Team preview: Maryland

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(All information as of June 20, 2008)


The Fridge may not be on the blink in College Park, but it is certainly not as cool as it was a few years ago.

Three sub-.500 seasons in the last four years will heat things up for any coach. Not that Ralph Friedgen is on a hot seat, but he has brought in some repairmen to tinker with his program. By Friedgen standards, it's a major overhaul.

The crusty coach took the Terrapins to an ACC title his first year in 2001, and to bowl games in five of his seven seasons. He has now relinquished control of his offense to a new coordinator, former Kansas State offensive mastermind James Franklin.

Fridge has overseen his second-year defensive coordinator Chris Cosh installing a new 3-3-5 stack defense, and he has two other new assistant coaches, including new special teams mentor Danny Pearman, who replaces his long-time, right-hand man, Ray Rychleski, who left for South Carolina.

"We have a lot of changes, a lot of things happening, a lot of excitement in our program," said Friedgen, who guided his team to a 6-7 mark and an Emerald Bowl berth in 2007.

But Maryland's precarious position in the ACC -- 14-18 the last four seasons -- and its struggle to get to .500 last year, ultimately brought about changes in Friedgen's approach. After two years serving as his own offensive coordinator with mixed results, Friedgen turns the reins over to Franklin, one of the boldest moves of the Fridge's tenure at his alma mater. Franklin is implementing a West Coast-styled offense, influenced by his work with the Green Bay Packers and Philadelphia Eagles.