BERKELEY, Calif. —- It seems beyond a record, I haven’t offered up any extended predictions on Maryland’s season.
So here’s 10 on the fly, many of which has percolated in my mind for quite some time.
1. Maryland’s turnover margin will improve —- but it will also give up more scoring plays of 30+ yards. The price of an aggressive new defense. The Terps are going to have moments that are impressively good, and then there are going to be moments where opponents toss up large chunks of yardage. Sometimes it’ll happen within moments.
2. Maryland will use two kickers. Nick Ferrara has won the starting gig. But even though Ralph Friedgen has shown patience with kickers in the past, things remain close enough that Mike Barbour is going to get a look for a game or two early on.
3. Da’Rel Scott won’t rush for 1,000 yards. The offensive line, which has its share of questions, simply won’t permit it. Don’t be surprised in the slightest if Davin Meggett challenges him for the team lead in rushing yards.
4. The Terps will lose a game they shouldn’t and win a game they shouldn’t. In short, the Terps will beat a team that finishes the year ranked in the top 25 and lose to one that ends the season with a losing record.
5. Kenny Tate will score a touchdown at some point. The safety was everywhere during camp, and between his play as a defensive back, de facto linebacker and potentially in the kicking game, the high school wideout will visit the rectangular nirvana eventually.
6. Adrian Cannon will have more receiving yards than Darrius Heyward-Bey did last year. Maryland will have to throw the ball more this year. And that means more opportunities for the likes of Cannon and Torrey Smith to thrive. Wouldn’t be a surprise to see both surpass 600 yards.
7. Maryland will play one of its true freshmen at quarterback this year. Just a hunch. But quarterbacks don’t tend to survive unscathed for a full season in College Park, and it just wouldn’t be a surprise if Danny O’Brien or C.J. Brown gets the call at some point.
8. No tight end will stand out individually. Yes, this parrots the company line. But it is a committee situation, and there won’t be a star in the bunch this year.
9. Adrian Moten will be an all-conference selection. The scheme is favorable, and Moten is as smart a linebacker (in football terms) as the Terps have had in a while. He’ll be a breakout star.
10. Maryland will play in a bowl game. A high-level game? Probably not. But these guys probably have six wins in them. Between Virginia and Duke, they ought to have two.
—- Patrick Stevens