Maryland Football: Terps tangle with local foe Towson

(Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /

The Maryland football team made a lot of noise when they knocked off Texas in their season opener.

On Saturday, the Terrapins will face a local foe when Towson travels to Maryland Stadium.

Despite throwing an interception that was returned back for a touchdown in the first two minutes, quarterback Tyrrell Pigrome had a tremendous game in which he threw for a pair of touchdowns while running for another one. Unfortunately, Pigrome suffered a torn ACL in the game, which ends his season.

After a solid fourth quarter performance, true freshman Kasim will get his moment to lead the Terps going forward. Hill completed all three of his passing attempts for 44 yards while also rushing for a touchdown in last Saturday’s 51-41 win over Texas.

Maryland turned in strong performances in all three phases of the game. Antoine Brooks ran back a blocked field goal for a touchdown while the defense sacked quarterback Shane Buechele five times on the afternoon.

Storylines to watch

  • Kasim Hill – This may seem very obvious, but it’s going to be interesting to see how Hill performs in his first collegiate start. He’s had the week to prepare for Towson, so it’s worth monitoring how he looks throughout an entire game. Hill didn’t show any sembalance of nerves against Texas despite coming off the bench in a high pressure situation. He looked strong throwing the football while also making good decisions. Will the former St. John’s College (D.C.) face any adversity on Saturday?
  • Progress of the defense – While many fans were excited to see Maryland’s offense, the defense was very impressive in their own right. The front seven got to the quarterback at will and the secondary looked just as good. Maryland’s defense could be the difference maker this season if Hill performs at a high level. The secondary possesses several talented upperclassmen that look more than capable of holding their own after one week.
  • Running game for both teams – It’s no secret that Maryland has one of the most lethal ground attacks in the Big Ten and nothing should change this season. Ty Johnson rushed for 132 yards and a touchdown on just 12 carries against the Longhorns. Lorenzo Harrison III also chipped in 45 yards and should continue to get a significant amount of touches going forward. On the other hand, Towson has a very talented running back in redshirt sophomore Shane Simpson. Simpson struggled against Morgan State (just nine carries for 21 yards), but this is a guy that has the potential to take it the distance every time he touches the ball. His speed is second to none and he’s also a very good receiver out of the backfield. Simpson totaled 784 rushing yards and three touchdowns as a redshirt freshman, so it’s hard to see him having many games like last week’s.

Key player for each team

  • Front seven (Maryland) – Despite losing significant talent from last year’s team, the Terps did a marvelous job rushing the passer last week. However, the group took a big hit this week when it was announced that Jesse Aniebonam will likely miss the rest of the season with a fractured ankle. Now Maryland will use Melvin Keihn and Bryce Brand at the “Buck” position. Brand played well in his first collegiate game as he recorded a sack. The Terps’ linebackers were sensational as Jermaine Carter Jr. and Shane Cockerille combined for 14 tackles and a pair of sacks on the afternoon. Carter looked like a man possessed and could be one of the Big Ten’s biggest linebackers this season. It’s worth keeping an eye on the rotation at the “Buck” spot because Chandler Burkett could see some time there as well.
  • Shane Simpson (Towson) – With the amount of talent that Towson lost at the wide receiver position, Simpson is going to be expected to carry a pretty heavy workload this season. The former three-star recruit has the potential to break off a touchdown run on any play. As was mentioned above, his speed is unreal and he’s very shifty in the open field. The Terps did a good job stiffling the run against Texas and they’re going to have to do the same if they want to give Towson’s offense fits.

Projected starting lineups

QB: Kasim Hill (Fr.)
RB: Ty Johnson (Jr.) or Lorenzo Harrison III (So.)
WR: D.J. Moore (Jr.)
WR: Taivon Jacobs (Sr.) or DJ Turner (So.)
WR: Jacquille Veii (Sr.)
TE: Derrick Hayward (Sr.)
T: Derwin Gray (Jr.)
G: Sean Christie (Jr.)
C: Brendan Moore (Jr.)
G: Terrance Davis (So.)
T: Damian Prince (Jr.)
DE: Chandler Burkett (Sr.)
NT: Kingsley Opara (Sr.)
DT: Cavon Walker (Sr.)
BUCK: Melvin Keihn (Jr.)
SAM: Jalen Brooks (Sr.)
NICKEL: Antoine Brooks Jr. (So.)
WILL: Shane Cockerille (Sr.)
MIKE: Jermaine Carter Jr. (Sr.)
CB: JC Jackson (Jr.)
S: Darnell Savage Jr. (Jr.)
S: Qwuantrezz Knight (So.)
CB: Tino Ellis (So.) or Antwaine Richardson (So.)
Special Teams
K: Adam Greene (Sr.)
P: Wade Lees (So.)
QB: Ryan Stover (R-Fr.)
RB: Shane Simpson (R-So.)
FB: Jordan Waite (R-Jr.)
WR: Jabari Greenwood (Jr.)
WR: Shane Leatherbury (R-So)
TE: Joe Green (R-Jr.)
LT: Antonio Harris (R-Jr.)
LG: Nick Russolillo (R-Fr.)
C: Nick Carnesale (R-So.)
RG: Zane Ventimiglia
RT: Matt Kauffman
DL: Kanyia Anderson (R-Sr.)
DL: Clifton Jones (R-Sr.)
DL: Zain Harps Upshur (R-Jr.)
DL: Malik Tyne (R-So.)
LB: Keon Paye (R-So.)
LB: Diondre Wallace (Jr.)
LB: Robert Heyward (R-So.)
DB: Mitch Boals (Jr.)
DB: Monty Fenner (R-Jr.)
DB: Justice Pettus-Dixon (R-So.)
DB: Tyron McDade (R-Jr.)
Special Teams
K: Aidan O’Neill (So.)
P: Pat Toomey (R-Jr.)


There’s certainly not as much hype surrounding this week’s game. Towson is coming off an impressive 10-0 shutout of Morgan State. This is definitely a team that’s extremely talented for the FCS level. However, it’s hard to see this being close for very long.

Next: A closer look at the Towson offense

If Maryland jumps out of the gate similiar to last week, there’s no reason why this shouldn’t be a rout. Terps move to 2-0 with a 45-17 win over their neighbors.