Virginia vs. Maryland Preview: Five Questions with SB Nation DC

The Virginia Cavaliers will try to play spoiler to the Maryland Terrapins' Senior Day this Saturday.  We sat down with Jordan Ruby, Maryland Football Editor of SB Nation DC to talk about how terrible Terps fans are and how we wish DC media would just stop covering them altogether. Then, we asked them five questions that were actually related to football.

I also answered a few questions of theirs, which you can read here.

Streaking the Lawn:  This has probably been one of the most disappointing seasons in recent Maryland history, and I'm sure there are a lot of fingers to point. What would you say is the top reason that Maryland has sputtered this year after what appeared to be a great win over Miami (however depleted)?

SB Nation DC:  It's hard to pinpoint just one thing that has gone wrong at Maryland this year, they have had so many issues. Adjusting to the new offensive scheme, finding the players that excel in it, the coaching staff identifying the players they want to use, injuries, the defensive scheme as a whole, more injuries, poor starts in the first half and questionable coaching decisions. I'm sure I'm even forgetting some.

Because I don't want to harp on the coaching staff too much (even though it would be pretty easy to) I'll say that their biggest problem is how they start games in the first half, save for the valiant effort against Clemson. Here are the games that I believe Maryland could have been more competitive in if only they were able to even hang around in the first half: Temple, Florida State, Boston College, West Virginia and Georgia Tech. They've been pretty decent in the second half of games this year, but the holes they dig in the first half have proven to be too deep.

STL: Randy Edsall just suspended David Mackall indefinitely for a violation of team rules. How big of an impact is this on the team?

SBNDC: David Mackall is the best pure pass rusher on (or off, I guess) the Maryland team, but he isn't always as consistent as we want him to be. He does show up for complete games here and there and is always good for a big play or two, but he isn't always that presence. He will be missed, for sure, but the Terps won't lose the game on Saturday solely because they don't have Mackall.

STL: Maryland appears to have a tough time scoring -- they have a decent rushing offense at 48th in the country, and are 69th in overall offense, but are just 85th in the country in scoring defense. How do you explain this?

SBNDC: They have a real hard time punching the ball in once they get into the red zone, simple as that. They abandon the running game for the most part inside the 20 and try to get into the end zone with short passes and wide receiver screens. It's incredibly frustrating to watch. They have a really good short yardage back in D.J. Adams, but he has been in Edsall's doghouse and has gotten very few carries over the past few games. It isn't an issue of talent, I think, it's more that they abandon what works once they get into scoring position.

STL:  Between Danny O'Brien and C.J. Brown, who is most likely to get the starting nod at QB this week, and perhaps a better question, who would the fans want to be their starting QB this week?

SBNDC: Not only do I not know who is going to start at quarterback, I don't even know who I want to start at quarterback. Some mornings I wake up and think O'Brien might be the guy, others I pine for Brown. But to be honest, neither of them have been impressive enough for the fan base to rally behind either of them. Sure, there are some fans out there that have the upmost confidence in each of these guys, but there is no consensus among us, we have no idea. Based on their play this year, neither one will be the kind of playmaker we will need to win games.

STL: Fans I've spoken to are depressed and have given up on the Terps this year (probably for good reason). What does this mean for Randy Edsall as we head to the 2011 finish line and start thinking about the 2012 campaign?

SBNDC: If you were at the game in the snow against Boston College as I was, then you know that a lot of fans have given up. It's not only that the Terps are losing games (although that is a big part of it) they just look so uninspiring in the process. The Terps have put together two full games of exciting football this year (full game against Miami, second half against WVU, and the first half against Clemson) other than that, they have been pretty excruciating to watch.

There are some fans that have already launched a fire Edsall campaign. Even though I am incredibly displeased with this season, I know that there is no chance Edsall will be let go after the year. He has to be given a couple years to get his guys into the system before he can be truly evaluated (or at least that's what I keep telling myself) and the financial commitment to him is just too great. But there were a lot of fans who were not happy when he was hired in the first place, and that base has certainly grown this year. I just know that with a full year in this program and with these players, Edsall needs to do a better job in 2012 than he did in 2011, or else things might start to get ugly.

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