College Football Preview: The 2015 Maryland Terrapins
Maryland Terrapins Preview
2014 Record: 7-6 (58th of 128) Lost Foster Farms Bowl 45-21 vs. Stanford
Odds to Win National Championship: +80000 See the Latest Odds
Overview: Randy Edsall looks like he’s starting to find his footing with the Maryland Terrapins after back-to-back bowl appearances and a strong first year in the Big Ten. After just six wins in his first two seasons, Edsall has combined for 14 victories in his last two and clearly has Maryland moving in the right direction for the first time since Ralph Friedgen first took over the program.
Offense: Caleb Rowe will become the full-time starter at quarterback after completing 63 percent of his passes five touchdowns in four games last season. Rowe has shown bright spots at times, has experience and it’ll be interesting to see how he performs in a larger role. Maryland has running back depth with Brandon Ross and Wes Brown, a duo that combined for 10 touchdowns, and they will see a heavier workload this season. Receiver takes a major hit with players graduating and transferring, but Amba Etta-Tawo and Brandon Ross have shown to be reliable and have experience. Still, losing Stefon Diggs, Deon Long and Marcus Leak are huge, huge blows. Maryland also has a talented and deep offensive line that should make everyone’s job easier.
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Defense: Maryland must improve a defense that ranked 97th in the country and allowed 30.2 points per contest. It’s now up to Keith Dudzinski to fix this mess that kept Maryland from really taking that next step. The good news is that Maryland may have the best secondary in the Big Ten led by cornerback William Likely, who intercepted six passes last season. Sean Davis is a great tackler and has proven to be good in coverage while Anthony Nixon is one of the harder hitters in college football. Yannick Ngakoue is a playmaker with 13.5 tackles for loss and Jermaine Carter, Jr. showed a lot of promise as a freshman. Quinton Jefferson also gives the defensive front a boost with his return from a knee injury. Needless to say, the pieces are there for Maryland to be far better on this side of the ball.
Special Teams: Brad Craddock returns at kicker after making 94.7 percent of 19 field goal attempts. Lee Shrader or Nicholas Rubinowicz will replace Nathan Renfro at punter.
Overall: My only real concern with Maryland is the lack of experience and production at wide receiver. Overall, Maryland has an improved offensive line, healthy QB and a defense that has enough to be top-50 in the country. Can everything come together? Who knows? I do know that Maryland has the potential to be that dark horse team in the Big Ten that nobody wants to play.