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Maryland Terrapins Betting – 2011 Maryland Terrapins College Football Preview

Posted by Blake Frazier on 8/17/2011 12:44:56 PM
maryland terrapins betting

Maryland wanted change, and Maryland will get change this season. After finishing 9-4 with a bowl win, the Terps’ administrative decision makers tossed aside head coach Ralph Friedgen and hired Connecticut head coach Randy Edsall. Maryland flirted with former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach, which caused a stir near the Chesapeake Bay and might have caused MLB baseball betting pundits to dream about the possibility that Maryland football would become more interesting than the Baltimore Orioles.

The biggest reason to recommend Edsall is that he lifted Connecticut from the Football Championship Subdivision (formerly Division I-AA) to a Big East championship during his tenure in New England. Now Edsall inherits a team that has failed to threaten for ACC hardware since 2003.

One thing working in Edsall’s favor is that he has a gifted quarterback on his hands in the person of Danny O’Brien. As a freshman last season, O’Brien racked up 2,438 passing yards and 22 touchdowns. The big source of intrigue in College Park surrounds the way in which O’Brien will (or won’t) mesh with incoming offensive coordinator Gary Crowton, who is seeking a fresh start after an up-and-down stay at LSU that ended disastrously. Crowton might allow O’Brien to air it out this year, but Maryland must replace its leading receivers from 2010, Torrey Smith and Adrian Cannon. The jobs will likely fall to Ronnie Tyler and redshirt freshman Adrian Coxson.

The running game stands on more solid ground when compared to the receivers. Senior Davin Meggett will be the primary ball-carrier for UM; he is a short but powerful runner with breakaway capability. The best thing for the running game is that Maryland is retaining four of five starters from last year’s adept run-blocking line. Maryland’s big uglies should be a team strength and facilitate the transition to Crowton’s system.

Defensively, the Terrapins return a lot of experienced talent. However, the coaching change has introduced fresh uncertainty into the equation. Defensive coordinator Don Brown was quietly ripening into one of the nation’s best young defensive coordinators, and he seemed to have found his sweet spot at Maryland. With Edsall’s hiring, Brown decided to leave and join Paul Pasqualoni’s staff at Connecticut. Now the job falls to Todd Bradford, previously the defensive coordinator at Southern Mississippi. Bradford has plenty to work with, especially up front. The defensive line should be bolstered by defensive tackles A.J. Francis and Joe Vellano.

The concern for Edsall and the defense is in the secondary. Neither of the team’s safeties will be back this season, and young pups will be expected to fill in the gaps. The Terps will be vulnerable to a half-decent quarterback; the saving grace is that the ACC isn’t a quarterback’s league… not in 2011, at any rate. The feeling among members of the sports betting cognoscenti is that Maryland’s defense will wobble just enough to hurt the team in the ACC Atlantic race. It won’t hurt enough to prevent the Terps from making a bowl game.

The schedule will severely test Edsall. The Terps open at home against Miami. They then get a week off to prepare for Big East favorite West Virginia. October features Clemson and then a trip to Florida State. The game against Notre Dame will be hard to win. The Terps then finish the season on the road at N.C. State. All things considered, seven or eight wins should be the ceiling, not the floor, in a sports bet you make on the Terrapins this season.

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