NC State was average and finished 6-5. Maryland was 5-6 and sat home
for the bowl season. Of course, after winning 31 games in the first
three seasons under head coach Ralph Friedgen, Maryland has been
hoping for being more than merely in the hunt for a bowl game. But
that's been the case with a reloading team that has played tough
team after tough team after tough team.
The problem hasn't been beating the top teams, Maryland
didn't do that when it was hot, it has been beating the above-average ones. From 2001 to 2003, the Terps went 2-7 against the nine
teams that finished with nine or more wins getting blasted in
several of those losses. However, they only lost one (7-3 to Georgia
Tech in 2003) to a team that finished with fewer than nine
victories. In 2004 and 2005, Maryland actually wasn't horrible
against teams that finished with nine or more wins going 2-4, but it
lost eight games against the above-average.
Head coach: Ralph Friedgen
6th year: 41-20
Off. 20, Def. 20, ST 5
Lettermen Lost: 17
Best Terp Players
1. RB Josh Allen, Sr.
2. CB Josh Wilson, Sr.
3. OT Jared Gaither, Soph.
DT Conrad Boiston, Sr.
5. RB Lance Ball, Jr.
6. LB Wesley Jefferson, Jr.
OT Stephon Heyer, Sr.
8. P Adam Podlesh, Sr.
LB Erin Henderson, Soph.
10. OG Andrew Crummey, Jr.
William & Mary
at West Virginia
at Georgia Tech
at Boston College
2005 Record: 5-6
Preview 2005 predicted wins
Navy (in Balt)
Clemson L 28-24
at Wake Forest W
Virginia Tech L 38-9
State L 35-27
at UNC W 33-30 OT
at NC State L 20-14
Part of the issue has been an improved ACC. Part of the issue has
been a Terp team trying to find itself. The 2006 team should be
closer to the early days of the Friedgen era.
Rarely do teams get a shot in the arm talent-wise the way Maryland
gets one this season. 2004's top rusher Josh Allen is back after missing all of
last year with a knee injury. One of the team's top offensive tackles, Stephon Heyer, is back, as is rising linebacker Erin Henderson, brother
of former Terp star, E.J. Those three alone help an already good
foundation that might be bowling without them.
The potential is more than there. Yes, no one associated with a good
football team likes the dreaded P word, but it fits with a big, fast,
inexperienced receiving corps that, even without Vernon Davis, has the
p-p-p-po ...capability to be a strength as the year goes on. The line
should be better, the backfield should be great, the quarterback
situation should sort itself out with a few good options, and the
defense should be even better than last year if a steady pass rusher can
be found to help tackle Conrad Boiston.
So now it becomes about beating the good ACC teams,
especially in the Atlantic Division after going 1-4 last year. The
coaching staff has stressed a sense of urgency. The players have been
practicing with the intensity to get back to winning again. Now we see
if Maryland football can be the real deal again.
Schedule: Outside of a road trip to West Virginia, the season starts
off nice and easy with wins already put in the bank against William &
Mary, MTSU and FIU before nasty dates at Georgia Tech and Virginia to
start the ACC season. On the plus side, four of the final six games are
at home including three against Atlantic Division foes. However, two of
those home games are against Florida State and Miami.
Offensive Player: Senior RB Josh Allen. Lance Ball will likely be
the opening day starter and he could hang on to the job giving the
offense steady production. That means Allen will be fresh. The senior is
back from a knee injury suffered in 2004 and is 100%. With his home run
hitting ability, he adds a dimension lacking from the attack last year.
Defensive Player: Senior CB Josh Wilson. There might not be a better
open-field tackling corner in the ACC. He's 5-10, 182 pounds, and
finished fourth on the team with 73 stops while also becoming the team's
best coverman. He has the speed and skills to play on Sunday.
to a successful season: Senior QB Sam Hollenbach. Or Jordan Steffy,
or Bobby Sheahin, or Chris Turner, or (for next year) Josh Portis. Maryland got decent
play out of Hollenbach last season, but there were too many
interceptions and not enough big plays to anyone not named Vernon Davis.
With the baby-young receiving corps to deal with, Hollenbach has to be
razor sharp right off the bat.
will be a success if ... The Terps win eight games and beats at least one really,
really good team. A win at West Virginia would immediately signal that
things have turned back around, but home wins over Florida State and
Miami would be more important. They're still about a year away from
seriously challenging for the ACC title, so this has to be a
positive-step sort of a season.
Nov. 4 at Clemson. Maryland needs the tough division road win in
Death Valley to have any hope of winning the Atlantic. Clemson should be
a contender for the ACC title and is sandwiched in between Florida State
and Miami on the Terp schedule. With a trip to Boston College to finish
up the four game run, a loss at Clemson could also mean a possible
four-game losing streak late in the year.
- Touchdown passes:
Maryland 15 - Opponents 4
- Maryland opponent scoring: 3rd quarter: 48 - 4th quarter 118
- Punt return average: Opponents 12.6 - Maryland 5.9
The Last Time Maryland…
…played in a bowl game…2003 (Gator Bowl vs. West Virginia)
…missed a bowl game…2005
…pitched a shutout…2003 (Citadel)
…was shutout…2004 (Virginia)
…scored 50 points…2004 (Duke)
…won a conference title…2001 (ACC)
…had a 3,000-yard passer…1993 (Scott Milanovich)
…had a 1,000-yard rusher…2002 (Chris Downs)
…had a 1,000-yard receiver…1992 (Marcus Badgett)
…had a first-round draft choice…2006 (TE Vernon Davis)