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Is The Maryland Offense The Real Deal?

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Last season's offensive line injuries forced young players to gain experience. Those same players are performing well this year, creating running room for Brandon Ross, who is among the ACC rushing leaders. Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images.
Last season's offensive line injuries forced young players to gain experience. Those same players are performing well this year, creating running room for Brandon Ross, who is among the ACC rushing leaders. Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images.

Coming into Thursday, it's not Tajh Boyd, Bryn Renner or Jameis Winston who leads the ACC in passing yardage. Instead it is C.J. Brown.

In fact, Brown is just part of the story for Maryland's offense. Stefon Diggs is also the cream of the crop at his position through three games. Even Brandon Ross is near the top of the league in rushing yardage. 

Brown has completed 67 percent of his passes, which is the third-best percentage among quarterbacks in the league. The all-around effort by the Terrapins has them ranked second in total offense among ACC schools. 

The hot start by the Maryland offense goes deeper than the skill players. Coach Randy Edsall faced injuries along his offensive line last year. The makeshift offensive lines he put together then have paid off. The team had six lineman with starting experience entering 2013. They are protecting Brown well and most importantly opening up lanes for Ross. Maryland finished last season 10th in the ACC in rushing with 1,236 yards on the ground. The Terrapins already have gained more than 60 percent of the total yardage they had rushing last season. 

While the start looks promising for Edsall's team, this week will give a better idea of whether or not the Maryland offense is as good as the early numbers suggest. West Virginia is ranked 31st in the nation in scoring offense and 16th in scoring defense. Those defensive efforts for the Mountaineers have come with a sort of makeshift unit.

Maryland still has a good chance to pull out the game in Baltimore on Saturday. As good as the West Virginia defense has been, the Maryland defense has been better.