Coming off of one of the worst seasons in recent memory with finishing at a dismal 2-10 in the ACC and 1-7 in the Atlantic conference. We are all aware that coach Ralph Friedgen is coming towards the end of his time as the Terrapins’ head coach, and this team does not want to make one of the all time great Maryland coaches go out on a low level.
The Terps have lost some key players from their 2009-2010 roster such as OL Bruce Campbell and CB Nolan Carroll. However, this is a squad that is still loaded with talent, including a few NFL prospects, along with bringing in one of the nation’s better recruiting classes. In order for Maryland to have a season in which they reach a bowl game, the Terps will have to show the ACC and the nation that last years 2-10 record was just a hiccup. So before Maryland takes the field against Navy in M&T Bank Stadium to start the year off, lets take a closer look at the 2010 squad.
- Senior Linebacker Alex Wujciak is on the watch list for the Butkus award, given to the nation’s top LB. Wujciak is coming off one of his best seasons as a Terp and should be even better this year. Don’t be surprised if Wujciak is taken in the top 3 rounds of the 2011 NFL draft.
- WR Torrey Smith is starting to look like even more of a home run threat than former Terp and now Oakland Raider Darrius Heyward-Bey. Smith is an elite athlete with top notch speed which he showcases as the Terp’s number one WR and one of the best return men in the country. Another future NFL prospect.
- FS Kenny Tate has quietly, but aggressively started to make a name for himself as one of the ACC’s hardest hitters. With an enormous 6’4″ frame, Tate is a great 1 on 1 tackler who should flourish in his junior year.
- RB Darrell Scott has the tools to be a top ACC ball carrier, but just has not put it together consistently in the past. Plagued by injuries, Scott has not gotten the chance to showcase the type of down field threat he can be but should be back stronger than ever and have well over 1,100 yards. Watch out for a big year from Scott.
- Quarterback, Quarterback, and……Quarterback. Jamarr Robinson is all but surely the starter for the season. However, I don’t think we are going to see much of an improvement, if any, over Chris Turner. Off. Coordinator James Franklin should have a little more to work with given Robinson’s scrambling abilities, but Terps fans should be concerned.
- O-Line may be fairly weak this year. Losing Bruce Campbell to the NFL is going to hurt and this squad was already not too good last year.
- D-Line should be improved from last season, but it won’t be enough. Watching a Terps pass rush in 2009 was like being forced to watch The Notebook with your significant other, it just doesn’t interest you. Joe Vellano could have a breakout season, but this group is still one of our weakest.
- The worst aspect of this team is coaching. Maryland is hoping that Don Brown can turn around a defense that couldn’t stop James Madison, Middle Tennessee State and Virginia last year. However, I am not sold on James Franklin at all. Franklin’s play calling last year was so ordinary and predictable. I mean, the guy had plays designed that had QB Chris Turner scrambling. Come on man!
Where do I see this team finishing the year? I will say 5-7 with a slim chance of 6-6. Maryland will get their wins against Morgan St, Florida International, Duke and Virginia and might squeak one out of NC State, but I just don’t see this team scaring anyone this year. West Virginia should be able to beat Maryland by about 30 points like they always do and Florida State will most likely stomp on the turtle in the 2nd to last game of the season.
Here is to another season supporting a team that does frustrate me, but you always gotta love the Terps.