Orange Bowl

2012 ACC Preview - Day 2

 
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The Terps will rely on a dual-threat quarterback and the new pro-style offense to get them back in contention of an ACC Championship in 2012.
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Ryan Trapp - Staff Writer
OrangeBowl.org

 

Maryland

2011 Record (ACC): 2-10 (1-7)

Returning Starters (Off/Def): 14 (5/8/1)

New offensive coordinator Mike Locksley brings his pro-style attack to College Park and he’ll have some talented athletes to build it around. Incoming freshman Stefon Diggs should make an immediate impact in the passing game and with big-play threat Kevin Dorsey lined up on the opposite side, dual-threat quarterback C.J. Brown will have plenty of targets. Brown has already proven he can get it done on the ground too, averaging over seven yards a carry to go along with his five scores last season. The offense has shown they can be explosive, putting up a combined 118 points against the likes of Miami, Clemson and N.C. State. Defensive back Kenny Tate will return from injury to lead the defense along with All-American tackle Joe Vellano. The combination of Vellano and fellow lineman Keith Bowers give the Terps a legitimate pass rush that could rattle an ACC full of talented signal callers this season.

THE ROAD TO SOUTH BEACH

The Terps have a very favorable schedule and don’t start ACC play until the first week in October. They’ll have time to gain some momentum against William & Mary, Temple and UCONN early in the season before a true road test in Morgantown against West Virginia. The Terps were fortunate to draw Florida State at home, but will have to steal a win in Death Valley on November 10 if the They hope to return to their fourth Orange Bowl.  

 

North Carolina

2011 Record (ACC): 7-6 (3-5)

Returning Starters (Off/Def/ST): 15 (7/6/2)

An entirely new coaching staff makes its way to Chapel Hill, led by former Southern Miss Head Coach Larry Fedora. With the Golden Eagles, Fedora led Southern Miss to their four most prolific offensive seasons in school history. It’s this kind of success Tar Heels hope the mad hatter can bring to in Chapel Hill. Quarterback Bryn Renner had a phenomenal first season under center in 2011, throwing for over 3,000 yards and 26 touchdowns. His progression should be fun to watch this year, and though he’ll need some younger receivers to step up, he’ll have plenty of time to find targets behind an offensive line that returns All-Conference standouts James Hurst and Jonathan Cooper. New defensive coordinator Dan Disch will bring his fast, hard-hitting approach to the ACC and his three-safety scheme could work wonders with veteran safeties Tre Boston and Gene Robinson.  

THE ROAD TO SOUTH BEACH

The ACC’s "Sleeping Giant" has a favorable conference schedule with both Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech coming to Chapel Hill. Road matchups against non-conference foes ECU and Louisville won’t be easy, but the Tar Heels rattled off wins against the two teams last year. The Tar Heels have yet to make their Orange Bowl debut, but they’ll have plenty of weapons that could see them sitting pretty in the ACC when it’s all said and done.

 

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