Maryland held their preseason scrimmage today at the lovely Byrd stadium. In front of a half-full stadium, the Terps had their ups and downs. Some players sat out, but the majority were for precautionary measures. Coach Randy Edsall stated C.J. Brown and Stefon Diggs did not play because he already knew what they could do and there is no need to risk a significant injury. Below is the injury report (some injuries occurred during the scrimmage):
- Alvin Hill (unknown)
- Andre Monroe (toe)
- Andrew Stefanelli
- Brian McMahon (unknown)
- Christian Carpenter
- Deon Long (back)
- Jacquille Veii (suffered ankle injury during game and sat out remainder of the game)
- JaJuan Dulaney (knee surgery)
- Joe Riddle (head)
- Taivon Jacobs (knee)
- Tyler Cierski: (calf, still in walking boot)
- Tyrek Cheeseboro
- Will Rosenblum
- Zach Dancel
- Zeke Riser: wearing a boot
Also, it was worth noting that Brown, Diggs, and Long all sat out for today’s game, so the offense lost that much firepower right there. Overall, some positives and some negatives came from the scrimmage.
- Quarterback Ricardo Young did show his ability to escape pressure and make some nice runs. He has good speed and was able to utilize it well.
- Corner Will Likely, though forced to signal for a fair catch on the majority of punts, had one very nice return where he ran to the outside and avoided the defense. Edsall should be relieved that he has other alternative options outside Diggs.
- The defensive line seemed to be in the backfield all game. Linebacker Yannik Cudjoe-Virgil had four sacks and was around every single tackle.
- Another player that played well was freshman linebacker Yannick Ngakoue, who was very quick off the edge and was able to put consistent pressure on the quarterback.
- Though likely a redshirt this season, quarterback Shane Cockerille showed a lot of poise and patience in the pocket. He was able to make many nice throws and recognize pressure from the weak-side and avoid a few sacks. He has good speed as well. Cockerille and 2014-commit Will Ulmer should have an interesting camp battle for starting quarterback next year.
- Despite Diggs and Long not playing at the wideout position, wide receiver Nigel King was very solid. King had many catches, including a marvelous seven-yard touchdown catch off of a fade from quarterback Caleb Rowe. He made the catch over Dexter McDougle, who played very tight coverage. I was very impressed and I think the Terps have an underrated third receiver in King.
- Kenneth Goins went in at tailback with Cockerille at quarterback and I was really pleased with Goins. Seemed to be limping while playing as well, but ran very hard. He was a quick back who was able to fight for those tough yards. He may be buried on the depth chart, but has very solid potential
- Local stud cornerback Jalen Tabor, underrated three-star linebacker Melvin Keihn, and 2015 athlete Kai Locksley, were on campus watching the Terps scrimmage. Tabor was approached by several fans upon his arrival at Byrd Stadium and seemed to be very receptive to the Maryland faithful.
- After Edsall’s comments about not knowing who the backup quarterback is, it seemed as now Terp fans know why. No quarterback played even average in my mind. While Young was able to escape pressure, he made many questionable throws and was very inaccurate, often overthrowing the receivers. Rowe was unable to escape pressure time after time, one time resulting in a safety. Lastly, Perry Hills had some nice runs, but really struggled throwing the ball consistently. If it were just based on today, I would name Cockerille the backup quarterback because the offense was actually moving with him behind center.
- A big reason the defensive line was able to put a lot of pressure on the quarterbacks was because the offensive line struggled holding their blocks. With a young line, it’s expected that they’ll struggle at times, but the linemen didn’t give the running game much of a chance to develop.
- Running backs Brandon Ross and Albert Reid had a tough time breaking big runs. One specific play, Reid was stuffed in the backfield by junior linebacker Alex Twine. If I had to choose, I though Reid played better and showed a little more explosion, but I wouldn’t blame the backfield as the offensive line really had a tough time.
- Field goals continue to be an issue. Brad Craddock went zero-for-three on Saturday and missed wide left twice and short on the third occasion. Craddock has struggled quite a bit recently and Edsall could even open up the competition for the starting placekicker. Backup Adam Greene was one-for-two on the afternoon as he connected from 46 yards but missed from 47 yards.
Overall, the quarterback situation is the biggest storyline from today. As many pointed out, Maryland is in a lot of trouble if Brown goes down. Here’s a link to Edsall in an interview after the scrimmage. Hint: he wants to look at the tape first.