Maryland is set to host Bowling Green on Saturday, so here’s all the information you need to know about the game and a primer of the game.
The Terrapins began the season with a 50-21 victory over Richmond last Saturday. While Maryland’s performance wasn’t incredible, there were plenty of positives to build on. The Terps look to keep the momentum going against a very talented Bowling Green squad.
Most of the question marks surrounded the quarterback position since Perry Hills was named the starter just a week before the season. Hills struggled early on as he started off 0-of-4 with an interception and forced Maryland to settle for field goals. He also struggled to make the right reads and had to throw the ball away on several plays. He finished 12-of-21 for 138 yards and a pair of touchdowns. His first touchdown “pass” was actually a shovel pass to wide receiver Levern Jacobs, which went for a 23-yard touchdown.
Running back Brandon Ross was the most impressive Terp against the Spiders. The senior tailback carried the ball 18 times for 150 yards and a touchdown. Ross looked like a completely different back due to the fact that he made the correct reads and showed tremendous vision. The Delaware native was inconsistent at times last season, so a strong season opener was a great sign. If Hills continues to struggle, Maryland is going to need to have a strong ground game.
Maryland also got balanced production from their group of wideouts and tight ends. After Levern Jacobs and Amba Etta-Tawo, there was a lot of uncertainty with Maryland’s pass catchers. However, eight different players caught passes in Saturday’s win (one was running back Wes Brown). Malcolm Culmer only caught one pass, but took it for a 37-yard touchdown.
Among the biggest surprises were true freshman wideout D.J. Moore and tight end Avery Edwards. Moore caught two passes for 23 yards and is expected to be a deep threat for the Terps this season. The Pennsylvania native showed flashes during training camp and it appears to have carried over into the regular season. Edwards was a former North Carolina commit that is looking to put his legal troubles behind him and could provide some stability at the tight end position. He only caught two passes for 12 yards, but Maryland tight ends only recorded six receptions all last season.
From a defensive perspective, the Terps looked very strong. Maryland had a phenomenal pass rush that recorded four sacks against Richmond, including two by defensive tackle Quinton Jefferson. Sophomore defensive end Jesse Aniebonam was one of the most impressive players on the field, recording three tackles (one solo) and a sack. Linebacker Jermaine Carter was probably the best player on the defensive side of the ball. Carter registered a team-high eight tackles (five solo) and really showed his leadership qualities.
Then there was cornerback Will Likely. Likely has established himself as a tremendous cornerback during his first two season in College Park. However, his potential as a return man came tenfold last Saturday. Likely tallied 233 punt return yards, including a 67-yard touchdown. His historic day set a new Big Ten record, which was previously held by Iowa’s Nile Kinnick (1939). For his efforts, Likely was named the Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week and to the Paul Hornung weekly honor roll.
Maryland is face another tough offensive attack in Bowling Green this Saturday. The Falcons run a very up-tempo offense that can put up several points in the blink of an eye. The Terps defense is certainly going to have to be on their toes and Hills will definitely need to avoid a slow start if Maryland wants to improve to 2-0.
Location: College Park, Md.
Stadium: Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium
Time: 12:00 p.m. ET
TV Channel: BTN
Live Stream: BTN2Go
Commentators: Joe Beninati & Scott McBrien
Live Stats: UMTerps.com