Record: 2-10, 1-7 ACC
Overview: The highlight of the season for Maryland might have been the attention it received from its new uniforms in the season opener against Miami. It’s been all downhill since then.
The ACC’s Coach of the Year was fired in favor of the Big East’s Coach of the Year, and Maryland fans are still trying to figure it all out. First-year coach Randy Edsall inherited a nine-win program led by the 2010 ACC Rookie of the Year in quarterback Danny O’Brien. The Terps had finished 2010 as a top 25 team in the Associated Press poll, and on an upswing following their bowl win. Now the program is trying to recover from its second 2-10 season in three years, and some fans have already called for Edsall’s job. Three players have already asked for and been granted their release, and more could be on the way.
The loss to West Virginia in Week 2 was acceptable, but the loss to Temple a week later raised some eyebrows. Temple had a 31-point halftime lead and cruised to a 38-7 win in College Park. If only that were the anomaly. Maryland beat Towson the following week, but ended the season on an eight-game losing streak. The season was punctuated by the ultimate collapse, as Maryland squandered a 27-point lead to NC State and wound up losing to the Pack by double digits in what was the second-biggest comeback in ACC history. Part of the decline can be attributed to a rash of injuries that left the defense in the hands of freshmen, but there was discontent among the players with Edsall’s style, and a quarterback controversy between O’Brien and backup C.J. Brown also became a story line this year. In further bad news, O’Brien broke a bone in his arm against Notre Dame and was sidelined for the rest of the season. Brown was the only other scholarship quarterback on the roster. Anderson has said he will conduct a full review of the program, but that Edsall’s job is safe.
Offensive MVP: RB Davin Meggett. He led the team with 896 rushing yards, had four touchdowns, and 74.7 rushing yards per game. He finished his career with 2,411 yards, good for seventh all-time on the Maryland career rushing yards list. He also had 17 catches for 141 yards and a touchdown.
Defensive MVP: DT Joe Vellano. He finished with 94 tackles, including 7.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks, four pass breakups and two fumble recoveries this season. He leads the FBS in tackles by a defensive lineman (7.8 per game).
Turning point: The minute O’Brien was benched at Georgia Tech in favor of Brown. O’Brien had completed only 1 of 6 passes for 17 yards and an interception, and it opened the door for a quarterback controversy to ensue. O’Brien lost some confidence, the team lost its identity, and Maryland lost eight straight games.
What’s next: Edsall needs to decide if he’ll make any staff changes, or if Anderson will make them for him. He also needs to continue to weed out who wants to be in his program and who else wants to transfer. After cleaning house and solidifying his current roster, Edsall then needs to reevaluate his recruiting needs.