SB Nation DC's Jordan Ruby dropped by to answer five questions Mountaineer fans may be wondering about tomorrow's opponent, the Maryland Terrapins. To read Aaron Hawley's responses about the Mountaineers, check out SB Nation DC's preview.
Randy Edsall made his name at UConn by running the football, but the Terps beat Miami with an impressive passing game. Can the Mountaineers expect more of the same?
I'm from Connecticut originally, so I know all about Coach Edsall's history with the Huskies. He ran the ball so much there just as a matter of personnel. He had Donald Brown and Jordan Todman for the last few years, and no quarterback he could trust throwing the ball. Any coach would run the ball in that scenario. Now he has Danny O'Brien, who is arguably one of the best players in the ACC, under center. Naturally Edsall has gravitated towards a little bit more of a passing-based attack. Davin Meggett is talented and will get his carries (as will true freshman Justus Pickett and the recently un-suspended D.J. Adams). But on offense, the Terps absolutely go as far as Danny O'Brien can carry them.
Danny O'Brien's name reminds me of Scott McBrien, who absolutely owned the Mountaineers during his time in College Park. As a Mountaineer fan, should I be insanely nervous?
Be afraid, be very afraid. Like I said up top, the Terps offense is built around O'Brien, and he did a great job managing it in their win against Miami. O'Brien showed that he makes great decisions and can fit the ball into almost any area he chooses. He's the kind of guy that makes the most of his talent through hard work and intense study, and those are generally the guys that mean trouble. If the Terps win on Saturday, we'll likely be talking about a great game that Danny O'Brien had to lead them.
What are the Terps' strengths on defense? Can they still cover when the field is spread wide?
To be honest, we're still waiting for the defense to kind of find itself. Coach Edsall made some significant changes to the personnel and I think everyone was still trying to find their role against Miami. On paper, the linebackers should be the best part of the Maryland defense, with Kenny Tate (their best player) coming out of the STAR position and Demetrius Hartsfield. But Tate didn't play a great game against Miami and we're still waiting for Hartsfield to really break out. Their defensive line can cause a lot of problems when they are getting penetration, and their cornerbacks have a lot of experience. To be honest, there isn't one area of the Terps' defensive unit that stands out above the rest, but they also don't have any particularly glaring weaknesses.
Ralph Friedgen was let go despite having success. Where is the bar set now for a successful season in College Park?
It depends on who you ask. There will be some fans out there that are loyal to the Fridge who want to see Edsall land every recruit in the top ten and win 11 games this season before calling his hire a success. Then there are the more realistic fans that know it takes a while to really make a program your own and that wins might not come immediately. I think success isn't going to be measured not by their record, but by excitement. I was at Byrd Stadium for the game against Miami and I'm not sure I've ever seen the players with more energy. That goes for the fans too. I think most of us want to see Edsall bring some passion and excitement to the program. If he can do that, I am confident that the wins will ultimately follow.
Seriously, just between you and me, what do Maryland fans REALLY think of those uniforms?
I've talked to a lot of people about these uniforms, and at this point it's become clear where you are going to fall on this issue. If you're from Maryland or went to the university (meaning that you had at least a few years of seeing the flag all over the place) then you love the jerseys. If you aren't or you didn't, then you won't like them. Even though most of the country doesn't like the jerseys, I think the Terps are fine with that because of the incredible amount of publicity they have generated. Twitter almost exploded when they ran out of the tunnel against Miami, and from everything we've heard, recruits seem to like them. The jerseys were made for three purposes: bring the state together, generate buzz, and catch the eyes of recruits. Whether that buzz was good or bad, they seem to have accomplished those goals. I mean, you're still asking me about them two weeks later, so mission accomplished, right?