Redemption sought: The Terrapins finished 2-10 last year, their second time in three seasons with that record. Coach Randy Edsall came under increased scrutiny with each loss, and he said earlier this week not many outside College Park are giving this year’s team a fighting chance for marked improvement. Players, however, have rallied around Edsall and the Terrapins’ lengthy list of youngsters thrust into substantial roles because of a rash of preseason injuries.
Scheme shifts: Both the offense and defense are set to have new alignments with each unit under the direction of first-year coordinators. Mike Locksley oversees the offense, and he has installed a more traditional pro-style package after Maryland used the spread last season. Defensive coordinator Brian Stewart is implementing a 3-4 base alignment. That move away from the 4-3 includes reassigning preseason all-American defensive lineman Joe Vellano from tackle to end.
Structural improvements: Byrd Stadium will have several new features this season, most notably a synthetic turf field. Made from FieldTurf, the updated playing surface is designed not only to reduce injury risk but also to be cooler than traditional all-rubber fields. Another innovation is the hydraulic goal posts that can be lowered to the field by a single operator in roughly 20 seconds. Traditional goal posts require three to four grounds workers to lower manually.