Hope and concern: Maryland

The hope and concern series continues today with Maryland:

Biggest reason for hope: Quarterback Danny O’Brien

In a season of change at the quarterback position throughout the ACC, Maryland returns the league’s 2010 Rookie of the Year. First-year coach Randy Edsall praised O’Brien throughout the spring, and because O’Brien is such a true student of the game, Maryland fans can be confident in his ability to adjust quickly to the new terminology and philosophy under first-year coordinator Gary Crowton. O’Brien was 7-3 in his first season as a starter, completed 57 percent of his passes and only had eight interceptions.

Biggest reason for concern: Turnover

Not only did Maryland lose former coach Ralph Friedgen, the ACC’s 2010 Coach of the Year and seven of his assistants, the Terps also bid farewell to 10 starters – 11 if you include the double-duty of kicker/punter Travis Baltz. Offensively, the loss of big-play receiver Torrey Smith, who caught 128 passes for 1,879 yards and 17 touchdowns over the past two seasons, will require some adjustment. Defensively, the Terps will miss linebackers Alex Wujciak and Adrian Moten. There will be plenty of new faces in new places when Maryland opens the season on Labor Day against Miami, and how quickly everyone adjusts to their new roles -- and their new coaches -- will determine whether or not they’re in or out of this season’s ACC race.

More in this series: