RB Grades: C
Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports
The running game for the Terrapins has been one of the more confusing aspects of the team. While C.J. Brown is listed as the QB, he’s ran more times (35 attempts) than any back on the roster. He’s also got more yards (219), touchdowns (3) and averages more yards per carry (6.26) than the other backs as well. Because of Maryland’s option offense, Brown calls his number often and has generally done pretty well. Consider that Marcus Mariota has a career rushing average of 7.5 yards per game, and it’s evident that Brown does a decent amount of damage with his legs.
Second in total yardage on the ground has been Wes Brown, who has carried it 26 times for 142 yards over two games. Brown was withheld from the third game of the season, but his 5 yards per carry have been nothing short of refreshing. Brown isn’t an explosive back by any stretch, but he is a power back who is very hard to take down. Teams have had to gang tackle him to varying degrees of success.
Meanwhile, Brandon Ross comes in third at a steady 4.2 yards per carry but might be a better back because of his ability to catch the ball. This is what we’ve come to expect from Ross; steady grinding on the ground with good enough hands to catch and run. Ross has 111 yards on the ground, but he’s also got 7 receptions for 73 yards. Ross is getting more and more involved in the passing game and it’s really helping out the passing game, as he averages over 10 yards a reception.
Overall, the group is middling on the national level (50’s and 60’s) in yards per attempt, total yards, and yards per game. If you take out the first week against an FCS school, the Terrapins look substantially worse on the ground (75th nationally and averaging 4.1 yards per carry). C.J. Brown has taken the lion’s share of the carries in this offense, but that’s a product of the system Maryland runs. In an ideal world, some of the other backs are able to shoulder a bit of the load so Brown stays healthy, but that’s no guarantee.