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Maryland's football schedule

Quick take on the 2009 football schedule:

* It's a tougher non-conference schedule on balance than last season. That's because the Cal game is on the road this season and because Rutgers is on the schedule. For those who believed last season's non-conference games did little to prepare the Terps for the year ahead, this is a welcome, if expected, development.

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* Terps were not invited to a single Thursday night matchup on ESPN. Georgia Tech, North Carolina and Virginia Tech each make two Thursday night appearances.

* Five opponents ended last season ranked or receiving votes in the final AP Top 25.

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Maryland will open its 2009 season on the road against a California team led by projected Heisman Trophy candidate Jahvid Best and close the year against the same two teams, Florida State and Boston College, that ended its 2008 regular season.

The Atlantic Coast Conference schedule, announced today, is highlighted by six nationally televised Thursday night games – none featuring Maryland.

Maryland's nonconference schedule appears tougher than last season's. The Terps will face Cal, winner of last season's Emerald Bowl, on Sept. 5, and Rutgers, which won the Papajohns.com Bowl, on Sept. 26.

Maryland opens its ACC season – as it did last year – against Clemson. This year's game will be at Byrd Stadium.

Maryland will play both teams that played in the ACC championship game, Virginia Tech and Boston College, at home.

The Terps will not play three strong conference teams -- Miami, North Carolina and Georgia Tech – that all finished .500 or better last season and participated in bowl games.

There is a bye week on Oct. 31.

The schedule:

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Sept. 5 at California

Sept. 12 James Madison

Sept. 19 Middle Tennessee

Sept. 26 Rutgers

Oct. 3 Clemson

Oct. 10 at Wake Forest

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Oct. 17 Virginia

Oct. 24 at Duke

Nov. 7 at NC State

Nov. 14 Virginia Tech

Nov. 21 at Florida State

Nov. 28 Boston College


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