2007 ACC Preview: Maryland

Maryland's offense managed to use smoke and mirrors last season to somehow pull out nine wins, most of which were somewhat miracles.

2006 RECORD: 9-4 overall, 5-3 ACC (3rd in Atlantic Division).

HEAD COACH: Ralph Friedgen 50-24 overall in six seasons at Maryland.

RETURNING STARTERS: Offense: 7; Defense: 6.

KEY SIGNEES: WR Lansford Watson, OT Bruce Campbell, CB Tony Logan, LB Ben Pooler, TE Devonte Campbell, TE Taylor Watson, DT Dion Armstrong.

KEY LOSSES: MLB Wesley Jefferson, CB Josh Wilson, SS Marcus Wimbush, DT Conrad Bolston, OT Stephon Heyer, QB Sam Hollenbach, G Donnie Woods.

OFFENSE: The offense managed to use smoke and mirrors last season to somehow pull out nine wins, most of which were somewhat miracles. Now that inconsistent quarterback Sam Hollenback is finally gone, the Terps hope to find an offense that doesn't bog down for long stretches of time. As of now, it looks as thought Jordan Steffy will be the new quarterback, but West Virginia transfer Bobby Sheahin will give him a run for his money, as will Florida transfer Josh Portis. The running game seems to be in capable hands in Lance Ball, who returns after rushing for more than 800 yards last year. The receivers are good, with star sophomore Darrius Heyward-Bey leading the way. He was one of the more dynamic freshmen in the nation last season. The offensive line is a major concern, with the loss of the entire left side. However, the right side is more than fine as guard Andrew Crummey, an All-ACCer running the show.

DEFENSE: The front four will be the best part of the defense as all four starters return. However, that's not to say that this is a strong section of the defense. Last year, as in the previous years, teams had a relatively easy time running the ball up the middle. Lack of depth has been a major contributor to that, but that appears to be a thing of the past as the Terps have acquired more talented bodies. The linebackers only have one starter returning, which caught the coaching staff off guard. Middle linebacker Wesley Jefferson, who had 10 tackles for loss and 110 overall, quit the team to pursue a life in law enforcement, despite having another year of eligibility. The secondary only has one starter returning in senior strong safety Christian Varner. Sophomore Anthony Wiseman appears to be living up to the hype as being a star cornerback. But he's been saddled by injuries the last two years. The other players will be a work in progress.

BY THE NUMBERS: 0 – Number of passes projected starting quarterback Jordan Steffy completed last year.

WR Darrius Heyward-Bey

RB Keon Lattimore

RB Lance Ball

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