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 2014 non-conference schedule when they host Maryland on Sept. 20.
SUPER DUPER SENIOR: CJ Brown, the sixth-year starting quarterback for Maryland, has seen it all. He’s seen two season ending injuries. Two different head coaches. Three different offensive coordinators. Now, in his final year, he’ll add his second conference affiliation to his resume as the Terps enter their first season in the Big 10 after bolting the ACC. Brown will lead a potentially high-powered offense with the return of several key players. Wide receivers Stefon Diggs and Deon Long are back from leg injuries, while Wes Brown returns from suspension to bolster an already deep running back group. If all of them can stay healthy, the read-option style offense that head coach Randy Edsall installed can improve on the 26.2 points per game (ranked 85th in the NCAA) Maryland averaged last year.
WHO TO WATCH FOR: Five Maryland players were named to Preseason All-Big 10 Teams, including linebackers Cole Farrand (Third Team) and Matt Robinson (Fourth Team). Farrand was named an Honorable Mention All ACC selection last season after finishing second on the team with 84 tackles, including 4.5 for a loss. Robinson, a former safety, is a threat in pass coverage, and finished fourth on the team in tackles (73) with 10.0 tackles for loss.
PREDICTION: This is an important non-conference game for the Orange in terms of bowl eligibility, and certainly a winnable one. The Orange dominated the Terrapins in the way to a 20-3 win at Maryland last year. There’s no reason why SU can’t do something similar at home. SYRACUSE 35, MARYLAND 31.