With four different head coaches over the past four years, things have gotten a little crazy for Maryland, but the Terps have finally decided to settle down with Mike Locksley, a former New Mexico head coach and interim head coach here at Maryland a few years ago. Locksley has shown to be a great OC at Alabama and Maryland, and he can recruit well above his weight class, but his track record of actually winning games hasn’t quite been there (He was 2-26 as UNM head coach). Maryland’s 9-15 record over the past two years has left a lot to be desired too, but there are pieces for Locksley to build around.
Former ECU head coach Scottie Montgomery takes over the offense, and he’ll have a good one to build around at QB in Virginia Tech transfer Joshua Jackson, who started 16 games with the Hokies over the past two seasons. All-conference HB Anthony McFarland returns after rushing for over 1,000 yards on 7.9 (!) yards per carry last year
The receiving corps returns three of the top four and adds 1st team All-MAC Buffalo transfer Tyler Mabry at the tight end spot. Sophomores Jeshaun Jones and Dontay Demusare names to build around for the future after combing for five touchdowns and over 500 yards last year as freshmen.
The offensive line will need to rebuild a little with just two full-time starters returning (three others have some starting experience), but with a core of young guys to build around, I’m expecting good things from the offense in year one.
On defense, the Terps brought in Jon Hoke, who has formerly coached defenses at Florida and South Carolina. Just five starters return but there are some names to build around on the defense, especially in the secondary where CB Tino Ellis (three TFL, 11 PBUs, one INT) and SS Antoine Brooks (2.5 sacks, seven TFL, three PBUs, one INT) return.
The defense has a good mix of experience and youth, with guys like sophomore end Durell Nchami and four-star freshman safety Nick Cross that look like future stars. A pair of highly touted transfers join the linebacking corps in Ohio State’s Keandre Jones and Clemson’s Shaq Smith, who both could start instantly. I’ve heard good things about the way this team has been performing in camp and I expect some improvement out of the defense.
I actually really like the potential of this Maryland team. Any time a new regime comes in to shake things up the transition can be tough, but I think Maryland has a good chance of making a bowl for just the second team since 2014 in Locksley’s very first year on the job.
|Date||Opponent||OPp. rank||Proj. Margin|
|9-Nov||at ohio state||5||-20.2|
|30-Nov||at michigan state||20||-9.3|
Average Projected Record: 5.0 wins, 7.0 losses (3.1 wins, 5.9 losses)