Preview 2018: Maryland Terrapins. Overdue For A Break

Preview 2018: Maryland Terrapins. Overdue For A Break

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Preview 2018: Maryland Terrapins. Overdue For A Break

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What You Need To Know About The Maryland Defense

– Defensive coordinator Andy Buh did what he could considering the offense didn’t provide any help. The Terps had the second-worst defense in the Big Ten, and were dead last in scoring D allowing 37 points per game.

Five of the top seven tacklers are back, but the defensive front has to undergo an overhaul after losing four regular starters. That’s not a bad thing – the line is about to go through an upgrade.

The hope is for the light to go on for former Auburn Tiger Byron Cowart at one end, injured Jesse Aniebonam is back on the other, and there’s size on the inside. The depth might not be there, but the starting four should be great with a little time.

– The linebacking corps will be sneaky-great. 210-pound Antoine Brooks is really a safety, but he’ll work in a hybrid position – seeing time at linebacker – after finishing second on the team with 77 stops. He’s an intimidating force as a nickel defender who’ll serve in a variety of roles. The depth will be a problem for a while, but big-hitting Illinois transfer Tre Watson will be a statistical star in the middle.

– The secondary had huge problems coming up with big plays and getting off the field, but at least the veterans are in place. JC Jackson left one corner spot open, but Tino Ellis is a fast defender who’s still learning the gig, and former Florida State Seminole Marcus Lewis has all-star skills.

The corners will be fine, but the safeties will be the stars on the defense with ball-hawker Darnell Savage back after a 59-tackle season and Antwaine Richardson having to rise up into a role if Brooks doesn’t take over at safety again.

Biggest Key To The Maryland Defense

Third … down … stops. The offense had a slew of problems on third downs, but the defense’s issues were every bit as bad, allowing offenses teams to convert well over 49% of their chances after allowing just 37% in 2016.

Teams had it way too easy going on march after march, with Wisconsin, Penn State, and Ohio State rolling at will. Only three times all year did Maryland force offenses to covert under 40%.

NEXT: Top Players, Final Prediction & What Will Happen

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