The Maryland Terrapins are coming off of a bowl season against Nevada in the 2008 season. The team went 9-4 (3-5 ACC) after having a chance to win the Atlantic Division of the ACC. This season’s schedule is not much easier than last season’s, but the Terrapins are looking for a better record.
At the end of last season, head coach Ralph Friedgen named offensive coordinator James Franklin as the head coach-in-waiting, but also hinted he may not be finished coaching when Franklin is ready to take the helm. Franklin has plenty to work with on offense this season.
The major returning offensive cog is quarterback Chris Turner. I’ve never been a huge Turner fan, but he seems to play big in games against ranked opponents. I think he needs to work on his consistency, as opposed to playing down or up to the competition.
Also, Maryland feels like they are deep at the wide receiver position. If the route running is good, and Turner can get it there, this offense could be explosive.
On defense, the leader is linebacker Alex Wujciak. Wujciak, a junior, is coming off of a stellar season in which he made 133 tackles. However, the Terps lost defensive lineman Jeremy Navarre to graduation and may have problems along the defensive line.
A few of the games on Maryland’s schedule will really tell if they are a bowl-worthy team, or just another mediocre college football team. The first game of the season is a revenge game of sorts. Maryland flies out to California for a team that they defeated last season.
Then, in two weeks, the Terps will see Middle Tennessee State, a team that shocked the Terps in Murfreesboro, TN last year. Finally, their out of conference schedule wraps up with a continuation of their series against Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights will have their loss to Maryland in the 2007 season on their minds.
The ACC schedule is only slightly easier because Duke replaces North Carolina this season, but other than that, Maryland may struggle in-conference. Look for the Terrapins to earn anywhere between three and five conference games, and once again, struggle on offense.