Terrapins’ strengths and weaknesses

September 2, 2011
Terrapins’ strengths and weaknesses

↑Quarterback

This is about quality over quantity. Coach Randy Edsall feels comfortable with starter Danny O’Brien or C.J. Brown in the game. O’Brien, last season’s ACC freshman of the year, could be the ACC’s best quarterback. His 22 touchdown passes were the second most in a season by a Maryland player.

↑Defensive line

One of the questions for the coaching staff was whether it has enough depth to rotate six, seven or eight players. Once versatile Justin Anderson returns after missing a few games with a foot injury, Maryland will have a number of playmakers, including A.J. Francis, Joe Vellano and David Mackall.

↑Running backs

The Terrapins have two players with experience in Davin Meggett, who runs like a bowling ball, and D.J. Adams, who has excelled in short-yardage or goal-line situations. Adams will not play against Miami on Monday night because of a violation of team rules. Keep an eye on younger players such as Jeremiah Wilson and freshmen Justus Pickett and Brandon Ross.

↓Kicking game

The loss of punter-place kicker Travis Baltz can’t be overstated. Junior kicker Nick Ferrara ranked fourth in the ACC in field goals made as a freshman but was unable to regain the starting job last season. Ferrara won the starting job to handle kickoff, punting and place-kicking duties against Miami.

↓ Wide receiver

Maryland’s coaches are optimistic about the wide receivers, even though outsiders have questions after the losses of Torrey Smith and Adrian Cannon. Inexperienced but talented, the Terps look to lean on Quintin McCree, Kevin Dorsey, Kerry Boykins, Ronnie Tyler and, the surprise of camp, Tony Logan.

↓Linebacker depth

The unit was a strength the last two seasons, and the starters are again a strength. Players such as Demetrius Hartsfield, who moved inside, and safety-turned-linebacker Kenny Tate should shine. The issue is depth, which looms among the larger concerns for coordinator Todd Bradford.

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