2013 ACC Previews: Maryland
By Eric Russell
As the college football season draws closer it is time to take a look at each team in the ACC and their outlook for 2013. We will look at what to expect from your favorite team and what it will take for 2013 to be a success. We will follow the predicted finishing order released during ACC media day, alternating between the Coastal and Atlantic Division. Next up is Maryland
Head Coach: Randy Edsall (third season)
Last Season: 2012 was a year to forget for Terrapins fans. Injuries plagued the team's quarterback position and Maryland had to turn to its fifth option, linebacker Shawn Petty. Adding to the problem was Maryland's inability to keep teams off the scoreboard. They gave up 27.2 points per game. The turmoil led to a disappointing 4-8 record and a 2-6 mark in the ACC.
Key Losses: The Terrapins lost A.J. Francis and Joe Vellano, which will hamper them up front defensively. Offensively, the team will be without running back Wes Brown, who accepted a year-long suspension after an incident with the police during the summer.
What To Expect On Offense: The play of freshman receiver Stefon Diggs was by far the bright spot of 2012. With C.J. Brown back in the fold at QB, Diggs should have an even better 2013 campaign. Expect the offense to have more success in the passing game. That will be key considering the run is a big question mark.
What To Expect On Defense: Edsall is optimistic about the linebacker position this season, citing speed and athleticism at the position. Some players have moved around in the secondary, but don't expect to much of a difference in terms of results. The Terrapins defense likely will have an average year considering some of the offenses they will face.
Breakout Star: Yannik Cudjoe-Virgil is a linebacker who can make his name known. He already has put in some impressive performances during scrimmages this year. Brandon Ross and Albert Reid, competing for starting roles, will have the chance to impress as well.
Big games: Maryland will start out with two weaker opponents in Florida International and Old Dominion before embarking on their first road trip to take on Connecticut. A showdown with Big 12 foe West Virginia follows. The Mountaineers will be the last tune-up for the Terrapins before they begin their conference schedule with Florida State. Other big dates include Clemson on Oct. 26 and a trip to Virginia Tech on Nov. 16.
Outlook: Maryland will not add a ton to its win total, but will improve. With a good showing in their non-conference games they can contend for a bowl appearance. While the defense will play a big role in how far the team goes, Brown and Diggs are the catalysts for any type of success the Terrapins will have.
Predicted Record: 6-6 (3-5 ACC)