Remember when Emperor Delany decided he wanted to own the East Coast and try and destroy the Big East and ACC? Well, even if you don't, the weeks are flying by until we see our new friends Rutgers and Maryland join the Killing Machine that we call the Big Ten. Of course, we wouldn't want them to not enjoy a few final parting gifts from their old friends they have gotten to know in their current conferences, so we've kind of let them do their thing.
But here at OTE, we are all about getting information about as much of the B1G as possible, so we reached out to the guys at On The Banks and Testudo Times to talk a little bit about how things are going. A couple things to note. 1) This is a two part piece. The first is Maryland and you will see a second one drop this afternoon about Rutgers. 2) I sent these questions last week before the inevitable interesting weekend both teams had. So keep that in mind as you read answers.
With no further ado - and a huge thanks to Pete Volk from Testudo Times - some questions with the new guys, Maryland Edition.
1. Why hello there again friends. It's been a while since we've last chatted and it's been great to have real football back. For those of us in B1G country who don't really know anything about Maryland's season so far, give us a quick overview on how things have been going. I have heard you are both ranked and undefeated, which is more than any of us expected. With the non-con done more or less, how are you all feeling about things?
Things are going very well and we're feeling very good! I'm sending these answers ahead of the Florida State game, so not exactly sure how this will read then, but Maryland has a very, very good team that should be competitive in ACC play -- and the best part is that they're young. Watch out, B1Ggies. [ed note: See, this is what I'm talking about when I said to be nice to their responses. These guys had zero clue that Saturday would bring out AMQBHG. Oh, they also didn't know just how good FSU's offense was going to be.]
2. What or who has been the biggest surprise of the season for you so far? I saw that Maryland is allowing the sixth fewest yards this season and are averaging almost 500 YPG on offense. Was this expected on both sides or have you overachieved? Moreover, do you think you can keep it going?
The biggest surprise has been at the WILL linebacker position, where Marcus Whitfield and Yannick Cudjoe-Virgil have combined for eight-and-a-half sacks and have consistently put pressure on the opponents' backfield. The output has been a bit of a surprise, but Maryland fans knew this team was good -- the defense was one of the top 25 in the nation last year, and the offense naturally suffered with a true freshman linebacker playing quarterback. Once the pieces got healthy, the feeling was things could be special.
3. Stefon Diggs has been pretty good so far. Averaging 100 YPG, 22.5 YPC, and a 3 TD haul already. Has he lived up to the hype for you? Moreover, do you think that he can keep this pace up as you hit the meat of your ACC schedule?
He has absolutely lived up the hype. Randy Edsall has described Maryland's offense as "pick your poison". Between Diggs and Deon Long and C.J. Brown and Brandon Ross, opposing defenses have to choose to shut someone down, and the offense will respond by giving the ball to the other one. Diggs didn't have a great game against West Virginia, but he didn't need to - the defense focused on him, and that allowed Long and Brown to make plays. Diggs will likely break Maryland records for receiving yards and touchdowns this year, and the Terrapins expect him to only continue to get better as the season progresses.
4. So as a Huskers fan, I remember that final year in the Big XII. It was brutal at times, but it was always so sweet to finish off a longtime foe for the final time in the immediate future. Is there any one team you'd like to see Maryland beat on its, "Let's Burn the ACC to the Ground" tour? Conversely, is there anyone you would hate to see get to Maryland on the way out?
Florida State excluded, Virginia, Boston College and Virginia Tech (who the Terps have never beat in the ACC) are the teams I'd really like to see Maryland beat. A loss against the former two would absolutely cripple me.
5. Alright, last question... How are you feeling about your recruiting class for your inaugural B1G run? Have things been better than normal or has there been no real change? Any big gets that we should be worried about already?
Recruiting has been excellent. Mike Locksley is locking down the DC area, and the Terps have a strong 13-member class while staying in good position for about four or five more elite prospects (including two five-stars). Most importantly, many of the big names are on the line, which was an area of concern heading into the B1G.
Again, super huge thank you to Pete Volk from Testudo Times. If you want a huge community, really smart group when it comes to their teams, and insanely in-depth coverage, check them out. They will fit in just fine with us when this new marriage comes up next year.