2012 MARYLAND FOOTBALL SEASON PREVIEW:
After bursting out of the gate in one of the most highly-publicized matchups of the 2011 season, the Maryland Terrapins looked like they were destined for greatness after knocking off Miami (FL) in their first game of the season. However, the season quickly developed into a bit of a nightmare for the Maryland faithful after the team finished with a 2-10 record in head coach Randy Edsall's first year at the helm. Thankfully, with six starters returning on offense and nine on defense, the Terrapins have taken their lumps and could be a serious Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) during the 2012 season.
On offense, the Terrapins will have to make a decision between junior quarterback C.J. Brown and senior Ricky Schultz, but Brown may get the edge thanks to his playing experience during the 2011 season. At tailback, the Terrapins boast an impressive recruiting class, but will have to rely on underclassmen runners like Justus Pickett and Brandon Ross to carry the rushing attack. The wide receiver corps will be lead by senior Kerry Boykins, but the group will need contributions from younger players like Marcus Leak and Levern Jacobs to hit the ground running in 2012. Finally, the offensive line is also littered with underclassmen, but should benefit from their increased playing time from last year.
The Terrapins are one of the few teams in Division I FBS that play in a 3-4 scheme, which is anchored by senior nose tackle A.J. Francis. With Joe Vellano and Keith Bowers on the defensive end spots, the Terrapins have the makings of an impressive rush defense. In the linebacking corps, the team will rely on new starters like Cole Farrand and Alex Twine in the middle, while senior linebackers Darin Drakeford and Demetrius Hartfield can provide solid pressure from the edge. The secondary looks to be the biggest question mark, as the Terrapins have lost both cornerback starters from a year ago, but will return free safety stalwart Eric Franklin to patrol the middle of the field.
The Terrapins will benefit from a much softer schedule during the 2011 season, and the first month of the year looks promising with favorable matchups against Temple, Connecticut and William & Mary. When October rolls around, the Terrapins will jump into the meat of their ACC schedule, but if they build enough momentum during the first month of the season, they could become surprise favorites for the ACC crown.
MARYLAND TERRAPINS INFORMATION:
Location: College Park, Maryland
Stadium: Byrd Stadium
Conference: ACC Conference
Rivals: Duke Blue Devils, Penn State Nittany Lions, Virginia Cavaliers, West Virginia Mountaineers, Navy Midshipmen (Crab Bowl)
Mascot: Testudo the Turtle
National Championships: 2 - 1951, 1953
Notable Alumni: EJ Henderson, Randy White
The University of Maryland first fielded a football team in 1892. With 22 bowl game appearances in the program's history, the Terps might be a perennial underdog, but don't lack football tradition and history. The Terrapins hold two national titles and 11 conference titles. Some of the Maryland football alumni include Randy White, E.J. Henderson, and Shawn Merriman.
The Maryland Terrapins play their home games at Chevy Chase Bank Field at Byrd Stadium in College Park, Maryland. The stadium holds a capacity crowd of 51,500. By 2010, the stadium will be expanded to include more seats as well as state of the art press, luxury and club facilities. Attend a Terps game at Byrd and you can see the lights of the Washington Monument in the distance as the Maryland football team takes the field and vies for ACC Honors. Buy Maryland Terrapins football tickets today and don't miss any of the action!
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