Maryland Terrapins Football Season Preview & Predictions for 2015


Dec 30, 2014; Santa Clara, CA, USA; Maryland Terrapins defensive back Sean Davis (21) looks on during the third quarter of the Foster Farms Bowl at Levi

We are just three weeks away from the kickoff of the 2015-16 college football season. The Terps are entering their second season in the Big Ten Conference and are looking to climb the ranks. Let’s preview how Maryland Terrapins football will fare in the upcoming season.

2014 Finish: 7-6 (4-4 in Big Ten), Lost to Stanford in Foster Farms Bowl

Key Returners: RB Wes Brown, RB Brandon Ross, WR Levern Jacobs, OL Andrew Zeller, OL Ryan Doyle, OL Michael Dunn, DE Yannick Ngakoue, DL Quinton Jefferson, CB Will Likely, CB Sean Davis, K Brad Craddock

Key Losses: QB C.J. Brown, WR Stefon Diggs, WR Deon Long, WR Marcus Leak, WR Juwann Winfree, RB/WR Jacquille Veii, OL Sal Conaboy, DL Keith Bowers, DL Darius Kilgo, DL Andre Monroe, LB Matt Robinson, LB Cole Farrand, LB L.A. Goree, DB Jeremiah Johnson

Incoming Freshman Class:

The Terps did a pretty decent job recruiting the Class of 2015. Randy Edsall was able to lure in two big-time additions to the DMV to UMD Movement. First, it was 4-star defensive tackle Adam McLean, who has played a part in securing some other commitments from the area. Maryland also reeled in 4-star offensive lineman Quarvez Boulware. McLean is still recovering from an ACL injury he suffered in his senior season of high school, but he should be ready for spring practice next year. There is a chance that Boulware could contribute at some point this season.

Additionally, the Terps received commitments from 17 other players, including 3-star wide receiver D.J. Moore from Philadelphia, 3-star cornerback Darnell Savage of Delaware, and 3-star inside linebacker Gus Little from Fredericksburg, Va.

Offensive MVP: RB Wes Brown

Oct 4, 2014; College Park, MD, USA; Maryland Terrapins running back Wes Brown (4) makes catch prior to the game against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Byrd Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

With the Terps’ backfield a little less crowded than a season ago, Brown will likely only be competing with senior Brandon Ross for the bulk of the carries. Although Ross was eventually named the starter last season, Brown may be the better all-around back. The former Good Counsel standout carried the ball 103 times for 356 yards and six touchdowns as a sophomore. Brown was the main guy in short yardage and goal-to-go situations.

Ross is a really good player, but Brown has the big-play ability that Maryland desperately needs this year. He is an extremely powerful, downhill runner, but at the same time possesses the athleticism to make him a legitimate threat making plays out of the backfield.

Defensive MVP: CB Will Likely

Nov 22, 2014; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Maryland Terrapins defensive back William Likely (4) blocks a pass to Michigan Wolverines wide receiver Amara Darboh (82) but is called for interference in the second quarter at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Terps’ star defensive back will be a ‘likely’ hero all season long. Will Likely is easily the best player on this Maryland team and he’s just a junior. In two seasons in College Park, he has recorded 153 total tackles, seven interceptions, two of those for touchdowns and a forced fumble. The Belle Glade, Fla. product was named to the All-Big Ten first team as a sophomore.

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Not only is Likely the best defensive back in the conference, but he’s also one of the most dangerous return guys in the country. He has racked up 1,225 return yards thus far in his career and has reached the end zone three times. Likely is also one of the unquestioned leaders on this team. Star kicker Brad Craddock said of the corner,

"“Will is awesome, just the energy be brings, first of all, is great. He makes plays and he helps us a lot. If it wasn’t for him, we would have lost a couple of games last year. We hold special teams in high esteem at Maryland; it can win us games.”"

Biggest Game: Oct. 24 vs. Penn State @ M&T Bank Stadium

This game is monumental for no other reason than recruiting positioning. Penn State has, for the most part, been Maryland’s biggest threat to landing in-state recruits. Former Terps assistant coach James Franklin is the head man in Happy Valley and has his sights on dominating the region. The Maryland coaching staff has other plans.

This is becoming somewhat of a rivalry, especially after Maryland’s captains opted out of the handshake at the coin toss in their meeting last season (which Maryland won). By beating the Nittany Lions, the Terps could regain the recruiting advantage that Penn State has had over them the past several years.

Prediction: 5-7 (2-6 in Big Ten)

The Terps will be a work in progress this season. They will be taking the field with a significantly worse team than last year, but still have enough talent on the roster to be competitive. There are just too many question marks for Maryland to be a legit player in the Big Ten in 2015. Outside of running back and the secondary, the Terps are pretty unstable at every other position right now. There’s a chance some players can breakout and help them win one or two more games, but that’s more wishful thinking than anything. It’s safe to say everyone is more looking forward to the two seasons following this one.

Next: Stefon Diggs Shines in HOF Game

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