ACC 2012 Season Preview: Maryland Terrapins

Quarterback C.J. Brown Needs to Take Less Hits if Maryland’s Offense Wants to Progress in 2012

Team: Maryland Terrapins

2011 W-L: 2-10 (1-7)

Head Coach: Randy Edsall (2-10; one season)

Returning Starters: 15 (5 Offense, 10 Defense)

After arriving at his dream job coaching the University of Maryland football team last year, Randy Edsall proceeded to rub both media and players the wrong way while turning a 9-4 squad into a 2-10 disaster. The team’s defense allowed over 34 points per game. The team’s offense scored just 23 per game. Only two of the team’s 10 losses occurred by a single-digit margin, they barely defeated a suspension-depleted Miami team on opening night, and only beat FBS team Towson, 28-3. Additionally, they managed to choke away double-digit leads against Clemson and NC State, with the latter putting up 42 in the second half to come back and win. Needless to say, Edsall’s first year on the job was a challenging one. But it appears he’s taken steps to fix it.

First up was the offense, which demanded radical changes after a tumultuous 2011 campaign. So the ineffective Gary Crowton was fired, and in his place, the team returned former recruiting coordinator Mike Locksley, who spent the last three seasons at New Mexico. Now, he’ll have to figure out a way to mold C.J. Brown — who showed some signs of success in 2011 — into a program-defining quarterback. On top of conditioning the junior passer to take less hits, he’ll also have to work to replace several major pieces on offense, lost by the major attrition since Edsall took the helm. Beyond the obvious departure of former starting QB Danny O’Brien, Locksley will have to sort out former star tackle Max Garcia‘s replacement as well. With major question marks on the offensive line, it won’t be easy for Brown to quickly establish himself in the pocket. He’ll be relying on top targets Kevin Dorsey and Stefon Diggs to get open often, as well as the questionable running game to help pick up the slack; all uneasy propositions beyond the senior, Dorsey. Again, Locksley was brought back into the fold for a reason, and he’ll have his work cut out for him.

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Randy Edsall’s Problem With Vanderbilt and Danny O’Brien

Maryland Coach Randy Edsall's Never Been A Big Danny O'Brien Fan, And Now He's Trying to Restrict Where He Can Transfer To

This blog has been unabashed in taking Maryland coach Randy Edsall to task since the start of the 2011 season. Since arriving in College Park, Md. he’s done very little but allow the team to dress like clowns, become an ACC laughing stock, surrender a 27-point lead and push out former starting quarterback Danny O’Brien. The subject of this post will mostly focus on that last one.

Of the 12 players Edsall’s lost to transfers for this coming year already (yes, it’s that many), O’Brien’s departure last week — along with the departures of Mario Rowson and Max Garcia — hurt the most. Heading into 2011, O’Brien was a standout sophomore on to bigger and even better things for a rising Terps squad. Instead, injury and a lack of faith from his head coach led to a drawn out QB controversy with the mobile C.J. Brown. It was a precipitous fall for O’Brien, since the only big changes for the program from one year to the next were Edsall’s arrival and former offensive coordinator James Franklin’s departure. Franklin is now the head coach over at Vanderbilt. Enter controversy:

The murmurs about Franklin tampering with all three players, but specifically O’Brien, started immediately. These rumors, of course, were pushed along by Randy Edsall’s ridiculous stipulation that none of the departing players could attend Vanderbilt. Normally, the atrocious practice of blocking transfers allows for definite future opponents — specifically conference foes, whom Edsall also prohibits here. But with the Commodores failing to appear anywhere on the Terps’ current schedule, it appears downright odd for this additional note. Hence where the tampering speculation comes in. Keep in mind that all of the talk is completely unfounded. Continue reading