Sam Sharpe-US PRESSWIRE
Seniors like Joe Vellano must lead by example.
In many ways, the fact that Maryland is universally expected to fail is actually a good thing. Many are predicting a 1-11 season, which says a lot about morale in the state of Maryland right now.
While the fact remains that 1-11 is a very real possibility, the Terps are a better team than that—even with the injuries.
Despite the poor showing from the offense on Saturday, they improved as the game went on. Freshman quarterback Perry Hills relaxed in the pocket and made better decisions as a result. Diggs made plays like the ones described earlier and was ably assisted by Kevin Dorsey.
Dorsey is going to be a big presence on the team this year, as he will need to play the role of elder statesman and set an example for the other receivers.
As Patrick Stevens wrote for the Washington Times, Dorsey has more career yards than the rest of the receiving corps put together. His commitment and work ethic will be a great influence on his teammates.
Tight end Devonte Campbell told Stevens that Dorsey’s influence has already been felt:
He’s been a big influence. A lot of people have seen him at a really high point and they’ve seen him at low points when he was injured and couldn’t play and had to miss games. The thing people can respect is his consistency. His consistency is what people try to emulate.
Joe Vellano is another guy who needs to be a significant factor for Maryland this season. He was a huge bright spot in an otherwise disappointing 2011 for the Terps and has continued this into the first game of this year. Vellano recorded 11 tackles and an interception in a dominant performance.
A final positive note should go out to freshman punter Nathan Renfro. He averaged 53 yards punting against the Tribe, finally giving Maryland the breathing space it needed to secure the win with a 57-yarder in the final minutes.
Renfro had some trouble in practice but raised his game when it mattered, which is something that all the Terps will need to do this year.
It’s unreasonable to expect huge success from Maryland in 2012, but it’s equally unreasonable to write them off entirely.
Success is relative to expectation, and on that basis there’s absolutely no reason why the Terrapins can’t be successful in 2012.