Maryland began their 2016 season with a strong 52-13 victory over local opponent Howard.
The Terrapins looked extremely impressive on both sides of the football. We saw several freshmen earning key playing time along with some upper classmen making significant progress.
We’ve looked at the tape and will be handing out grades in our new weekly series. We’ll be giving Maryland player “Turtle Shells,” which will range from zero to four shells depending on a player’s performance.
We’re going to select four players every week that stood out in a positive or negative way and grade them accordingly.
Without further ado, let’s handout some “Turtle Shells” for the first time.
Next: DeMatha product already paying dividends
Freshman running back
was part of a stable of Maryland tailbacks that excelled on Saturday.
Harrison saw action early and often as he carried the ball nine times for 67 yards and a touchdown. The former Stag star put a stamp on the game with a nifty 10-yard touchdown run in the second quarter.
The true freshman showed off a tremendous amount of speed along with some phenomenal field vision. While he only stands at 5’7, Harrison has a great work ethic and clearly impressed the coaching staff throughout fall camp to get substantial playing time.
Obviously, things could definitely change once Wes Brown returns for Big Ten play. However, Harrison showed that he has a ton of talent and D.J. Durkin did allude to the fact that he’ll use four or five running backs prior to the season.
Grade: Four Turtle Shells
Next: Learning more about the quarterback rotation
It wasn’t a huge shock when Durkin named
as his starting quarterback prior to the season. However, it may have surprised some when freshmen
were listed as Hills’ backups on the first depth chart.
The Terps were dealt a tough blow when local four-star signal caller Dwayne Haskins flipped his commitment to Ohio State just days before National Signing Day. However, Durkin and his staff were ready for much an event as they recruited Pigrome out of Clay-Chalkville (Ala.).
Pigrome chose Maryland over the likes of Rutgers and Virginia Tech on National Signing Day and fans have been eagerly anticipating his debut ever since.
The three-star signal caller didn’t disappoint as he led the Terps on a scoring drive in his first collegiate action. With Maryland leading Howard 35-0, Pigrome entered the game and orchestrated a 58-yard scoring drive that ended in a five-yard touchdown run for himself.
Pigrome completed three of his four passes on his opening drive, including a 25-yard hookup with wideout DeAndre Lane right down the seam for a third down conversion. The freshman quarterback also excelled running the football as he totaled 53 yards and a touchdown on seven carries.
Maryland seems very confident that Hills will be “the guy” this season. However, it was great to see Pigrome get a significant amount of snaps and run Walt Bell’s offense at a high level.
Grade: Three Turtle Shells
Next: A former Hokie has found a home
Maryland heavily pursued
during his high school days at Gilman (Md.). However, he ended up spurning his hometown school for Virginia Tech.
After just one season in Blacksburg, Keihn decided that he wanted to transfer and chose to be close to home in College Park. He had to sit out the 2015 season due to NCAA transfer rules, but was looking to be a big-time contributor entering the 2016 campaign.
Keihn certainly made an impact in his first game as a Terp. He registered five tackles (four solo) and was all over the field against the Bison.
For example, Keihn displayed his speed off the edge in the first quarter. Howard was facing a 3rd-and-1 and William Parker received a handoff, but was completely stopped in his tracks behind the line of scrimmage by Keihn.
Keihn is incredibly quick off the line and displayed that in the second quarter as well. He made his way into the Howard backfield on two consecutive plays and wrapped up Anthony Philyaw for a pair of negative runs.
The former Hokie really looked like he could be a force for the Terps this season. After losing Yannick Ngakoue to the NFL, Maryland could definitely use a star pass rusher off the edge.
Grade: Four Turtle Shells
Next: An open Lane down the field
The wide receiver position is arguably the deepest of any on the Maryland roster this season.
It was definitely a surprise when last year’s leading receiver Levern Jacobs wasn’t listed as a starter. Instead, DeAndre Lane had a great fall camp and staked his claim to a starting job.
Lane did show flashes in 2015, but it was unclear what he could really bring to the table. Well, he certainly made a splash to open the 2016 season.
The senior wideout caught five passes for 75 yards against Howard. In 2015, he recorded only nine receptions.
Lane was targeted eight times on Saturday and had two catches of 25 yards. Both of those 25-yard receptions came on third down with Pigrome under center.
The speedy wideout has tremendous hands and really appears to be a big part of the offense. If Lane can continue to use his speed, he could be in open space quite a bit this season.