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FSU vs. Maryland: Maryland Preview

QB: CJ Brown is a dual threat QB. His strengths are that he understands and runs the offense efficiently and has good wheels. His weakness is that he is a mediocre passer with a mediocre arm. He is a little bit like a Jameis Winston Lite. He doesn't have the passing tools of Jameis, but runs the offense effective and is effective in the run game both on pass plays and QB read option. I think he'll be able to have a little bit of success against FSU's defense as he is probably at about the same level as Tom Savage or Chase Rettig as a passer and both had some success against FSU.

RB: Brandon Ross is probably a slightly better athlete than he is a RB. He a sub 4.5 guy with some homerun threat. He is 5'10 210, not a real power guy, but a little to big to be a big speedy guy. Maryland runs a lot out of QB read, thus UMD's running backs do a lot of east west running and will take a lot of tackles for a loss but they'll also hit for a lot of 10 to 15 yard chunk plays.

WR/TE: Maryland has pretty good receiving options in the pass game. BC had a little bit of surprise success against FSU's defense. They did it thru tricky, but lacked a lot of talent in their receivers with the exception of Amidon. Maryland has one super star, one star, and one solid ACC guy at WR. Diggs is the superstar and in my opinion is one of the two best WR's in the ACC with Sammy Watkins. Deon Long is a very solid receiver. He is not a Diggs, but is a solid second option. Nigel King has not done a ton this year and missed the last game with an injury but the coaches believe he is a pretty good WR. More so that Diggs and Long, he is more of a possession receiver. He is not a speedester, but at 6'3 and a good route runner he can potentially be a solid option for moving the chains. Dave Steinbaugh is a decent receiving TE, but is not everly explosive. Maryland's top three receivers all have NFL potential. Diggs WILL be a first rounder. Long will likely get drafted in the mid to late rounds. King will likely be a likely be drafted in the late rounds or go undrafted but can compete for a roster spot.

O-Line: Maryland's O-Line is serviceable. There is not one really good O-Lineman on this line and probably none of the starters could start for FSU. Sophomore Mike Madaras is the best pass protector and plays LT. He has given up two sacks on the season. Junior Sal Conaboy at Center is small, but is the best run blocker. Rounding out the starters, Sophomore Ryan Doyle is serviceable at RT, senior De'Onte Arnett is a grinder at Guard, and Michael Dunn like Conaboy is a bit undersized, but is fairly mobile at the other Guard spot.

D-Line: Maryland runs a 3-4 so they only have 3 D-Lineman. Junior Darius Kilgo (6'3 310 pounds), anchors the Line at NT, has some NFL potential. He probably the key piece in Maryland's run defense. His backup Nathaniel Clarke is a step down, but is capable of starting in the ACC and can spell Kilgo here and there. Sophomore Quinton Jefferson starters at one of the DE spots. He is 6'4 270 pounds and probably is tied with Kilgo for most NFL potential of the starters on defense. He has the size and strength to both pass rush and play the run. Keith Bowers starts at the other DE spot. He is a very tough competitior. He is very undersized for a 3-4 DE, maybe 250 pounds, but he really battles every play. He started 11 games as a true freshman for UMD at DE back in 2011 (and got a sack agianst FSU in 2011 as a true freshman) and he only weighed 235 pounds that year (albeit he was a 4-3 DE not 3-4). The key backups at DE are also a little undersized. Roman Braglio is undersized, but is a grinder like Bowers. Andre Monroe is only 5'10 265 pounds which is unusual for DE, but he is crafty and quick. You'll see him mostly in pass rushing situations because his quickness makes him effective at shooting gaps. This unit as a whole is a bit undersized, but is fiesty and will get physical.

LB's: Junior Matt Robinson at Sam is a converter Safety. He is solid for a LB at dropping in to coverage and is good at finding the ball carrier. He is pretty average as a blitzer. And for as good as Robinson finds the ball in the run game, he will miss tackles. Junior Cole Ferrand is a grinder with solid instincts and decent tackling is lacks athleticism. Junior Lorne Goree racks up tackles and has the instincts to find the ball carrier is more of a reactive player. He rarely makes plays in the backfield, he is not a downhill player, but is a bit of a tackle machine. Marcus Whitifeld is a fifth year senior getting his first shot at starting and doing well. He has 4.5 sacks in four games and a couple extra TFL's to add to that. He is a former DE and it shows as he is a good downhill player, but won't rack up the tackle. He is the opposite of the guy who lines up next to in Goree. Their playing styles differences are partly attributeable to the LB positions we play, but its also partly their playing styles because I have seen them both at different positions in past years. Yannick Curdoe-Virgil is a key backup and is capable of starting in the ACC.

DB's: Maryland is missing their top two CB's SeniorDexter McDougle and Jeremiah Johnson. They started the year with four corners capable of starting at the ACC level and with the first two down, both our starters are still decent and not huge weaknesses but there are depth issues at corner. The two new starter are 5th year senior Isaac Goins and true freshman Will Likely. Will Likely is extreme athletic but is undersized. His straight line speed is not amazing either but his agility and ability to break on the ball is good. He is a bit like Greg Reid. Junior Jeremiah Hendy a safety is the nickleback. He lost the closest position battle of fall camp to Sean Davis, but in his first major playing time of the year against WVU had a pick six and recovered two fumbles. At safety Maryland has two sophomores in Anthony Nixon and Sean Davis. Nixon is not overly athletic but is reliable at being where he is supposed to be. Sean Davis is more explosive and can be a bit of a play maker but is less reliable.

K/P's: After being terrible in fall camp and elicted concerned comments from Randy Edsall during the fall camp, the kickers have been solid and average respectively. Brad Craddock the placekicker is like 8 for 9 on fg's with a long of 50 yards. His only miss was a 50 yarder (though he missed one extra point.) His fifty yard miss ended up being a disaster that turned into an effective punt. He kicked it short, like very short so much so that it could be fielded. ODU, knowing it was like a 54 yard fg put somebody back to field it, but he fielded in the middle to back of the endzone which was mistake as he ended up getting tackled at like the 8 yard line making the missed fg an accidental good punt. Nate Renfro is nothing special at punter, but despite sucking in fall camp has been reliably average in games. Sometimes you get practice guys who excel in practice but do not have it in games. UMD's kickers are the opposite, they are unreliable in practice, but have not been bad in games.

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