2. KEYS TO THE SEASON
Biggest Key To The Maryland Offense
It’s time to start throwing the ball again. The offense relied way too much on the ground game – it wasn’t a bad plan considering it was so explosive. The Terps won both games – Texas and Illinois – when the passing attack hit the 200-yard mark, and was 3-0 when it connected for three touchdown passes. How much did it matter when the O threw it? Maryland 5-2 when throwing at least one touchdown pass, and 0-5 when it didn’t.
Biggest Key To The Maryland Defense
Find a pass rush. Fast. The secondary isn’t necessarily going to be a sore spot, but it could take a wee bit before the right combination emerges. Defensive coordinator Jon Hoke’s defense is going to start bringing a little heat, with any improvement welcome after generating just 18 sacks and 54 tackles for loss.
Key Player To A Successful Season
QB Josh Jackson, Jr.
It’s not that Maryland can’t be okay with Tyrrell Pigrome under center. Or Max Bortenshlager. Or Lance LeGendre – once the star recruit gets to campus. It’s that Jackson is just that good.
As a freshman at Virginia Tech, he threw for almost 3,000 yards with 20 touchdowns and nine picks, and ran for 324 yards and six touchdowns. If he’s okay after breaking his leg last year, and he takes to the new team right away, Maryland will finally settle its quarterback situation.
Key Game To The Maryland Season
Penn State, Sept. 27
Maryland has been okay so far in Big Ten play, but it’s had a hard time against the big boys in the East. It beat Penn State in 2014, and lost in a 31-30 thriller in 2015, and then … uh oh. Over the last three seasons, Penn State 142, Maryland 20.
It’s the Big Ten opener this year, and both teams have a week off to prepare for the Friday night game. It’s at home, and it’s a chance to make a big statement right away in the Mike Locksley era.
– Maryland Schedule Breakdown & Analysis
2018 Maryland Fun Stats
– Penalties: Maryland 100 for 956 yards – Opponents 57 for 507 yards
– Tackles For Loss: Opponents 83 for 302 yards – Maryland 54 for 210 yards
– 4th Down Conversions: Maryland 7-of-10 (70%) – Opponents 13-of-20 (65%)