2009 schedule analysis: Maryland

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich


Nonconference schedule
Combined 2008 record: 34-18
FCS teams: 1
BCS teams: 2
Bowl teams: 2
Sept. 5 at California
Sept. 12 James Madison
Sept. 19 Middle Tennessee
Sept. 26 Rutgers

Analysis: Maryland quarterback Chris Turner, a native of California, said he'll have at least 40 friends and family members in attendance for the season opener, so expect him to play well. Kevin Barnes has graduated, so he won't be around to lay a lunch-losing hit on Jahvid Best this season. Considering Cal will want to avenge last year's loss in College Park, the Terps will probably experience a game similar to what Miami saw in the Emerald Bowl. As for Middle Tennessee, well, that's not going to happen again, especially in Byrd Stadium. The Terps will be catching Rutgers early as they make the transition to life without quarterback Mike Teel. James Madison won 12 games last year and was one win away from playing for the FCS national title. It could be a trap game, but Duke beat JMU 31-7 last year. This should be a 3-1 team heading into the ACC schedule, but a 4-0 start wouldn't be surprising.

ACC schedule
Oct. 3 Clemson
Oct. 10 at Wake Forest
Oct. 17 Virginia
Oct. 24 at Duke
Oct. 31 OPEN
Nov. 7 at NC State
Nov. 14 Virginia Tech
Nov. 21 at Florida State
Nov. 28 Boston College

Analysis: The Terps don't have to travel to Blacksburg or Death Valley, and they don't have to play Miami, Georgia Tech or North Carolina. Not a bad deal. But they do have to face three Atlantic Division opponents on the road, and there is a good chance November trips to Florida State and NC State will be against two programs in contention to win the division. The Virginia Tech game could be interesting because of how Maryland was embarrassed in Lane Stadium last year. It'll be a bona-fide Under Armour commercial heading into that game, but more importantly, Maryland will need a conference road win in November.