First-year head coach D.J. Durkin inherits a team that won just three games last season -- but, like every Big Ten team, Maryland is moving forward this spring.
The Terrapins have a few things to build off, such as a 21-point comeback against Rutgers in the last week of the season, but there are several key departures they'll have to overcome to continue that success. Continuing with our "B1G shoes to fill" series, here's a look at a few of those important positions and the replacements:
B1G shoes to fill: Brandon Ross, RB
Why: Ross finished just shy of the 1,000-yard plateau -- he had 958 yards last season -- but he was clearly the top back, with twice as many carries as anyone else. He averaged 6.4 yards a carry, a full 1.5-yards-per-carry better than any Terp with more than 40 touches, and he put on a clinic the last two weeks. Against Indiana and Rutgers, Ross had 418 rushing yards and six touchdowns.
The skinny: Brown reportedly was suspended back in November -- the second time in his career he was suspended -- but he's back on the roster and practicing. That's a big boost to the Terps, considering he was the No. 2 back behind Ross last season. But even if he didn't return, Maryland likely would have been OK. Edmunds recently transferred from Virginia Tech and is eligible to play immediately as a graduate student. He had a breakout redshirt freshman season, but injuries prevented him from building off that the next season and he couldn't earn his way up the depth chart the season after. Johnson looked especially impressive as a true freshman last season, as he played in all 12 games and averaged 7.1 yards a carry on 35 touches. The Terps shouldn't drop off at all here; there's potential to be better.
Why: Former center Evan Mulrooney just as easily could have been plugged in here too -- especially considering the lack of depth at the position. But Doyle and Zeller started a combined 67 games, and that's a lot of experience to replace. Doyle's versatility will be sorely missed, as he played both tackle positions along with left guard last season. And Zeller's departure leaves a glaring hole on a line that has plenty of options on the outside. Doyle and Zeller helped spring Maryland to more than 180 rushing yards per game last season, the most in more than a decade.
Replacement candidates: Quarvez Boulware (6-2, 304, redshirt freshman), Sean Christie (6-4, 310, sophomore), Mike Minter (6-3, 305, junior), Brendan Moore (6-3, 295, sophomore), Maurice Shelton (6-3, 304, senior)
The skinny: OK, technically, there could be a lot more candidates. Durkin isn't opposed to mixing and matching here, and he recently said about four or five players are competing at center (although Moore is the early favorite). But the fact is there's still reason for some cautious optimism. Big things are expected out of Boulware, the offensive headliner of the 2015 recruiting class. And Minter started three games last season before a season-ending injury. A lot could happen on the line this spring, but those two could step up and fill the void caused by Doyle and Zeller.
B1G shoes to fill: Yannick Ngakoue, DE
Why: Ngakoue's impressive play often was overlooked last season. After all, a lot of attention understandably fell on Penn State defensive end Carl Nassib, who won the Lombardi Award and led the country in sacks (15.5). But Ngakoue's numbers were no less eye-popping. The junior finished second nationally in sacks, setting a school record with 13.5. He wasn't the strongest end, but he was a great pass-rushing specialist who added a lot to a subpar defense.
The skinny: Aniebonam is fully expected to step up to replace Ngakoue. He had 3.5 sacks and 6.5 tackles for loss in limited time last season, and, like Ngakoue, he transitioned to defensive end last year after playing outside linebacker. He made three starts and appeared in every game. On paper, Walker backed up Ngakoue in 2015. But this is basically Aniebonam's spot to lose.