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Picks and predictions for Maryland football's first Big Ten season

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Maryland kicks off against James Madison Saturday. The Testudo Times staff weighs in with their predictions on the season and the season opener against the Dukes.

Rob Carr

Q: Which football game are you most excited for this season, non-Penn State division?

Dave - this one is probably a tie between Ohio State at Byrd in Maryland's first B1G home game and against Michigan in the B1G House.

Todd - I'm going to say Iowa because this strikes me as the program most similar to Maryland in the B1G. Some good years, some not so good years. I think it provides a good measuring stick of where Maryland football really fits in the conference.

Noah - Ohio State coming to Byrd on October 4th. This is Maryland's first tough game on the schedule and with Braxton Miller out for the season, Maryland has a better shot to take them down.

FlaTerp - Gotta go with Ohio State. It's a showcase to the new conference for Maryland's team, fans, stadium, uniforms and all the rest of it. Byrd better be teeming!

John- Agree with the popular opinion of Ohio St. It will be a lot of fun to see the teams match up with one another, given the athleticism both teams possess. I certainly hope Byrd Stadium is more full than it usually is.

Andrew K.- It was "The" Ohio State before Braxton Miller got injured. Now the MSU game seems most intriguing. It's been mentioned by pundits as a possible trap game for the Spartans.

Emmer - I really don't like West Virginia and really, really enjoyed 37-0 last year. With the programs heading in seemingly opposite directions, I wouldn't mind a nice hearty ass-whopping again this year.

Troll your co-workers

Jake - Is it a cop out to say nearly all of them? There are SO MANY interesting games on Maryland's schedule this year, much more so than when we were in the ACC when if we got VT from the Coastal that was intriguing. We may lose a lot of these "intriguing" ones, but they'll be interesting and it'll be fun to see Maryland play in them.

Molly - The primetime game against Michigan State. I love football under the lights.

Pete - I'm going to go with Syracuse. It's the only team on Maryland's schedule the Terps lost to last season, and revenge would sure be nice. It also serves as a pretty handy barometer for the season, as I do not expect any of the first three games to be close.

Q: Which player are you most looking forward to see in action?

Todd - In the non Stefon Diggs division, I'm going with Will (or is it William) Likely - not so much returning punts but I'm anticipating some big plays from him in the secondary.

Noah - Stefon Diggs. End of list.

FlaTerp - Michael Dunn. He was the darling of the offseason, so let's see it carry over into the fall. If the Terps have a good left tackle, they'll have a solid line. If the Terps have a solid line, they'll be a good team.

John- For those who may not know me, Deon Long has long been a favorite of mine. The speed he possesses, the ability to go up a snag the ball out of the air, the strength, it is just fun to watch.

Andrew K: Wes Brown. I have a feeling that by mid-season he might be seeing as many carries as Brandon Ross.

Emmer - I've been saying it for a while now, but I think Sean Davis is about to have a monster season. With some...questionable...QB play in the B1G, I could see a bunch of interceptions, deflections, big hits and overall havoc caused by Davis in the secondary.

Jake - It's still Stefon Diggs. Always.

Molly - Stefon Diggs. It's been too long.

Pete - Taivon Jacobs, y'all We've never even seen him yet.

Q: Who's your offensive MVP this season?

Dave - I think Stefon Diggs takes it to another level and wows and amazes us in what is likely his last season in a Maryland uniform.

Todd - C.J. Brown because it always all about the quarterback.

Noah - I don't remember Torrey Smith getting this kind of hype nationally when he played. The offense will start with Diggs. He'll get ample touches every game and defensive coordinators will have to gameplan for him every week. That is why he's my offensive MVP.

FlaTerp - I'll go with Brown also. If Brown clicks, everything will fall into place for everyone else, including Diggs.

John- I'll throw a curveball here: Brandon Ross. I just didn't want to take the easy way out there.

Andrew K. - If Diggs can stay injury-free then he's my choice, regardless of the fact that every defense will be keying on him. If Diggs gets injured then CJ brown would be my next choice.

Emmer - I like the Brandon Ross pick, because when our running backs are going, the offense runs so much better, but my vote is Healthy CJ Brown. I am not sure if that person is a real person, but if he exists he's it.

Jake - Deon Long. With Stefon Diggs likely commanding a lot of attention from DB's and getting the main focus from DC's, I think this opens up some possibilities for Long to have big days and be a key player for UMD this year.

Molly - I'm going to go with C.J. Brown, because he has so many weapons at his disposal and his experience is a huge advantage.

Pete - Sal Conaboy, Maryland's best offensive lineman by a pretty wide margin.

Q: Who's your defensive MVP this season?

Dave - I'll go with Matt Robinson on what will be a very good Maryland defense.

Todd - My hope is that it's Andre Monroe because if it is then he's spent a lot of time in opponents' backfields and Maryland has probably had a very very good year.

Noah - I'm going to go with a linebacker just like Dave with L.A. Goree. I think the linebackers are going to get a chance to shine a little more this year because I expect some run-heavy attacks against the Terps.

FlaTerp - Will Likely. He'll be Maryland's shutdown corner and impact the special teams too.

John- I like Todd's pick. I'll go with Andre Monroe. He wreaks havoc in opposing backfields.

Andrew K. - Matt Robinson or Jeremiah Johnson. Robinson has shown good progress each year. Johnson had a good 2012 and started off well last year before an injury took him out.

Emmer - Sean Davis. See above.

Jake - Matt Robinson or Andre Monroe.

Molly - I'll agree with FlaTerp. Will Likely, who I think will likely evade the sophomore slump with ease.

Pete - Matt Robinson, my pick from last year.

Q: Who's your freshman of the year?

Dave- I'll say some sort of offensive line shuffling happens for whatever reason and Damian Prince ends up winning this.

Todd - Taivon Jacobs because you can't teach size and you can't teach speed and according to Pete, the younger Jacobs has speed to burn. If this has to be a true freshman, I'll say Nnamdi Eguaba just because I like saying Nnamdi Eguaba.

Noah - Taivon Jacobs. They are probably going to have a package of plays designed for him so I think he has a better chance of getting on the field and putting up some decent numbers.

Profiles in Terpage

FlaTerp - Let's go with Derwin Gray. He seemed to be more game-ready than Prince at the start and if he keeps progressing, he'll bull his way into the starting lineup quickest.

John-I'll go ahead and say Derwin Gray as well. I thought he would earn a starting job out of the gate, but something tells me he will at some point.

Andrew K. - Taivon Jacobs. He has all the tools to be exceptional and will be under most opponents' radar.

Emmer - I don't see a ton of freshmen getting a lot of playing time, so I'll go with Jesse Aniebonam.

Jake - I think Damian Prince will be the most important freshman for Maryland this year, but I think Jesse Aniebonam will make the most "big plays" or get the big plaudits.

Molly - I'll go with Taivon Jacobs as well. Has a redshirt year under his belt and I think he'll make some noise.

Pete - Jacobs!

Q: Final record prediction?

Dave - 8-4, with losses to Michigan State, Michigan, Wisconsin and either Ohio State or Iowa.

Todd - While I hope he's right, I'm not quite as optimistic as Dave. I'll go with 7-5 regular season and a bowl game win to get the Terps to that 8 win minimum that HughGR insists is the minimum necessary for a successful season.

Noah - Bold Prediction time! Maryland will go 6-0 to start the season, beating Ohio State at home, and then lose the next five in a row. I think they beat Rutgers to go 7-5 this year.

FlaTerp - 6-6, sorry to say. The schedule is just so tough compared to the super-soft ACC. We badly want to take for granted wins over teams like WV, Syracuse, Indiana, Iowa, Rutgers etc., but those are still 50-50 games until Maryland proves otherwise. Hope I'm wrong!

John- I have said 8-4 for a while and I will go bold and say the Terps upset Ohio St.

Andrew K. - 7-5. I think the Terps upset one B1G powerhouse but lay an egg against either Indiana or Syracuse.

Emmer - 8-4 with losses to Ohio State, at Wisconsin, Michigan State and at Michigan.

Jake - 8-4. With tight losses to Ohio State and Michigan and relatively blowout losses to Wisconsin and Sparty

Molly - I want to say 8-4, but I'm going to say 7-5. We'll win a game we have no business winning and lose one we have no business losing.

Pete - I've gone back and forth on this, but anywhere from four wins to nine is possible. Unfortunately, I'm thinking 6-6 at the moment, with losses likely coming to Syracuse, Ohio State, Wisconsin, Iowa, Michigan State and Michigan. In most other divisions in the country, this is an eight- to nine-win team. The schedule is just too tough, however, so we'll have to wait and see.

Q: What's your one bold prediction for the James Madison game?

Dave - Maryland's defense is more impressive than the offense.

Todd - Diggs takes a kickoff to the house. (Bold enough for you???)

Noah - Maryland breaks 60 points. Can you say crazy free Papa John's toppings?

FlaTerp - C.J. Brown rolls up a combined 5 TDs with at least 2 rushing and 2 passing.

Andrew K. - The game is close for the first half. One or two turnovers by Maryland keeps JMU in the game until the second half.

John- Will Likely collect 2 picks. Hey, why not?

Emmer - Maryland gets two defensive touchdowns.

Jake - Wes Brown rushes for 3 TD's

Molly - A slight variation on John's -- Will Likely pick six.

Pete - A wild Shane Cockerille appears!

Q: And finally, the final score for the James Madison game will be _____

Dave - I'll stick with my podcast prediction of 51-7.

Todd- I'm so stressed out making all these predictions I need a shower but I'll go with 41-17 Maryland.

Noah - Maryland lays a beatdown on JMU. 63-13.

FlaTerp - Maryland cruises, 49-14

Andrew K. - Maryland 41, JMU 17. Oh crap, that's what Todd predicted. I change it to 38-17.

John- JMU scores early to scare everyone, then the Terps roll on to win 49-10.

Emmer - 35-10, but it's basically decided in the third quarter. Maryland has not had many true, full, Baylor-style blowouts under Edsall, mostly because he's okay with taking people out as soon as possible.

Jake - 48-17 Maryland

Molly - Terps win 38-10

Pete - Maryland, 48-3.