2022 Maryland Terrapins Preview

by Matt Fargo

Maryland Terrapins

2021-22 Season Record 6-6 (3-6 Big Ten East) - 5-8-0 ATS - 8-5-0 O/U

Returning Starters

Offense - 9
Defense - 7

Overview

Since leaving the ACC and joining the Big Ten in 2014, Maryland has yet to have a winning conference record as it has gone 19-47 including a 3-6 mark last season. Playing in the brutal East Division with the likes of Ohio St., Michigan, Michigan St. and Penn St. since its arrival has not helped matters as the Terrapins have gone 4-25 against the big four with nearly every one of those losses being blowouts. Thanks to a 3-0 nonconference record last season, Maryland went bowling for the first time since 2016 where it defeated Virginia Tech 54-10 and can carry that momentum into this season where expectations are high for the first time in a while. The Terrapins bring back 16 starters, they have a returning production ranking of No. 40 in the country and their recruiting classes over the last three years have been exceptional. Head coach Mike Locksley could be building something good here in his fourth season.

Offense

After years with a flailing offense, Maryland stepped it up last season as it finished No. 33 in total offense and had one of the best passing games in the nation, coming it at No. 14 thanks to the breakout of quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa. He threw for 3,860 yards with a 69 percent completion rate while throwing 26 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. A year of great experience and success should make him even better this season and cutting down the turnovers will help. The receiving corps is loaded with Rakim Jarrett and Dontay Demus, Jr., who combined for 1,336 yards and eight touchdowns and they brought in another deep threat through the transfer portal. The one thing lacking was a running game as the Terrapins were No. 94 in the nation and lost their leading rusher but there will be improvements. The offensive line brings back all five starters and with defenses keying on the passing game, the ground game can excel.

Defense

This is where Maryland has struggled for years, especially against those big four teams, although there has been improvement in each of the last two seasons. The Terrapins were No. 93 in total defense and No. 105 in scoring defense as they could not stop teams on third down, allowing opponents to convert over 40 percent of the time, and were near the bottom in the country with only 12 takeaways. Look for both areas to improve this season despite some key losses. The defensive front was strong in the middle and will be again but the linebackers will have to step up. Ruben Hyppolite II was the fourth leading tackler last season and will lead a young group that needs to attack the ball and there were just seven forced fumbles last year. The secondary possesses two strong cornerbacks led by Jakorian Bennett and like the linebackers, help will needed in the middle as the safety spots will be young and thin early on.

2022 Season Outlook

Locksley was a disaster at New Mexico where he compiled a 2-26 record and then had a 1-5 stint here as an interim coach in 2015 but after three years at Alabama, the final one as offensive coordinator, he got a second chance in College Park. It did not start great but things are taking a turn for the good and this is a very important year with so much returning production. The nonconference schedule is very gettable again this year as the Terrapins have home games against Buffalo and SMU sandwiched around a road game at Charlotte so a 3-0 start is a must and then it begins. They open Big Ten play at Michigan and at home against Michigan St. and those two games will be an indicator of how the rest will go. Back-to-back road games at Wisconsin and Penn St. and a home game against Ohio St. is a brutal late stretch. The O/U win total is 6 so taking care of business against the teams they should beat is essential for a winning record. 

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