In their first game as a member of the Big Ten, Maryland rolled over James Madison in a 52-7 win behind a balanced rushing attack. Maryland is now 1-0, and will prepare for their road trip against South Florida next Saturday.
Maryland’s running game was the biggest takeaway from Saturday’s game as running backs Brandon Ross, Wes Brown and quarterback C.J. Brown accounted for 228 rushing yards. Ross was aggressive all game and found the open holes, even fighting through tackles and contact for extra yards. On the other hand, Wes Brown played in his first game in almost two years and looked aggressive as well. A powerful back, Brown was repeatedly used for short yardage situations to give Maryland the first down. Junior running back Albert Reid also tuned in a fine game as he accumulated 28 yards on five carries.
C.J. Brown had an interesting game, to say the least. Midway through the first quarter through the second quarter, Brown was inaccurate on numerous intermediate and long throws to wide open receivers, some that would have given Maryland a touchdown. Nonetheless, Brown’s rushing game was superb as he picked up 61 yards on seven carries and three touchdowns. He showed yet again his toughness and ability to overcome adversity, despite a disappointing showing in the passing game. Brown threw for just 111 yards on 11-of-24 passing. Being the first game of the season, Brown should be expected to improve throughout the year.
But it wasn’t just about the offense. The defense had a great game, giving up 302 yards. However, all but one possession in the first half resulted in less than 30 yards of offense for the Dukes. Maryland did a great job containing dual-threat James Madison quarterback Vad Lee and forced the offense into a lot of screens, forcing their receivers to do most of the work. Despite one big play allowed in the first half, cornerback Will Likely played exceptionally well and held his own very well throughout the game. The defense forced three turnovers, including an interception from senior cornerback Jeremiah Johnson. Sophomore linebacker Yannick Ngakoue put a ton of pressure on the quarterback all day, showing his unlimited potential. However, it was safety Sean Davis who stole the show and was seemingly in on every single play, whether it was blitzing the quarterback, picking up a receiver or staying in his zone. There is certainly a lot to be happy about when you watch this defense dominate their opponent.
Overall, it was a successful game for Maryland. No major injuries and a convincing win over the Dukes in front of an electric crowd at Byrd Stadium. Coach Randy Edsall should certainly be pleased with his team’s performances and will look to build on his team’s performance when they travel to South Florida next week. Nonetheless, a great day for the Terps.