At the ACC Media Day press conference, Carroll was confident in the fact that Maryland is going to surprise some people this year.
People look at us losing those 32 seniors, saying they don't have a lot of experience and have a lot of young guys, Carroll said. They think we won't be able to get to 8-5 and might not get to .500, but I think we will surprise a lot of people.
Maryland returns only nine starters from last season, the fewest in the ACC. Gone from last year's team are Darrius Heyward-Bey, Edwin Williams, Moise Fokou, among others. A lot of pressure will be put on younger players to perform, but their defensive leader thinks they will.
I really feel the new guys coming in, who came in early and were able to contribute in the spring, will give us the depth we need at linebacker, Carroll said. We lost some key guys in Moise Fokou, Dave Philistin, but the young guys will help us out a lot down the road.
Although losing so many players plus the adjustment period involved with a new defensive coordinator creates possible reasons for the Terrapins to fail, senior quarterback Chris Turner doesn't buy the excuses.
The transition is basically over, Turner said about learning James Franklin's offensive scheme. At this point, we are well acclimated, and we know what we are doing. There should be no excuses any more.
One of the biggest potential issues for the young Maryland team will be the offensive line. With Phil Costa and Bruce Campbell the only players with a good amount of experience, there could be some hiccups with the running game.
We can rely on our receivers and hopefully the running game will develop over time, Turner said. Balance is the ultimate goal though.
One thing that both Turner and Carroll agreed upon was the lack of concern for the late start time for their season opener against California. The 10 p.m. EST start is especially late for the East Coast Terrapins, but neither player thinks it will be a major issue.
I don't think it is (an issue), Carroll said. It's more difficult for someone to come from the West Coast to East Coast. I think we might actually be psyched up to be playing a prime time game.
Turner agreed, saying, It's going to be a later game for us, but we will get used to it. It will be a really good benchmark to see where we are at.