Follow us on Twitter @buckeyeplanet and @bp_recruiting, like us on Facebook! Enjoy a post or article, recommend it to others! BP is only as strong as its community, and we only promote by word of mouth, so share away!
Consider registering! Fewer and higher quality ads, no emails you don't want, access to all the forums, download game torrents, private messages, polls, Sportsbook, etc. Even if you just want to lurk, there are a lot of good reasons to register!
The narrative blipped up not all that long ago and should stay in the forefront when it comes to Maryland football. The Terrapins are a sleeping giant, with a monster apparel deal with Under Armour as long as they can find a coach to keep the talent on the east coast home.
Maryland initially signed with Under Armour in 2008 and signed a 10-year extension worth at least $34 million in January 2014. It's one of the main reasons the Big Ten went after the school when it expanded more than two years ago, in addition to the desire to extend its conference footprint and television market along with Rutgers.
The problem is, the Terrapins were all but spectacular in their first two Big Ten seasons, which led to coach Randy Edsall's firing the day after Ohio State thumped them 49-28 in Ohio Stadium.
Administration tabbed Urban Meyer and Jim Harbaugh disciple DJ Durkin to lead the Terrapins from the fray and make them a contender in the daunting Big Ten East. Its Durkin's first head coaching job, and he worked with Meyer both at Bowling Green as a graduate assistant then at Florida as linebackers coach.
Durkin worked at Stanford under Harbaugh from 2007-09 before reuniting with him a season ago as Michigan's defensive coordinator. His coaching history and experience with high profile coaches is rare, but it remains to be seen if he can truly kick over the supposed sleeping giant that is Maryland football. The Terrapins lost.
Ohio State beat the Terrapins 52-24 behind five J.T. Barrett touchdowns at Byrd Stadium (now known as Maryland Stadium, a smart move) in 2014. Though Barrett turned in a magnificent performance that day, we'll never forget Cardale Jones jumping over a poor soul in the fourth quarter.
This year, the Buckeyes visit the east coast in mid-November after back-to-back home night games. Let's get to know what Durkin's group brings to the table in 2016.
For whatever reason, Maryland really liked to throw the football last season. The only issue was its quarterbacks kept throwing it to the wrong team. Perry Hills, Caleb Rowe and Daxx Garman all combined to toss 29 interceptions on 363 passes — easily the highest total from any team in 2015. For even more perspective, the average interception rate for quarterbacks last season ranged from 1.5 to 4 percent, Maryland's finished at 8.1 percent.
What you need to know about Maryland before Ohio State plays them
They probably won’t be as bad as they were last year.
The Ohio State football season will be here before you know it, and even if you’ve only been paying semi-close attention this offseason, you’re probably aware of the major storylines with the program. This is going to be an exceptionally young, but talented and athletic team. There’s a lack of proven production at wideout, running back, and defensive back. They return the best QB in the conference, and should at least compete for a Big Ten title.
But you may not know a lot about the specific teams on Ohio State’s schedule. We’ll get into a lot more detail before the actual games, but you may want a primer so you can sound smart at the bar, or at the barbecue, or in the grocery store checkout line.
So take a look at Ohio State’s opponents this year. Next up, my hometown team, Maryland.
What was the deal with Maryland last year?
Everything was bad. Did the Terps get demolished by a MAC team, at home? Sure did. They won just a single game after the third week of the season. They were crushed by virtually every good team they played outside of USF. Then they fired Randy Edsall, and watched Ohio State pick apart what projected to be a very promising recruiting class.
Maryland has a new coach, former Michigan defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin. They have plenty of reasons to be optimistic about the future. But the recent past has not been kind to the Terps. What about the present?
Is Maryland’s offense gonna be any good?
There are legitimately things to like about Maryland’s offense. The Terps have quietly recruited very well along the offensive line, paced by five-star Damian Prince. It’s going to be a very young unit and may not gel this year, but they may soon. The Terps also return almost every skill position player, including speedster wideout Taivon Jacobs, and running backs Wes Brown and former Virginia Tech Hokie Trey Edmunds. The Terps quietly had a pretty explosive running game last season, and could have one again.
The big problem? Maryland doesn’t have a quarterback. Nobody threw more interceptions last year than Maryland, and their two returning options at QB, Perry Hills (13 picks) and Caleb Rowe (15 picks), did nothing to inspire any level of confidence. Under new OC Walt Bell, Maryland should be running the dang ball more often, including with Hills and Rowe, and some regression with turnovers seems likely, but expecting either QB (and it appears Hills will get first crack) to turn out an efficient passing game seems like too much to ask.
Plan on attending myself. A 3 for 1 trip. Catch the basketball team Friday night in Annapolis, follow up the next day for the football game in College Park, then onto Frederick to see my daughter and her family.