Maryland Terrapins 2011 season preview

      Sophomore Danny O'Brien is heading into his second season as the Terrapins starting quarterback.

      Don't forget to catch Tim Brant's College Football Preview this Friday night at 9 on ABC7.

      2011 College Football Preview Schedule:
      Maryland: Aug. 30
      Virginia Tech: Aug. 31
      Virginia: Sept. 1
      FCS schools: Sept. 2

      Head coach: Randy Edsall, 1st year at Maryland
      2010 record: 9-4 overall, 5-3 in the ACC, 2nd in the ACC Atlantic Division
      2010 bowl game: Defeated East Carolina 51-20 in the Military Bowl
      2011 returning starters: 7 offensive, 7 defensive
      2011 ACC media poll prediction: 5th in the ACC Atlantic

      (AP, WJLA) Maryland quarterback Danny O'Brien didn't have much time to celebrate last season's accomplishments. Not with a new coaching staff coming in with new ideas, new requirements and new terminology.

      Yet O'Brien quickly made a good first impression on Randy Edsall over the winter after he asked during a meeting when the new coach would hire the Terrapins offensive coordinator and when he'd receive a playbook.

      Edsall says that's when he knew O'Brien was a special player.

      O'Brien led Maryland to a 7-3 record in 10 starts, threw for 2,438 yards and 22 touchdowns against only eight interceptions. Not surprisingly, he was named the Atlantic Coast Conference's Rookie of the Year.

      Now, though, O'Brien says those accomplishments mean little regarding 2011.

      The Terrapins sophomore quarterback will be complemented by RB Davin Meggett, who led the team in rushing last season with 731 yards and is expected to step in as the featured back following the departure of Da’Rel Scott. Torrey Smith, the Terps prolific wide receiver and kick returner, now plays for the Baltimore Ravens, and stepping in will be junior Kevin Dorsey and senior Quntin McCree.

      Maryland’s defense will be anchored by senior linebacker Kenny Tate, who started all 13 games last season as a free safety and was named to the All-ACC first team. The Terps hope his move will help to make up for the loss of senior linebackers Alex Wujciak and Adrian Moten, who also started every game in 2010.

      The defensive line, anchored by David Mackall, Joe Vellano, A.J. Francis and Isaiah Ross, is one of the most experienced the program has featured in several years.

      Of course, the key to Maryland’s success on the field in 2011 will be spurred by first year head coach Randy Edsall, who was hired away from Connecticut to replace Ralph Friedgen. Edsall, who took UConn from its infancy in the Big East to its first BCS bowl game in less than a decade, is joined on his coaching staff by offensive coordinator Gary Crowton and defensive coordinator Todd Bradford.

      The Terps schedule is highlighted with an early-season, Labor Day conference match-up with the Miami Hurricanes and a Nov. 12 neutral-site game with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Homecoming is Oct. 15. when the Clemson Tigers visit Byrd Stadium.

      After the jump, check out Maryland’s 2011 schedule and its projected starters.

      2011 Schedule (All home games played at Byrd Stadium, College Park, Md.)

      Sept. 5: vs. Miami
      Sept. 17: vs. West Virginia
      Sept. 24: vs. Temple
      Oct. 1: vs. Towson
      Oct. 8: at Georgia Tech
      Oct. 15: vs. Clemson (Homecoming)
      Oct. 22: at Florida State
      Oct. 29: vs. Boston College
      Nov. 5: vs. Virginia
      Nov. 12: vs. Notre Dame (at FedEx Field)
      Nov. 19: at Wake Forest
      Nov. 26: at North Carolina State

      Projected offensive starters
      Quarterback: Danny O’Brien, sophomore
      Running back: Davin Meggett, senior
      Wide receivers: Quintin McCree, senior, and Kevin Dorsey, junior
      Tight end: Matt Furstenburg, junior
      Left tackle: Max Garcia, sophomore
      Left guard: Andrew Gonnella, senior
      Center: Bennett Fulper, sophomore
      Right guard: Josh Cary, sophomore
      Right tackle: R.J. Dill, junior

      Projected defensive starters
      Defensive ends: David Mackall, sophomore, and Isaiah Ross, junior
      Defensive tackles: Joe Vellano, junior, and A.J. Francis, junior
      Linebackers: Kenny Tate, senior, Demetrius Hartsfield, junior, and Darin Drakeford, junior
      Cornerbacks: Jeremiah Johnson, freshman, and Cameron Chism, senior
      Safeties: Eric Franklin, junior and Matt Robinson, sophomore

      Special teams
      Kicker/Punter: Nick Ferrara, junior
      Punt returner: Tony Logan, senior
      Kick returner: Justus Pickett, freshman