Our analysis on the starters, top backups, history and trends for Clemson’s trip to Maryland on October 15…
2010 Record: 9-4 (5-3 ACC, T-2nd in Atlantic Division)
2011 Maryland Schedule
Sept. 5 MIAMI
Sept. 17 WEST VIRGINIA
Sept. 24 TEMPLE
Oct. 1 TOWSON
Oct. 8 at Georgia Tech
Oct. 15 CLEMSON
Oct. 22 at Florida State
Oct. 29 BOSTON COLLEGE
Nov. 5 VIRGINIA
Nov. 12 vs. Notre Dame
Nov. 19 at Wake Forest
Nov. 26 at NC State
Coach: Randy Edsall (70-63 career record, first year at Maryland).
Offense (2010 ranks): Multiple (Total offense: 80th/Rush offense: 82nd/Pass offense: 65th)
Defense (2010 ranks): 4-3 (Total defense: 39th/Rush defense: 21st/Pass defense: 78th).
2010 Special Team Ranks: Net punting – 79th/Kickoff returns – 116th/Punt returns – 3rd/Punt return yardage defense – 86th/Kickoff return yardage defense – 13th.
2010 Misc. stats: Turnover margin – 4th/Fewest penalties – 109th/First downs – 71st/First downs allowed – 97th/Third down efficiency – 91st/Red zone efficiency – 28th/Red zone defense – 18th/Time of possession – 86th.
Outgoing starters: 10.
2011 Starters (2010 stats)
Returning Offense (6)
QB: Danny O’Brien (Sophomore, 2,438 passing yards/57% cmp/22 TD/8 INT)
WR: Ronnie Tyler (Senior, 149 rec. yards/1 TD).
TE: Matt Furstenburg (Junior, 206 rec. yards/1 TD).
O-line: C Bennett Fulper (Junior, 6-4 295/11 starts); LG Andrew Gonnella (Senior, 6-5 295/21 starts); RT R.J. Dill (Junior, 6-7 300/21 starts).
New Projected Starters (5)
RB: Davin Meggett (Senior, 720 rushing yards/4 TD);
WR: Quintin McCree (Senior, 188 rec. yards/1 TD); Kerry Boykins (Junior, 124 rec. yards/1 TD).
O-line: LT Max Garcia (Sophomore, 6-4 290); RG Josh Cary (Sophomore, 6-5 300).
Outlook: Maryland is one of four ACC teams with a starting QB back from 2010 – and Danny O’Brien just happens to be the reigning ACC rookie of the year to boot.
Despite losing a senior leader in Da’Rel Scott, the running back role looks just fine for Maryland. RB Davin Meggett led the Terps in rushing last season from a backup role and third-stringer RB D.J. Adams doubled up the nearest Maryland tailback in rushing touchdowns with 11.
Receiver is where the NFL and graduation hurt the Terrapins in the offseason with Torrey Smith and Adrian Cannon moving on – leaving their top returning receiver as TE Matt Furstenburg with his 12 receptions for 206 yards and a TD. Senior WR Ronnie Tyler had a strong spring and Florida transfer Adrian Coxson could make contributions right away as a redshirt freshman.
The offensive line took a hit in the spring when projected left tackle starter Justin Gilbert injured his knee for a second time in his career at Maryland. Gilbert’s injury shuffles the line up that has some experience to it. Add to that, returning starting RG Justin Lewis was dismissed from the team on July 5th.
Returning Defense (6)
D-line: NT A.J. Francis (Junior, 2.5 sacks/44 tackles/7 TFL); DT Joe Vellano (Junior, 5 sacks/63 tackles/10.5 TFL).
‘Rock’: David Mackall (Sophomore, 18 tackles/3 TFL/3 sacks)/Isaiah Ross (Junior, 27 tackles/2.5 sacks/4.5 TFL).
LB: MLB Demetrius Hartsfield (Junior, 88 tackles/6.5 TFL/0.5 sack).
‘Star’: Kenny Tate (Senior, 100 tackles/8.5 TFL/3.5 sacks).
DB: CB Cameron Chism (Senior, 8 PBUs/70 tackles/4 TFL).
New Projected Starters (5)
D-line: DE Clarence Murphy (Redshirt freshman).
LB: WLB Darin Drakeford (Junior, 36 tackles/5.5 TFL/1 sack).
DB: CB Dexter McDougle (Sophomore, 22 tackles/3 PBUs); SS Matt Robinson (Sophomore, 29 tackles); FS Titus Till (Redshirt freshman)/Eric Franklin (Junior, 3 INT/23 tackles/1 TFL).
Outlook: We don’t know a whole lot about what we’ll see from this defense formation-wise, but the Terps are moving players around.
You’ll notice ‘Rock’ and ‘Star’ positions in the rotation – ‘Rock’ looking like a hybrid DE/LB position and ‘Star’a hybrid DB/LB spot.
‘Star’ defender Kenny Tate will be one of the leaders on the Terps’ D and he makes plays with three interceptions and 100 tackles last season.
The Terps have key cogs of the defensive line and backs returning with linebacker being a spot where they need young players to step up. Tate’s move closer to the line of scrimmage will help them out.
Returning Kicker/Punter (0)
New Projected Starters (2)
PK: Nick Ferrara (Junior).
P: Michael Tart (Junior)/ Nick Ferrara (Junior)/Nathan Renfro (Freshman).
Outlook: Kicker Nick Ferrara was a freshman All-American in 2009, while holding FG and punting duties, hitting 18 of 25 FG attempts and having a 39.8 yards per punt average. Nagging injuries and inconsistent play in practice kept him from even attempting a FG in 2010. Punter Michael Tart was listed No. 1 on the spring depth chart after two punts with a 54.5 yards per average.
Notable Backups (2010 stats)
RB: D.J. Adams (Sophomore, 239 rushing yards/11 TD).
WR: Tony Logan (Senior, one catch/7 yards/560 punt return yards/2 return TD).
Clemson/Maryland recent history: The Tigers trailed for all of 12 seconds from a Maryland kickoff to Andre Ellington’s 87-yard kickoff return touchdown to put Clemson back on top 10-7 in the second quarter. The game was in hand from there as the Tigers would tack on three more touchdowns for a 31-7 final score.
Clemson vs Maryland highlights
Two years ago in College Park, FG misses on consecutive fourth-quarter drives by kicker Richard Jackson hurt Clemson’s comeback bid in a 24-21 loss.
Clemson players versus…Maryland: In the backfield and returning kicks, RB Andre Ellington led the way last season with a 87-yard kickoff return for TD and 41 rushing yards with a rushing touchdown as well.
QB Tajh Boyd got a little playing time as well with a pass completion for 13 yards and a rush for 7 yards.
Among the receivers, TE Dwayne Allen has a 24-yard catch against the Terps, WR Jaron Brown had a 20-yard grab - WRs Bryce McNeal and Marquan Jones each had two receptions for 12 and 20 yards respectively (Jones had two for 20 yards in 2009 as well).
Kicker Chandler Catanzaro made his only FG attempt – a 42-yarder. Punter Dawson Zimmerman had seven punts in each of his games against the Terps with a 38.9 yards per in 2010 and 39.1 average in 2009.
CB Xavier Brewer picked off a Danny O’Brien pass and took it to the endzone for a 61-yard pick-six last season. Safety Rashard Hall led the Tigers in tackles with eight in that same game. CB Darius Robinson intercepted his first career pass. DT Brandon Thompson has played in three games against the Terps with two tackles in each one.
Trends: Clemson has been favored in each of the last five games and won twice. Maryland has covered that spread in three of the five games. The Terrapins are 7-6 overall and 4-5 against BCS opponents at home the last two years.
Sept. 6 vs. Navy – W 17-14
Sept. 11 .MORGAN ST. – W 62-3
Sept. 18 at West Virginia – L 31-17
Sept. 25 FIU – W 42-28
Oct. 2 DUKE – W 21-16
Oct. 16 at Clemson – L 31-7
Oct. 23 at Boston College – W 24-21
Oct. 30 WAKE FOREST – W 62-14
Nov. 6 at Miami – L 26-20
Nov. 13 at Virginia – W 42-23
Nov. 20 FLORIDA STATE – L 30-16
Nov. 27 NC STATE – W 38-31
Dec. 29 vs. ECU – W 51-20
O&W 2011 Season Preview