CFN Take: Maryland Comes Back To Beat UM
Maryland Terrapins 2014 ...
Head Coach: Randy Edsall
Nov. 22 Maryland 23, at Michigan 16
2014 Schedule |
Aug. 30 James Madison W 52-7
Sep. 6 at South Florida W 24-17
Sep. 13 West Virginia L 40-37
Sep. 20 at Syracuse W 34-20
Sep. 27 at Indiana W 37-15
Oct. 4 Ohio State L 52-24
Oct. 11 OPEN DATE
Oct. 18 Iowa W 38-31
Oct. 25 at Wisconsin L 52-7
Nov. 1 at Penn State W 20-19
Nov. 8 OPEN DATE
Nov. 15 Michigan State L 37-15
Nov. 22 at Michigan W 23-16
Nov. 29 Rutgers
And You Care Because … The two teams traded field goals in the first half, with Maryland’s Brad Craddock hitting from 38, 41 and 21 yards out, and Michigan’s Matt Wile scoring from 22, 33 and 26 yards away for a 9-9 tie in the locker room. Devin Gardner ran for a 15-yard score to give the Wolverine the lead in the third quarter, but it was all Terps in the fourth as a roughing the punter penalty kept a scoring drive alive finishing with an eight-yard C.J. Brown run, and Wes Brown gave them the lead for good on a one-yard run with just under six minutes to play.
What Else? Maryland QB C.J. Brown completed 13-of-24 passes for 165 yards, and ran 18 times for a team-leading 87 yards and a touchdown
- Michigan QB Devin Gardner completed 13-of-24 passes for 106 yards and a pick, and ran 14 times for 82 yards and a touchdown
- Total yards: Michigan 398 – Maryland 312
- Michigan RB Drake Johnson ran 14 times for 94 yards
Game Rating: B-
Nov. 15 Michigan State 37, at Maryland 15
And You Care Because … Michael Geiger hit three field goals for a 9-0 Michigan State lead, and Jeremy Langford ran for touchdowns from eight and 25 yards out to go along with a 22-yard R.J. Williamson pick six on the way to a 30-7 lead in the fourth. Maryland managed a 20-yard Daniel Adams touchdown catch in the second, and got a 31-yard Juwann Winfree touchdown in the fourth, but Nick Hill put it away for MSU on a 33-yard run.
What Else? Michigan State RB Jeremy Langford ran 25 times for 138 yards and two touchdowns
- Maryland QB C.J. Brown completed 20-of-43 passes for 246 yards and two touchdowns with three interceptions
- Rushing yards: Michigan State 242 – Maryland 6
- Turnovers: Maryland 4 – Michigan State 0
Game Rating: D+
Nov. 1 Maryland 20, at Penn State 19
And You Care Because … Brad Craddock hit a 43-yard field goal with 51 seconds to play as Maryland stormed back in the fourth quarter for the win. Penn State scored 13 straight points for a 16-7 lead going into the final frame, with two of Sam Ficken’s four field goals on the day and an eight-yard Jesse James touchdown catch, but Maryland put the clamps down in the fourth while getting a one-yard Wes Brown touchdown run to take the lead, and answered Ficken’s 48-yard field goal with the game-winner from Craddock.
What Else? Third down conversions: Penn State 6-of-20 – Maryland 1-of-14
- Maryland rushing: 31 carries for 33 yards and a score – Penn State rushing: 41 carries for 42 yards
- Penn State QB Christian Hackenberg completed 18-of-42 passes for 177 yards and a score with a pick
- Turnovers: Penn State 4 – Maryland 2
Game Rating: B
Oct. 25 at Wisconsin 52, Maryland 7
And You Care Because … Wisconsin dominated from the start with Melvin Gordon running for three first half touchdown runs and Joel Stave throwing two third quarter scoring passes to Alex Erickson from 47 yards out and eight yards to Sam Arneson. With the backups in, the Badgers got a 60-yard touchdown run from Tanner McEvoy and a three-yard scoring dash from Corey Clement to get up 52-0. Maryland finally got on the board in the final minute with a 21-yard Stefon Diggs touchdown catch.
What Else? Total yards: Wisconsin 527 – Maryland 175
- Wisconsin RB Melvin Gordon ran 22 times for 122 yards and three scores, and caught two passes for 12 yards
- Maryland QB C.J. Brown completed 13-of-29 passes for 129 yards and a touchdown, and ran 13 times for 14 yards
- Wisconsin QB Joel Stave completed 9-of-15 passes for 155 yards and two touchdowns
Game Rating: D+
Oct. 18 at Maryland 38, Iowa 31
And You Care Because … Maryland got a 53-yard Stefon Diggs touchdown catch and a 45-yard interception return for a touchdown by William Likely on the way to a 38-21 lead before hanging on late. Iowa scored ten unanswered points with Jake Rudock’s second touchdown pass of the game and a 24-yard Marshall Koehn field goal, but the Terps were able to close out. Wes Brown ran for two one-yard scores for the Terps, and Mark Weisman ran for two short touchdowns for the Hawkeyes.
What Else? Already without QB Caleb Rowe, who tore his ACL this week, Maryland lost QB C.J. Brown for a while with a back injury, but he came back and completed 12-of-23 passes for 120 yards and two interception, and led the team with 99 yards on 21 carries
- Turnovers: Iowa 3 – Maryland 2
- Iowa QB Jake Rudock completed 32-of-56 passes for 317 yards and two touchdowns with an interception
- Maryland WR Stefon Diggs caught nine passes for 130 yards and a touchdown, and ran two times for 12 yards
Game Rating: B
Oct. 4 Ohio State 52, at Maryland 24
And You Care Because … Ohio State was unstoppable from the start taking the opening drive down the field and finishing with a one-yard Rod Smith touchdown run, and it didn’t slow down. The Buckeyes took a 31-10 lead into halftime and got up 38-10 helped by four touchdown passes from J.T. Barrett to four different receivers including a 30-yarder to Devin Smith and a 25-yard play to Michael Thomas. Maryland got a two-yard touchdown run from Wes Brown to temporarily stop the bleeding, and Brandon Ross ran for a two-yard score, but Barrett opened up the fourth quarter with a nine-yard touchdown run. Raekwon McMillan made it a Buckeye blowout with a 19-yard interception return for a score.
What Else? Ohio State QB J.T. Barrett completed 18-of-23 passes for 267 yards and four scores, and ran 16 times for 71 yards and a touchdown
- Maryland QBs C.J. Brown and Caleb Rowe combined to complete 24-of-40 passes for 244 yards and a touchdown with four interceptions
- Maryland LB Cole Farrand made 17 tackles with a tackle for loss and a broken up pass
- Time of possession: Ohio State 36:36 – Maryland 23:24
Game Rating: D+
Sept. 27 Maryland 37, at Indiana 15
And You Care Because … C.J. Brown threw a touchdown pass and ran for another, but he hurt his wrist. Backup Caleb Rowe came in and threw a 36-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Ross and a 30-yarder to Juwann Winfree on the way to a 34-9 Maryland lead. Indiana’s offense only managed three Griffin Oakes field goals from 38, 48 and 58 yards out in the first half, and didn’t get into the end zone until it was way too late on a four-yard Tevin Coleman run in the fourth. Brad Craddock hit three field goals for the Terps.
What Else? Maryland quarterbacks combined to complete 22-of-33 passes for 361 yards and three scores. C.J. Brown also ran for a score
- Indiana RB Tevin Coleman ran 22 times for 122 yards and a touchdown
- Maryland WR Stefon Diggs caught six passes for 112 yards and a score, and Deon Long caught ten passes for 108 yards
- Indiana QB Nate Sudfeld completed 14-of-37 passes for 126 yards and a pick
Game Rating: C
Sept. 20 Maryland 34, at Syracuse 20
And You Care Because … After Syracuse jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead in the first quarter, it was all Maryland the rest of the way. Led by the passing of C.J. Brown and the all-around heroics of Will Likely, the Terrapins never trailed the rest of the game. After the Orange closed the gap to 14-13 on a Terrel Hunt touchdown run early in the second quarter, Maryland reeled off 17 unanswered points in the quarter to take a commanding lead into halftime.
What Else? Likely was a tour de force for the Terps. He led the team with nine tackles to go along with an 88-yard interception return for a touchdown that took the wind out of Syracuse’s comeback attempt.
- The Orange lost despite rushing for 370 yards. Hunt rambled for a team-high 156 yards and two touchdowns, while Prince-Tyson Gulley scampered for another 138 yards on just 14 carries.
- Brown came through when he had to for Maryland. While his final numbers were pedestrian, he was still able to turn his 16 completions into 280 yards and two scores through the air.
- To avoid more days like today, Syracuse has to improve on third downs. The Orange converted just 4-of-14 to offset 26 first downs and 589 yards of total offense.
Game Rating: C
West Virginia 40, at Maryland 37
And You Care Because … Josh Lambert nailed a 47-yard field goal to give West Virginia the win in a wild shootout. Clint Trickett threw for 511 yards and four touchdowns with scoring plays to Mario Alford from 43 and 36 yards out, but Maryland came back from down 28-6 helped by a 75-yard C.J. Brown touchdown run along with a slew of Mountaineer special teams mistakes. William Likely tied the game for the Terps on a 69-yard punt return for a score midway through the fourth, but the two offenses finally slowed down until Trickett led WVU on a 13-play drive leading to the Lambert game-winner.
What Else? West Virginia QB Clint Trickett completed 37-of-49 passes for 511 yards and four touchdowns with a pick. Kevin White caught 13 passes for 216 yards and a score, and Mario Alford caught 11 passes for 131 yards and a touchdown.
- Maryland QB C.J. Brown completed 19-of-35 passes for 241 yards and a score with a pick, and ran 18 times for 161 yards and a touchdown.
- Special teams almost killed West Virginia with a muffed punt, a punt return allowed for a score, and a missed field goal, but a blocked punt led to a key safety to give the Mountaineers a three point lead.
- West Virginia LB Nick Kwiatkoski made 12 tackles with two broken up passes and three tackles for loss.
Game Rating: A
Sept. 6 Maryland 24, at South Florida 17
And You Care Because … An error-prone Maryland overcame six turnovers with two C.J. Brown to Marcus Leak touchdown passes from ten and 44 yards out, and Avery Thompson turned things around with a blocked punt for a score in the fourth. USF held a 17-14 lead after returning a fumble for a score and getting a 15-yard Steven Bench touchdown run and a 35-yard Marvin Kloss field goal, but the O failed to score in the second half. Maryland scored ten unanswered points.
What Else? Maryland couldn’t stop screwing up with four fumbles and two picks. The defense held tough in the second half.
- USF QB Mike White went out of the game on the first drive. Steven Bench completed 14-of-36 passes for 162 yards and a pick.
- Stefon Diggs caught seven passes for 50 yards for the Terps, but Marcus Leak led the way with three catches for 72 yards and two touchdowns.
- Neither team could run the ball. Maryland loaded up and dared USF to pass, allowing just 83 yards and 2.2 yards per carry. The Terps ran for 116 yards averaging 2.9 yards a pop.
Game Rating: C+
Aug. 30 at Maryland 52, James Madison 7
And You Care Because … Maryland did whatever it wanted on the way to a 45-0 led in the third quarter. C.J. Brown ran for three first half touchdowns and found Deon Long for a 46-yard touchdown pass. The defense didn’t allow a score until the fourth on a one-yard John Miller touchdown run after the game was well out of reach.
What Else? C.J. Brown isn’t going to be a major rushing threat on a regular basis, but he did a good job running seven times for 61 yards and three scores. Brandon Ross and Wes Brown took care of the heavy lifting combining for 167 yards and a score.
- But here’s the problem – C.J. Brown was off. He only hit 11-of-24 passes for 111 yards and a score. Caleb Rowe stepped in and completed 7-of-11 passes for 75 yards and a score with a pick.
- The Terp receiving corps didn’t explode, but the coaching staff didn’t empty out the playbook. Stefon Diggs led the way with five catches for 53 yards, and Deon Long caught just two passes for 48 yards and a score.
- Former Georgia Tech QB Vad Lee came up throwing for the Dukes, completing 16-of-37 passes for 141 yards and two picks, getting nothing going down the field.
Game Rating: D
Welcome to the new world of college athletics.
Of course it’s about big business on every level, but Maryland’s move to the Big Ten represents everything the entire realignment and readjustment movement is about. It’s not about tradition, and it’s not about bettering the product – it’s about money, and that’s okay.
Nebraska couldn’t stop doing backflips over joining the Big Ten in 2011. Rutgers was always looking for a better home, and with Penn State already firmly established moving the Big Ten a little more east, the move made sense.
And then there’s Maryland, who was a mainstay of the Atlantic Coast Conference but was an easy target with an athletic department that needed money. The Big Ten wanted to get its network more into the Baltimore/D.C. markets, Maryland needed cash, and the transaction was complete.
While it might be easy for ACCheads to get all up in arms over the “whatever happened to tradition?” aspect of it, it really is a great move for the school and the athletic department. The Big Ten is simply a better conference than the ACC, and very soon, the change isn’t going to seem so weird.
But will this move eventually translate into more wins and more success for the football program? It’ll mean more money, and that will help, and it will mean greater exposure and more overall interest when a Michigan or Ohio State comes to town, and that will be a plus, but can a school used to caring more about basketball start to make bigger inroads on the gridiron? Randy Edsall was able to do it at UConn, and if he can keep his team in one piece, he should have an interesting team coming back to battle away in the tough Big Ten East.
Nine starters are back on each side of the ball after an inconsistent and ultimately disappointing year. If the star receivers – Stefon Diggs and Deon Long – can quickly recover from their respective broken legs and return to their previous form, the offense that threw well and had some nice moments should be more dangerous.
The defense was terrific against everyone but Florida State and Clemson – at least until the dud of a bowl loss to Marshall. This could be a very quiet, very good D that gives the Big Ten East some problems.
The really nice part is that expectations will be relatively low. Nebraska fans thought their Huskers were going to take the league by storm, but no one’s going to pick Maryland to challenge in a division with Ohio State, Michigan State and Michigan. The program is due for a respite from big injuries, and it also might be ready to show a little consistency. Basically, Maryland needs a break.
And getting paid a lot of money is part of it.
What to watch for on offense: The Terps will be able to throw the ball, but can the ground game do enough to balance things out against a Big Ten schedule? Eventually, Diggs and Long will be back and rolling, but the running attack has to do more after coming up with 200 yards or more and seven touchdowns in the first three games and failing to get to 200 and coming up with just 11 scores on the ground over the final ten. The Terps went 7-1 when rushing for a score, 0-5 when they didn’t. In the Edsall era, Maryland is 1-13 when failing to run for a touchdown, with the lone victory coming in the 2011 opener against Miami. With four returning starters up front, and with plenty of options to play around with at running back, it’s time for Edsall’s ground game to find its stride.
What to watch for on defense: Can the linebackers stay healthy? In the Terps’ 3-4 alignment, they need plenty of linebackers to work in a rotation, but they need to be in one piece after several key parts missed time for a run defense that did a decent job allowing just 149 yards per game. On the plus side, several young players got thrown into the fire right away, and now there’s depth and there are options in an attempt to replace pass rusher Marcus Whitfield. Cole Farrand, Matt Robinson and L.A. Goree are veterans who can all hit, and 6-2, 250-pound sophomore Yannick Ngakoue has upside on the outside. Considering all three starters are back on the front three, the deep linebacking corps should now start to shine.
The team will be far better if… the Terps start to own the turnover margin. -7 overall on the year, Maryland was even in the opener against FIU, and was a +2 against Old Dominion, and then managed to be on the negative side in nine of the final 11 games. As the season went on, the defense couldn’t seem to take the ball away, coming up with 13 takeaways in the first four games – all wins, and with six against West Virginia – and with just eight the rest of the way in the final nine games. Even worse, all eight of the takeaways came in three games, meaning the Terps went six games without taking the ball away.
The Schedule: Welcome to the Big Ten – now play Ohio State, at Wisconsin, at Penn State, Michigan State and at Michigan. The Terps kickoff life in the new conference against Indiana and its dangerous offense, but the Big Ten made sure the Big Ten home opener is doable, right? Ohio State. There’s a nicely-timed week off before hosting Iowa and going on the road to Wisconsin and Penn State, and there’s another week off before getting Michigan State in College Park. Two of the final three games are at home, including the regular season finale against Rutgers, but that’s after starting out with September with several key road games.
The hopes for a bowl game might be made or broken in the first half of the season. After starting out with James Madison, the Terps go on the road to deal with a USF team looking to rebound and has to face a dangerous Syracuse team before going to Bloomington. In the midst of all of that is a game with West Virginia – outside of JMU, maybe, there’s not a true layup on the non-conference lot.
Best offensive player: Junior WR Stefon Diggs. The team’s most electrifying playmaker, he was on his way to a big season before suffering a broken leg halfway through the season. The passing game had its share of big plays, and other receivers stepped up and produced when Diggs and Deon Long went down, but when Diggs is around, the offense changes as an elite kick returner who can carry the ball once in a while and also be one of the Big Ten’s most dangerous targets.
Best defensive player: Senior DE Andre Monroe. Versatility is the key to the three man defensive front, and everyone needs to get used to playing a lot of roles depending on the offense and style. Monroe can do a little of everything, but no matter where he plays he’s a terrific pass rusher, leading the team with nine sacks and 15.5 tackles for loss after returning from a bad knee injury. With Darius Kilgo and Keith Bowers holding up on the nose, and Quinton Jefferson due to break out on one side, Monroe should be in for an all-star season.
Key player to a successful season: Senior QB C.J. Brown. One of the biggest keys of the season will be to keep the chains moving and keep the defense off the field. Time of possession wasn’t much of a problem for the Terps, but with a running game that might be better, but not necessarily dominant in the new world of the Big Ten, converting on third downs will be a really big deal. Brown had an okay season, but he struggled just enough to allow Caleb Rowe to get his shot at the helm. Brown hit 59% of his throws on the year,
and he didn’t play against Virginia or Clemson, but the Terps lost to Boston College partially because the O converted just 2-of-13 third down tries and sputtered against Marshall converting just 2-of-14 tries.
Now he has to use all of his weapons to make the offense fly.
The season will be a success if ... the Terps finish with a winning season. They have enough experience and enough talent returning to potentially get through the non-conference schedule against James Madison, USF, West Virginia and Syracuse, and there needs to be wins over teams like Indiana, Iowa, Penn State and/or Rutgers to get to at least six wins. The program hasn’t had back-to-back winning seasons since 2002 and 2003, but it has the makeup to do it in the inaugural Big Ten campaign.
Key game: Sept. 27 at Indiana. The Terps have to deal with Ohio State the week after, and they still have to face the brutal second-half run of at Wisconsin, at Penn State, Michigan State and at Michigan, which means the start to the season has to be red-hot. Opening up the Big Ten life with a win at Indiana could mean a 5-0 start if all goes well in non-conference play, and it’s the type of game Randy Edsall has to win – Indiana isn’t Ohio State.
2013 Fun Stats:
- Scoring: Opponents 561 – Idaho 218
- Third Down Conversions: Opponents 80-of-171 (47%) – Idaho 69-of-209 (33%)
- Kickoff Return Average: Opponents 30.7 yards – Idaho 20.6 yards
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