EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the seventh in a series of previews on West Virginia and Marshall football opponents.
Checking them out
An optimist would look at Maryland's record in two seasons under Randy Edsall and say that the number of wins doubled from the first year to the second. A pessimist would point out that sure, that's true, but it was just from two wins to four. A realist would go this direction: The year before Edsall arrived the Terps were 9-4 and Ralph Friedgen was the ACC coach of the year, so things had better start to improve.
Oh, and they'd better do so right now because next year Maryland takes a big step up, going from the ACC to the Big Ten.
In Edsall's defense, not all of Maryland's problems are things he can control. Last season, the Terps lost three quarterbacks to knee injuries and that was after another, Danny O'Brien, had transferred to Wisconsin. If the quarterbacks can stay healthy this season, it should give everyone a much better indication of where the Terps are under Edsall.
With that said, there could still be a quarterback issue for the Terps. The obvious starter is C.J. Brown, who was the first of the three to suffer a knee injury and at 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds provides Maryland with a run-pass threat. The question will be whether or not Brown has the arm to take advantage of what is arguably the Terps' strongest suit, their wide receivers. If not, sophomores Perry Hills and Caleb Rowe could be involved behind center.
Those wideouts are plentiful, too. The best of the bunch is sophomore Stefon Diggs, who spent much of last year fielding comparisons to Tavon Austin. But even more intriguing from a WVU standpoint is Deon Long. Remember him? He started out at WVU, transferred to New Mexico and played for Mike Locksley, spent a year in junior college when Locksley was fired and became the offensive coordinator at Maryland and now is back with his former coach at Maryland.
None of that offensive potential, though, will be realized unless an offensive line with plenty of starting experience improves a whole lot.
But there are also big questions on defense, where six starters were lost and second-year coordinator Brian Stewart is rebuilding. He does have one thing going for him, a pair of experienced corners in Dexter McDougle and Jeremiah Johnson. But save for there and at middle linebacker, everywhere else the Terps are going to be green and perhaps vulnerable.
Arguably the three best teams on Maryland's schedule this season are Florida State, Virginia Tech and Clemson. Next year's schedule includes Ohio State, Wisconsin, Michigan, Michigan State, Penn State and Iowa. Welcome to the B1G. ... This is the first of two straight home games for Maryland against WVU, which travels to College Park in 2014. The 2015 and 2016 games are both scheduled in Morgantown. ... Maryland's wide receiver corps is so deep that the Terps could take in stride the loss of Marcus Leak, who was suspended for spring drills and then withdrew from school.