Maryland football is building, but the 2017 schedule’s going to hide that

Maryland Football 2017 Match Preview Prediction and Players: he Maryland Terrapins are No. 55 in the Orlando Sentinel 2017 preseason college football rankings. The Terrapins lost their starting quarterback, but there are signs the team will continue to improve under the direction of coach D.J. Durkin. Look back: Maryland made great strides under first-year coach D.J. Durkin, doubling the Terrapins’ win total from the previous year while earning their first bowl berth since 2014. Maryland opened the 2016 season by winning its first four games, the program’s best start since 2013. But the Terps quickly took a tumble, dropping seven of their next nine games. The losses were by an average of 29 points per game.

Key losses: QB Perry Hills, WR Teldrick Morgan, WR Levern Jacobs, OL Michael Dunn, OL Mike Minter, DE Roman Braglio, DB Alvin Hill, DB William Likely III. RB Ty Johnson, WR D.J. Moore, OL Terrance Davis, OL Damian Prince, LB Shane Cockerille, LB Jermaine Carter Jr., DB Darnell Savage, DB JC Jackson. The biggest change on the offensive side came in the form of turnovers. Maryland took much better care of the football in 2016, cutting the number of turnovers in half: from 36 in 2015 to 19 in 2016.

Maryland Football 2017 Match Prediction and Players

Maryland Football 2017

Much of that success can be attributed to better play out of the quarterback position. Senior Perry Hills, who started 11 of the team’s 13 games, cut his interceptions down by nearly two-thirds: from 13 in 2015 to just four in 2016. Caleb Henderson, a transfer from North Carolina, should slide right into the starting role after several seasons with the Tar Heels. Sophomore Ty Johnson returns after becoming Maryland’s first 1,000-yard rusher since Da’Rel Scott in 2008. He’ll share some of the rushing duties with Lorenzo Harrison. Both will work with an offensive line that returns three starters from last season.

Maryland Football 2017, The middle of the defense features a pair of linebackers who registered at least 100 tackles apiece in last season in Shane Cockerille and Jermaine Carter Jr. The pair, along with Jalen Brooks, will be the centerpiece of Maryland’s defensive efforts in 2017. The defense immediately improved under Durkin’s direction, cutting nearly five points per game off the previous season’s average. That said, the group still allowed more than 400 yards per game for the third consecutive season. Senior Jesse Aniebonam, who led the defensive front with 9.0 sacks, will need another strong year if the group expects to contain opponents, especially on the ground. Maryland allowed more than 215 yards per game rushing in 2016 — ranked next to last in the Big Ten.

Maryland Football 2017 Match Schedule

Eight different players saw starts on the offensive line last season as the group allowed a league-worst 49 sacks. Eight of those sacks came in the team’s 36-30 loss to Boston College in the Quick Lane Bowl. Durkin’s impact has been felt on and off the field, with the coach helping Maryland land a top 20 class in 2017. Even more impressive has been his ability to lock down talent from the area surrounding the Maryland campus. This depth will be crucial when conference plays begins in October, especially with a schedule that features powerhouses Ohio State, Penn State and Michigan. Source Link

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