#54 Maryland Football 2015 Preview

Maryland Terrapins

Overall Rank: #54
#10 Big Ten

Maryland Team Page#54 Maryland Football 2015 PreviewBuy Maryland Football Tickets

Maryland had a surprisingly successful debut campaign in the Big Ten. They went 4-4 in conference play and 7-6 overall, including a loss against Stanford in the Foster Farms Bowl. The Terrapins also learned that line play dominates the Big Ten and they did address that as much as possible. It may take a few years to see the results, but Coach Randy Edsall has more talent on both of his lines than he has ever had during his tenure at Maryland.

2014 Record: 7-6, 4-4
2014 Bowl: Foster Farms vs. Stanford (L 21-45)
Coach: Randy Edsall (20-30 at Maryland, 94-100 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Mike Locksley
Defensive Coordinator: Keith Dudzinski

Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Brandon Ross, RB, 419 yards
Passing: Caleb Rowe, QB, 489 yards
Receiving: Brandon Ross, RB, 212 yards
Tackles: Sean Davis, S, 115
Sacks: Yannick Ngakoue, DE, 6.0
Interceptions: William Likely, CB, 6

Other Key Returnees: RB Wes Brown, WR Levern Jacobs, K Brad Craddock, S Anthony Nixon

Key Losses: QB C.J. Brown, WR Stefon Diggs, WR Deon Long, LB Cole Farrand, DL Andre Monroe, LB L.A. Goree

The defense was bad against the run last year and will be again this year, but the secondary is extremely talented. Cornerback William Likely picked off six passes and is one of the most dynamic playmakers in the Big Ten. Alvin Hill and former starting safety Sean Davis will provide options at the other cornerback spot. Strong safety Anthony Nixon is a big hitter and will make things happen. They will need help from a rebuilding front seven though. On the other side of the ball, Maryland is in better shape than they appear. Their starting quarterback and just about every wide receiver are gone. At quarterback, Caleb Rowe takes over for C.J. Brown. Rowe has plenty of experience and an accurate arm, but he does need to stay healthy. The Terps picked up Oklahoma State transfer Daxx Garman to back him up in case those pesky knee injuries hit Rowe yet again. Receiver Stefon Diggs left early for the NFL and Deon Long ran out of eligibility. As if that was not enough, nearly everybody below them on the depth chart either left the team or was dismissed or suspended from the team. It remains to be seen if players like Juwann Winfree return this season, but in the meantime, Maryland will look to brothers Levern and Taivon Jacobs. Levern was the team’s top receiver back in 2013, catching 47 passes for 640 yards while filling in for Diggs and Long, who were both injured. Taivon’s season ended last year in his debut game, but he is a young talent. The ground game will revolve around Brandon Ross and Wes Brown. Those two only combined for 773 yards on the ground a year ago, but there will be more opportunities without a running quarterback taking away many of the carries.

Maryland quickly learned that in the Big Ten, stopping the run is hugely important. Maryland ranked 12th in the conference and 97th in the nation in rushing defense, allowing 201.9 yards per game. There is not much hope for those numbers improving this year either as far as personnel is concerned. Coach Edsall hopes a new defensive coordinator and a move to a 4-3 defense will work instead. Yannick Ngakoue will move to the hybrid rush end spot after tallying 6.0 sacks a year ago. However, the defensive line remains small and relatively inexperienced too. The linebackers have some potential though. Sophomore middle linebacker Jermaine Carter has looked good in the offseason and he could be in for a breakout season. Cavon Walker and Abner Logan figure to start on the outside. Those three will have to be good in pursuit if the rush defense is going to be any better in 2015.

The Bottom Line:
Maryland starts the year with three very winnable home games against Richmond, Bowling Green and South Florida. The Terps beat Michigan and Penn State on the road last year and will look to those two games for big home (or in Baltimore as is the case against the Nittany Lions) wins. The Terrapins also get Indiana at home. That could be six wins right there. A season ending trip to Rutgers is another possible victory if this team is still looking for bowl eligibility in late November. Maryland is not going to be competing for a Big Ten title anytime soon, but this should be a team that can win six or seven games and keep building for the future.

Projected Bowl: Foster Farms Bowl

2014 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 121.8 (108th in nation, 12th in conference)
Passing Offense: 220.2 (72, 7)
Total Offense: 342.1 (109, 12)
Scoring Offense: 28.5 (65, 5)
Rushing Defense: 201.9 (97, 12)
Pass Defense: 234.3 (78, 13)
Total Defense: 436.2 (95, 12)
Scoring Defense: 30.2 (87, 10)
Turnover Margin: 0.00 (59, 5)
Sacks: 2.46 (39, 5)
Sacks Allowed: 2.85 (103, 12)

Madness 2015 Recruit Rankings:
#129 Adam McLean


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