The Maryland football team has a little less pressure to win this week.
The Terrapins welcome Towson to Maryland Stadium for just the second time ever.
Maryland is fresh off of their 51-41 victory over Texas this past Saturday. It was the program’s first win over a ranked opponent since defeating NC State back in 2010.
Despite the Longhorns putting up 41 points against the Terps, Maryland’s defense still played pretty well and got to the quarterback often in Saturday’s win. Three of the six Texas touchdowns came courtesy of a blocked field goal, interception return, and punt return that were run back for scores.
Maryland held Texas quarterback Shane Buechele to just 7.1 yards-per-pass. He was forced to throw swing passes quite a bit, which was a credit to the Terps’ secondary.
Let’s see what Towson will have to offer on the offensive side of the ball in Week 2.
Maryland knows better than most teams that a strong running game is a huge key to a successful offense.
Towson definitely has one of those in redshirt sophomore Shane Simpson.
Simpson wasn’t a heavily recruited player while starring at Easton Area High School in Pennsylvania. The 5’9 tailback rushed for 108 yards on 14 carries in 2015 before having his season cut short due to injury.
The former three-star back really burst onto the scene last season as a redshirt freshman. Simpson started the final seven games and totaled 784 yards and three touchdowns.
Simpson also averaged 5.6 yards-per-carry and finished sixth in the CAA in rushing despite seeing significantly less carries than several of the conference’s top rushers.
If you look at the box score from last week’s game, it’s clear that Simpson struggled as did many of the Tigers offensively. Simpsons carried the ball nine times for just 21 yards against Morgan State, but did score Towson’s only touchdowns.
Simpson is as dynamic a back as you’ll find. He has breakaway speed that allows him to be a threat after the catch.
In the open field, he’s as shifty as they come. If Simpson finds a hole, he’s usually off to the races.
Maryland did a great job limiting Kyle Porter and Chris Warren III in the season opener, but Simpson may be just as talented.
Prior to the season, it looked like Maryland would be facing former Oregon quarterback Morgan Mahalak.
However, Mahalak suffered an upper body injury against Morgan State, so redshirt freshman Ryan Stover will make his first career start.
Much like Mahalak, Stover struggled in Towson’s shutout win over Morgan State. He completed just 5-of-12 passes for 44 yards, but did complete passes of 24 and 18 yards.
Stover may not have as much upside as Mahalak, but he’s very talented.
The former Upper Dublin (Pa.) standout possesses the ability to run with the football. In fact, he rushed for 1,003 yards and 13 touchdowns during his senior season when he led his team to a 14-1 record.
He also throws a very nice ball as he can fit it into tight windows when necessary. Stover’s ability to extend the play allows him ample time to deliver strikes to his wideouts.
The Tigers had a forgettable outing last week as a unit, so Stover will have to wipe the slate clean. The talent is clearly there, so Maryland could be spying him quite a bit much like they would’ve if Mahalak was playing.
Despite Towson being an FCS school, the Tigers certainly have a good amount of talent assembled.
Former Kentucky wideout Jabari Greenwood is definitely needed for a team that lost most of their receiving core from last season. Ironically, Greenwood was a player that Maryland offered in their 2014 recruiting class when he was playing for Gonzaga High School in the District.
Greenwood recorded three receptions for 18 yards against Morgan State last week. That obviously doesn’t sound very impressive, but inconsistent quarterback play certainly didn’t do Towson’s skill players any favors.
Greenwood didn’t play a ton at Kentucky, but he has the potential to do significant damage during his time at Towson.
The former Gonzaga star has good size at 6’3 and isn’t afraid to rise up to haul in that big pass. It was evident on some of Mahalak’s errant passes last weekend that Greenwood possesses great hands and equally strong concentration.
It’s certainly going to be interesting to see how Stover performs in his first career start. If he’s going to have any success, look for Greenwood to be very involved in the passing game.