EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the latest in a series of articles by Jim Butta, a veteran sports writer for The Parkersburg News and Sentinel, who has served as the newspapers' beat writer for the Mountaineers.
The analysis is a compilation of research done on each opponent West Virginia will face during the 2012 season.
Much of the information comes from the team's spring prospectus as well as stories written about the program during, and after, its spring drills.
If nothing else, last year's come-from-behind win should keep the old gold and blue focused when the Terps come to Milan Puskar Stadium as WVU's last non-conference opponent before it embarks on its inaugural season in the Big 12.
Offense: The good news for Terrapins fans is that there should be no quarterback controversy as Edsall heads into Year Two of his tenure at College Park. Junior C.J. Brown, who passed for 842 yards and rushed for 574, returns as the heir apparent for the starting job under center.
However, the same can not be said for who will be lining up behind him as Davin Meggett ended his career seventh on the Maryland career rushing list leaving Brown as the Terps' top rushing threat. Also missing will be wideout Quintin McCree, the team's second-leading receiver.
Adequate replacements appear to be in the fold, however, as sophomore Justus Pickett (274) returns and is bigger and stronger than a year ago while the Maryland coaching staff also hit the recruiting trail and picked up the services of Good Counsel (Md.) High School standout Wes Brown as well as four-star player Albert Reid, the 2011 D.C. Gatorade Player of the Year.
Defense: More news that should bring smiles to the faces of Terrapins fans as 10 starters will be back including second team, All American (AP and Walter Camp) tackle Joe Vellano.
In fact all four starters that lined up against WVU's Geno Smith a year ago should be on the field when the two teams meet in late September - Marcus Whitfield and Keith Bowers will be back at the ends while Andre Monroe returns at the other tackle.
Seniors Demetrius Hartsfield and Darin Drakeford return as does sophomore Alex Twine at linebacker while the secondary lost only Cameron Chism, who had two interception returns for touchdowns against Miami and Clemson.
Specialists: Nick Ferrara, who missed the spring while recovering from offseason hip surgery, should be back to full health by the time the Terps report for training and should again handle all three phases of the team's kicking game.
Pickett also returns as the team's No. 1 kick returner while Greg Parcher will take over the long snapping duties from three-year starter Tim Downs.
Outlook: On paper this could be one of those 'trap' game coaches talk about. The Terrapins and Edsall went through a lot of growing pains a year ago, but one only has to look at the team's spring roster to see that the second year coach and his staff will have a ton of talent to throw onto the artificial surface at Mountaineer Field.
The offense could still be a work-in-progress, however, which could place a lot of pressure on a defense that, though it returns 10 starters, allowed 34.2 points and 457.2 yards per game.
Making matters worse for Edsall and company is a Mountaineer offense that should be flying high after wins over Marshall and James Madison and a stadium where the Terps have not tasted victory since 2002 and their head coach has never been on the winning side of the scoreboard.
Not exactly a scenario that should have Maryland fans expecting a victory as the Terps prepare for conference play.
Series: WVU leads 25-21-2