UNC Football: Tar Heels vs. Maryland; A Closer Look at the Terrapins


The 2012 football season has been a roller coaster of emotions for coach Randy Edsall and the Terrapin fan base. Expectations at College Park were low to start the season, the Atlantic Coast Conference preseason media poll had the Terps ticketed to finish dead last in the ACC Atlantic division.

Nov 17, 2012; College Park, MD, USA; Florida State Seminoles special teams player Chad Abram (41) causes a kickoff fumble by Maryland Terrapins kick returner Levern Jacobs (8) at Byrd Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-US PRESSWIRE

The Terrapins opened the season with a pair of wins, 7-6 at home vs. William and Mary and an impressive 36-27 victory on the road vs. Temple. A home loss to Connecticut was followed by a match up against then eight ranked West Virginia. Maryland battled the high powered Mountaineers before falling 31-21 on the road, even with the loss things were starting to gel as ACC play was set to get underway.

Maryland welcomed Wake Forest to Bryd Stadium the first weekend in October and treated the home crowd to an impressive come from behind 19-14 victory, the win gave the Terps their third win of the young season which eclipsed their win total from 2011. Next up was a trip to Charlottesville and a date with Virginia and while not pretty, the Terps only managed 10 first downs and were credited with -2 yards on the ground, Coach Edsall saw his team leave town with a 27-20 victory and a spotless 2-0 mark in ACC play.

It is often times hard for certain teams to look back at a season and try to pinpoint what went wrong, that is not the case for the 2012 Maryland Terrapins. A hard fought battle against North Carolina State came down to a field goal try by place kicker Brad Craddock. With the Terps trailing 20-18 in the waning moments they lined up for a game winning 33 yard attempt which bounced off the left upright. In the blink of an eye Maryland went from 5-2 and 3-0 in ACC play to 4-3 and 2-1 in ACC play…..then the wheels would completely fall off.

The string of injuries to the Maryland signal callers has been well documented. They have lost C.J. Brown, Perry Hills, Devin Burns and Caleb Rowe this did not bode well going into a brutal stretch of ACC action. A 20-17 loss at Boston College was followed by a 33-13 drubbing by Georgia Tech. Back to back games vs. top 15 teams in Clemson and Florida State led to two more losses and left the Terps at 4-7 and 2-5 in ACC play.

The deck is certainly stack against Maryland as they travel to Kenan Memorial Stadium this Saturday to take on Coach Larry Fedora and the 7-4 Tar Heels. The Terps will start converted linebacker Shawn Petty behind center against a very aggressive front line from North Carolina. Maryland has not scored more that 20 points in any of their past five games, they rank last among FBS schools with in total offense with 273.9 YPG and 112th in scoring offense at 18.5 ppg. This does not bode well going up against a high powered Carolina offense which is averaging a robust 49.3 ppg at Kenan this season. This will be the last game for the UNC senior class, look for Coach Fedora to reward his seniors and not take his foot off the gas. This one will be over early as I see the Heels jumping out big early and closing out their season with a win, I have it North Carolina 53 Maryland 16.