven. Quinton Jefferson had a superb spring and he could turn into the pass rusher this team desperately needs to help replace Joe Vellano and A.J. Francis. When Matt Robinson is healthy, he will make the move from safety to outside linebacker and L.A. Goree has plenty of experience and should be ready to step into the middle. Yet, there are a lot of questions and not a lot of experienced depth and eventually that will catch up to the Maryland defense.

The Bottom Line:
As painful as it was to watch the Terrapins offense last season, it may be the opposite this time around. This may not be a team that is going to score too many points, but they will spread out the field with three or more wideouts and attempt to fling the ball around. If Brown is ready to take advantage of the talent he has around him, this will be a fun team to watch. And if the defense can rebound from their heavy losses, Maryland will leave the ACC on a high note.

Projected Bowl: None

2012 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 103.00 (112th in nation, 10th in conference)
Passing Offense: 181.75 (100, 11)
Total Offense: 284.75 (120, 12)
Scoring Offense: 20.08 (107, 10)
Rushing Defense: 129.33 (26, 2)
Pass Defense: 207.50 (30, 3)
Total Defense: 336.83 (21, 3)
Scoring Defense: 27.17 (56, 6)
Turnover Margin: -0.83 (104, 11)
Sacks: 2.33 (38, 6)
Sacks Allowed: 3.33 (112, 12)

Madness 2013 Recruit Rankings:
#59 Dervin Gray


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