Sep 6, 2014; Charlottesville, VA, USA; Richmond Spiders head coach Danny Rocco yells to an official against the Virginia Cavaliers in the third quarter at Scott Stadium. The Cavaliers won 45-13. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
College football is finally back! The Terps will open the season against the Richmond Spiders of the Football Championship Subdivision.
Richmond will be the first test of the 2015-16 season for the Maryland football team. The Spiders finished the 2014 season with a 9-5 record, advancing to the second round of the FCS Playoffs. This season, they are ranked at No. 18 heading into Week 1.
When: Saturday Sept. 5 @ 12 p.m.
Where: Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium, College Park, Md.
How to Watch: ESPNU
Players to Watch: Richmond
- RB Seth Fisher
Sep 20, 2014; Richmond, VA, USA; Richmond Spiders running back Seth Fisher (4) carries the ball for a touchdown as New Hampshire Wildcats safety Hayden Knudson (46) attempts the tackle in the fourth quarter at Robins Stadium. The Wildcats won 29-26. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Fisher led the Spiders in rushing a season ago, tallying 777 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns on 170 carries. He also added four receiving touchdowns. Fisher is a focal point in Richmond’s offensive attack, especially with an inexperienced quarterback. He was selected to the All-CAA First Team in 2014 and is projected to receive that honor once more. Fisher was named to the Preseason All-American team as well.
- WR Reggie Diggs
A talented wide receiver with the last name Diggs will be taking the field Saturday, but this time, he won’t be wearing a Terrapins uniform. Diggs received First Team Preseason All-CAA and Second Team Preseason All-American honors. The 6-foot-4 senior hauled in 85 receptions for 1,157 yards and seven touchdowns last season. Diggs has great size and will look to create some matchup problems for the Terps’ secondary.
- LB Omar Howard
Howard is the Spiders’ defensive captain. He finished second on the team in tackles in 2014 with 92, six of which were for a loss. He also recorded three sacks, and interception and a forced fumble. Howard has a nose for the football and will be vital in the Terps’ attempts to run the ball.
Three Things to Watch:
1. Perry Hills Gets the Starting Nod
Randy Edsall said that he would give the starting quarterback job to whoever earned it and that guy was Hills. He came in as the underdog, but he worked his butt off and played his way into the starting role for Week 1. Hills will still have to perform to validate Edsall’s decision. It’ll be interesting to see if he can stake his claim as the No. 1 signal-caller for the entire season.
2. Likely vs. Diggs Match-Up
Maryland defensive back Will Likely firmly believes that he is the best corner in the Big Ten, and perhaps, the entire country. He’ll probably be locked up with Diggs quite a bit on Saturday, which will serve as a bit of a warm-up for the big dogs. Both are the featured players on their respective units, so that should be fun to watch.
3. An Early Look at the Backfield
With some uncertainty at the quarterback position, the Terps will need to run the ball effectively. If they can get it going on the ground, the passing game may be able to open up a little more. Keep an eye on how offensive coordinator Mike Lockley decides to deploy and split carries between Brandon Ross and Wes Brown.
This game is very much a tune-up for Maryland. While the expectations are not high for the Terps this season, this is still a big game. Richmond is traditionally one of the better FCS teams and defeating them is no small task. Maryland should be able to establish the run early and often. Given the holes on the Terps’ defense, the Spiders will most likely move the ball effectively as well. Richmond gives Maryland a scare, but the Terps prove to be too much to overcome.
Maryland 27, Richmond 16
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