Offensive Line Grade: C+
Mandatory Credit: Paul Frederiksen-USA TODAY Sports
Maryland’s offensive line, I feel, has actually been relatively decent this season. No, it’s not the most perfect unit by any stretch of the imagination and there is certainly work to be done, but by and large this unit hasn’t been as bad as some want to make it out. Typically when the passing game goes wrong, the first thing that gets critiqued is the O-line. But Maryland has only given up five sacks all season long, and generally there has been a decent amount of improvement on the line.
The Terps have dropped back 101 times this year in the passing game and, as mentioned earlier, have given up 5 sacks even with a QB who scrambles a lot. Comparatively speaking, in teams with similar passing attempts, their sack rate is right on par or better than a lot of teams. BYU has about as many attempts and has given up 11 sacks; Marshall has dropped back 100 times and has given up 5 sacks; USC has given up even more; Notre Dame has given up more sacks. It can be argued that the line is at least somewhat doing their job.
And rushing wise, Maryland has never had better numbers under Randy Edsall. They’re blocking downfield effectively and the zone read is technically working when it’s being employed. C.J. Brown is rushing for more yards per attempt than he has, Wes Brown looks even better, and Brandon Ross is doing just fine. I’m not sure what more you could ask of the line at this point. Every team wants better line play; improvements are still encouraging.
The unit is improved, plain and simple, and it hasn’t even had 100% health. The two best prospects, Derwin Gray and Damian Prince, could very well improve the line play whenever their number is called.
(Defense is coming later this week…)