Maryland Football (4-3, 1-3 B1G) is back on the field after a blowout loss to Minnesota 34-16 last week. The Terps hope to turn it around this Saturday against Indiana (2-5, 0-4 B1G) who were destroyed by #5 Ohio State 54-7.
Saturday: 10/30 Indiana vs Maryland (Homecoming)
College Park, Maryland
TV: Big 10 Network
Chris Vosters (pxp)
Matt Millen (color)
Krystle Rich (sideline)
Radio: Maryland Sports Radio Network
Johnny Holliday (pxp) / 43rd season
Steve Suter (analyst) / 1st season
105.7FM (Balt.) / 980AM (DC)
Maryland Statewide Radio Network
One Maryland App / Audacy Radio App
XM 196 / Sirius 119
It is a special homecoming this year as the 2001 ACC Champions will be honored, as that 2001 team was the first Terp’s team to win a conference championship since 1985. That conference win also earned them an Orange Bowl appearance that year as well with a 10-2 overall record. Those that will be part of the celebration include the head coach of the 2001 team Ralph Friedgen, as well as ACC Player of the Year LB E.J. Henderson. Current Terp’s head coach Michael Locksley was a member of that championship staff under Friedgen as he was the running backs and recruiting coordinator.
The injury bug has recently hit the Terp’s pretty hard on both offense and defense, but there is some good news on that front as true freshmen LB Branden Jennings is listed on this weeks depth chart, as he is returning from a leg injury that he suffered during the Sept 25th win against Kent State. This is a welcome return for a defense that gave up over 451 total yards, with 326 yards being on the ground last week against Minnesota.
Staying on the defensive side of the ball, the Terp’s defense has had 18 different players record at least one tackle for a loss this season, which ranks as the most in the Big 10 and is led by Grad Sr. DL Sam Okuayinonu who has 7.5 tackles for loss. The Terrapin defense ranks 31st in the country and third in the Big 10, as they have recorded 19 sacks (2.71 per game). Okuayinonu has been one of the bright spots, as he has recorded a team-high five sacks, which ranks him 32nd in the country.
Senior DB Jakorian Bennett has also played well as he averages 1.3 pass breakups per game, which ranks him ninth in the country and first in the Big 10 conference. This is the most per game of any Power Five players. Bennett also has eight total pass breakups (six breakups and two interceptions) puts him second among Power Five players
Junior QB Taulia Tagovailoa through seven games and has been very impressive as he is leading the conference in completion percentage at 71.1, which not only makes him one of the best QB’s in the Big 10, but that completion percentage also ranks him seventh in the country. Tagovailoa has also had four 300 yard passing games in 11 starts as a Terp, which ties him for third-most in program history.
Sophomore WR Rakim Jarrett in his first 11 games as a Terp has a total of seven touchdowns, which ties him with Greg Hill (1982-1984) for most in program history. Jarrett has touchdown receptions in five of seven games this year. His five touchdowns this year ranks him 39th in the country and fifth in the Big 10.
The Hoosiers come into the game on a three-game skid and so far a very disappointing season. The injury bug also hit Indiana in particular the QB position. Junior Michael Penix Jr. missed the last several games because of an injury to his throwing shoulder. His replacement Jack Tuttle injured his foot on the opening drive against #5 Ohio State. He did briefly return to the game, but could not stay in the game. If Penix and Tuttle are unable to play, that would leave FR Donaven McCulley or walk-on Grant Gremel to start against the Terps.
This game against the Hoosiers, at least on paper, should be an easy victory for the Terps. But, this is why they play the game. This is an opportunity for Maryland to get another win and get closer to being bowl eligible this season. I am wanting to see the Terp’s accomplish several things against IU.
First, The Terps must execute on both sides of the ball. The defense must play sound and tackle effectively. Offensively, they will have to get that running game going in order to take the pressure of Tagovailoa.
Second, The Terps need to limit the number of penalties and mental mistakes that have been a problem over the last few weeks. A good example, was last week against Minnesota, where Maryland was flagged for five personal foul penalties, including two blindside block penalties on the same play and two that allowed Minnesota to continue two drives, which led to points on the board for Minnesota.
The Terp’s are on a three-game skid and the long-term effects of another extended losing streak during the heart of a season cannot be understated. In terms of recruiting, a win could go a long way to reassuring the fanbase (and recruits) that the process is still working. If the Terrapins lose this game, there will be loud rumblings concerning the future of this program, and where Coach Locksley fits in that future.