COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) — Randy Edsall's first season as Maryland football coach produced two wins. It didn't get much better last year, when the Terrapins went through four quarterbacks and a six-game skid that resulted in a 4-8 record.
Now, as Edsall prepares for his third stab at a winning season, he's got every reason to believe that a fresh start will result in a change of fortune. His optimism comes from the fashion in which his athletes have reacted to his team-first philosophy.
"Everybody is holding each other accountable. I think that's the biggest thing for me and the coaching staff," Edsall said Tuesday. "We haven't had to do much with discipline, or having to deal with some of the issues we've dealt with previously. When you get the players taking charge, it's going to allow you to be a better football team.
"With the chemistry and the camaraderie, I think we're a much closer football team in Year 3. Those are the things you build a football program on."
The Terrapins have only four senior starters, two on the offense and two on the defense. But they've got quarterback C.J. Brown, who missed last season with a torn left ACL, and standout wide receiver and kicker returner Stephon Diggs, one of the most electrifying players in the country.
Brown set a Maryland single-season rushing record (574 yards) for a quarterback in 2011 and threw for 842 yards in 10 games (five starts). He will make his long-awaited return Saturday in the opener against Florida International.
"I'm just really looking forward to it," Brown said. "I'll be out there will a big smile on my face pregame, and once the whistle blows I'll be ready to go. "
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