2006 Preview & Prediction: Maryland

It's not easy to replace an All-American who led the conference and was second in the nation in tackles per game. But finding a replacement for D'Qwell Jackson is a must.

2005 RECORD: 5-6 overall, 3-5 ACC (T-4th in Atlantic).

HEAD COACH: Ralph Friedgen, 41-20 overall in five seasons at Maryland.

KEY ADDITIONS: DT Melvin Alaeze, OL Bruce Campbell, DE Brian Whitmore, TE Drew Gloster, QB Jeremy Ricker, RB Ronnie Tyler.

KEY LOSSES: TE Vernon Davis, WR Derrick Fenner, LB D'Qwell Jackson, LB William Kershaw, CB Gerrick McPhearson.

OFFENSE: The offensive line is solid and the Terps finally seem to have found a decent quarterback in Sam Hollenbach, but there are serious concerns at wide receiver, which loses 160 catches, 2,352 yards and 13 touchdowns from last season. The top four receivers are gone, which means all the weight of the passing games is set to fall on the shoulders of Drew Weatherly, who only had 10 receptions for 83 yards and a touchdown last year.

Junior Lance Ball, who rushed for 903 yards and six touchdowns, while averaging 4.8 yards per carry last season, will lead the running game. (Josh Allen also returns.) But the success of the team will revolve around Hollenbach, who complete 61 percent of his passes last year for 2,539 yards and 13 touchdowns last year. He has very little margin for error, considering the group of receivers he has to work with aren't expected to be showstoppers.

DEFENSE: It's not easy to replace an All-American who led the conference and was second in the nation in tackles per game. But finding a replacement for D'Qwell Jackson is a must. There is plenty of experience returning on defense, but filling the void left by Jackson is a must.

There are also some question marks in the secondary, which lost the services of safety Milton Harris and Gerrick McPhearson. For the Terps to have a shot at reaching a bowl, they have to get better at stopping the run. They allowed 4.0 yards per carry and more than 1,800 yards total. They also have to learn how to hold onto leads late in the game. More than once, they gave a sure victory away by not being able to come up with a defensive stop here or there.

BY THE NUMBERS: 22 – Shoe size of two-year starter OT Stephon Heyer, who returns after missing all of 2005 with an injury.

WHAT TO WATCH: With one of the worst non-conference schedules in the nation, all the Terps have to do is win three conference games to make a bowl.

PREDICTION: 6-6 overall, 3-5 ACC (4th in Atlantic).


Head coach Ralph Friedgen



QB Sam Hollenbach




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