Let’s start with the obvious. Maryland’s offense will rely on one of the top QBs in the conference: Taulia Tagovailoa. Without Taulia, Maryland’s ability to generate sustained drives would suffer. Consequently, the defense runs out of gas late in the 3rd quarter, at which point the game gets away from them. Fortunately, while he gets most of the headlines and expectations, Taulia also has lots of weapons.
- Roman Hemby was a pleasant surprise last year. 188 carries for 989 yards (5.3 ypc) and 10 TDs.
- Complementing Hemby’s speed, Antwain Littleton II is a bigger power back who was also productive 76 carries for 379 yards (5 ypc) and 6 TDS.
Behind these two established starters, is up and comer Ramon Brown. RBs are good. The question is whether the OLine can provide enough blocking for them to be productive.
The Terps lost Dontay Demus, Rakim Jarrett, and Jacob Copeland to the NFL Draft. Sounds bleak. I felt these talented receivers underperformed last year. I was expecting much more explosiveness and production.
Returning veterans include Jeshaun Jones, Tai Felton, Octavian Smith Jr, and Shaleak Knotts. That’s a solid group. They added transfers Kaden Prather from WVU and Tyrese Chambers from FIU. Both are local products who have come home to play. Prather is basically Dontay Demus before his knee injury, and Chambers is very speedy. Both will make a substantial impact this year.
Tight ends include Cory Dyches who is a match up nightmare with his combination of speed, size and strength. Behind Dyches is a very athletic up and comer, Preston Howard.
For offense, it’s simple. Skill positions are all good to very good. The O-line is the question mark.
PFF rates St. Francis FCS transfer Donnell Brown as the 2nd ranked edge rusher in the B1G behind PSU’s Chop Robinson (who transferred fro Maryland). The DL is returning a solid, if unremarkable, core. Last year, I listed Jaishawn Barham as a freshman impact player. He did not disappoint. He is returning and Maryland has another grown-ass man masquerading as a freshman, Neeo Avery. The two are supported by a solid group of LBs that includes Ruben Hyppolite.
The defensive backfield includes veterans DB Tareeb Still and hard-hitting safety Beau Brade. They are joined by Cincinnati transfer Ja’wuan Sheppard. Behind these guys, are a lot of speedy long athletes that are unproven. Hopefully, one or two of these unproven athletes steps up.
Colton Spangler is returning as punter. He was solid last year. I have a feeling we’re going to miss Chad Ryland as we test drive a new kicker.
I am wrought with shame. Please help me overcome my guilt and shame by mentioning in the defensive backfield segment that the other starting CB was also a starting midfielder on the lacrosse team. Dante Trader.
How unmarylandy of me to miss an opportunity to talk about lacrosse.