As we countdown to kickoff in August, we’re going to be doing a team-by-team preview each Tuesday over the summer. SU will continue its ACC schedule when they play Maryland on Nov. 9.
THIRD YEAR THE CHARM?: The third year of Randy Edsall’s tenure at Maryland also figures to be his most successful. He’s just 6-18 in two seasons, including a 4-8 (2-6 ACC) record last year. Part of last season’s debacle came from the injury bug. Maryland lost four quarterbacks, among them incumbent starter CJ Brown, to season-ending injuries. In all, the Terps had 10 players go down for the year, contributing to the team finishing 109th in the NCAA in offense. But this year, Brown is healthy, and Ricardo Young, a transfer from New Mexico, should also figure into the quarterback situation. A flurry of talented play makers should also give Terrapins fans cause for optimism.
WHO TO WATCH FOR: One name you won’t hear this season is Wes Brown. He was suspended for the entire season on Friday after a confrontation with a police officer last month. Brown finished second on the team in rushing last year with 382 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Still, Brandon Ross, who led the team in rushing last year, and Albert Reid are capable starters. WR Stefon Diggs was one of the the few bright spots on the offense in 2012 and Iowa Western Community College transfer Deon Long oozes potential, as well.
PREDICTION: Maryland’s defense improved dramatically last season from Edsall’s first year, and it returns several key pieces from that secondary, including cornerbacks Dexter McDougle and Jeremiah Johnson. That should help the Terps’ final season in the ACC before heading to the Big 10 be one of its best as they fight back toward a .500 record. MARYLAND 24, SYRACUSE 21.