College Football Preview: The 2014 Maryland Terrapins
Maryland hopes to surprise in their first season in the Big Ten.
2014 College Football Preview
The Maryland Terrapins hope to avoid the injury bug once again as they embark on their initial Big Ten campaign.
Overview: With the healthy return of numerous contributors Randy Edsall has plenty of talent in 2014. His job is to turn that talent in to wins in the Big Ten.
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Offense: CJ Brown looks for a full season under center as do several dynamic weapons. Brown threw for 2,242 yards for 13 TD's and seven INT's with Perry Hills backing him up. Five players return that totaled at least 450 receiving yards with Stefon Diggs and Deon Long combining for over 1,000 yards despite both breaking their legs in game number seven versus Wake Forest so the upside to the passing attack is huge with this pair back. The backfield has plenty of ammunition with Brandon Ross (166-766) leading the way with CJ Brown adding 736 yards to make him an exciting duel threat. Albert Reid will see his share of action and Wes Brown returns after missing 2013 so the skill positions are loaded. Four on the O-Line have starting experience with a few very highly regarded recruits sure to see action.
Defense: The front seven were pretty good in 2013 and should be even better with most back. The defensive line returns the top five including DE Andre Monroe who recorded 17 TFL and 9.5 sacks while the linebacking unit gets back four of the top five and five of six if Abner Logan's suspension is overturned. The front seven should remain fairly good against the run...but the pass? Injury to two of the the top corners didn't help regarding the pass defense but one of those guys, Jeremiah Johnson is back to give the secondary nearly a full compliment of players.
Special Teams: Nathan Renfro returns as punter as does Brad Craddock (21-25) who seemed to kick more field goals then PAT's. William Likely is a fantastic return man on both kicks and punts.
Outlook: On paper the Terps have a wealth of experienced talent but the obvious unknown is a brand new conference. I say the team gets to around eight wins but I wouldn't be surprised if the win total was higher or lower.