If you hoped that the Randy Edsall era in Maryland would begin with a couple easy games to give the team some confidence, think again. Maryland's 2011 football schedule was just released, and the first game is a Labor Day night ACC showdown against Miami at Byrd Stadium.
Indeed, Maryland will kick off its season on September 5 by hosting the Hurricanes, who have a new coach of their own in Al Golden. The game will kick off at 8 p.m. and will be broadcasted on ESPN. It's a big-time opportunity for the Terps to bring new energy to their program by knocking off a name school at home in prime time. A big win in the opener will do wonders for a fanbase that many feel is still reeling from the questionable process that dominated Ralph Friedgen's firing and Edsall's hiring.
Maryland also benefits because they won't have to leave Byrd Stadium for the first month of the season. Then again, the games won't all be cakewalks. The Terps will play regional rival West Virginia on September 17 and then host much-improved Temple on September 24. A gimmie game against Towson follows before the team hits the road for the first time. The Terps will also play Notre Dame at FedEx Field on November 12, a one-game series the two schools agreed on last March.
Here is Maryland's complete schedule:
Sept. 5 MIAMI (Monday), ESPN, 8 pm
Sept. 10 OPEN
Sept. 17 WEST VIRGINIA
Sept. 24 TEMPLE
Oct. 1 TOWSON
Oct. 8 at Georgia Tech
Oct. 15 CLEMSON
Oct. 22 at Florida State
Oct. 29 BOSTON COLLEGE
Nov. 5 VIRGINIA
Nov. 12 vs. Notre Dame (FedEx Field; Landover, MD)
Nov. 19 at Wake Forest
Nov. 26 at NC State