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Maryland Terrapins Preview 2022: Previewing, predicting, and looking ahead to the Maryland season with what you need to know and keys to the season.
Maryland Terrapins Preview
Head Coach: Mike Locksley, 4th year at Maryland, 13-23
7th year overall, 15-49: 2021 Preview
2021 Record: Overall: 7-6, Conference: 3-6
Offense, Defense Breakdown | Keys To The Season
Season Prediction, What Will Happen
Maryland Top 10 Players | Maryland Schedule & Analysis
Maryland Terrapins Preview 2022
Well that’s more like it.
Maryland struggled through six straight losing seasons, and just when it looked like it was going to happen again, the team won its last two games – and got its first bowl victory since 2010.
7-6 is nothing to build statues for, but for a program and head coach that needed a positive turn, that was it.
Yeah, yeah, all the Terps did was beat Rutgers and blow through a depleted Virginia Tech, but after getting obliterated in all six losses in a 1-6 run leading up the regular season finale, that was exactly the positive momentum needed to go into the offseason.
Now there’s excitement, and rightly so.
No, Maryland isn’t going to win the Big Ten title, but after a few years of building things up through strong recruiting classes, Mike Locksley has a whole lot of good pieces in place, His offensive style should be more consistent, and now it’s time to be that thorn-in-the-side team that screws up the big guys.
This should be the best Terp team in years, the schedule is easy early and …
The schedule gets brutal, and might take a win over Rutgers again in the regular season finale, but it should be a more entertaining ride to get there.
Maryland Terrapins Preview 2022: Offense
Yeah, the offense works – against the mediocre. Overall, Maryland was fourth in the Big Ten in total and scoring offense, was 13th in the nation in passing, and was okay in pass protection, but the total numbers don’t tell the whole story.
Maryland cranked up more than 460 yards in each of the seven wins – all against bad teams, with the exception of West Virginia – and was under the mark in all six losses. The idea is to be more consistent, more balanced, and better against the good teams – there are a whole lot of them on the slate.
It all starts with a passing game that’s going to be a problem for the rest of the Big Ten. Taulia Tagovailoa sputtered in 2020, but it all kicked in last year with 26 touchdowns and close to 4,000 yards. Now he’s the unquestioned veteran No. 1 guy, and he’s got the targets to do even more.
Rakim Jarrett led the way with 62 catches, Dontay Demus is one of the Big Ten’s most dangerous weapons when healthy, and on the way is Jacob Copeland from Florida – who caught 85 passes and scored nine times over the last three seasons – to add another deep threat.
The ground attack will be along for the ride, but it’ll be fine as long as it can boost up the yards per carry from the four yards per pop of last year.
All five starters are expected to be back to a functional offensive front – left tackle Jaelyn Duncan is the best of the bunch – but the backfield loses leading rusher Tayon Fleet-Davis.
Challen Faamatau and Colby McDonald are tough, quick backs, but the O will be about that passing game.
Maryland Terrapins Preview 2022: Defense
Like the offensive side, the defense was great against the mediocre and got rocked by everyone else. The Terps struggled to take the ball away, they were 12th in the conference in total defense, and 13th in scoring.
Worse yet, it’s going to be a bit of a work in progress with so many key parts gone and the depth needing time to develop.
The line has to be more of a factor. It only got gouged against the run a few times, and it only gave up four yards per carry, but the pass rush was sporadic and there weren’t nearly enough tackles for loss.
On the plus side, the 300+ pound tackle combination of Ami Finau and Moria Nasili-Kite should be a strength. Now the disruption has to come from the ends.
Ruben Hyppolite îs a good hitter in the middle of the linebacking corps, but he’s one of the few returning top tacklers. On the plus side, corner Tarheeb Still is back to go along with Jakorian Bennett on the outside.
Only two players came up with interceptions in 2021. New Indianapolis Colt Nick Cross came up with three, and Bennett got the other three. The corners have to be great, but the Terps need more help at safety.
Maryland Terrapins: Keys To The Season, Top Game, Top Transfer, Fun Stats NEXT
Maryland Terrapins: Keys To The Season, Top Game, Top Transfer, Fun Stats
Maryland Terrapins: Key To The 2022 Offense
Be better at running against the better teams.
It’s not that Maryland forgot about the ground game, but it just wasn’t good enough.
The crazy part about the final two wins was how the ground game actually worked, taking off for 263 yards against Rutgers and 206 against Virginia Tech – Howard was the only other D that gave up over 200 to the Terps.
It wasn’t because of a lack of trying, There was a brutal stretch when nothing worked, failing to get to two yards per carry overall for a month.
Balance, balance, balance. Maryland ran for 16 touchdowns in the seven wins and just four in the six losses.
Maryland Terrapins: Key To The 2022 Defense
Start taking the ball away.
The Terp defense wasn’t great last year against the offenses that worked, and it’s going to struggle this year until the back seven finds the right rotation and the line can start to get behind the line more.
Fine … just force turnovers.
The D gave the O almost no help with big plays after coming up with four takeaways in the opener against West Virginia. The two against Michigan State marked the only other time the Terps came up with multiple takeaways.
How bad did it get? They went through a five-game stretch without coming up with one and manufactured just two interceptions over the last ten games.
Maryland Terrapins: Key Player To The 2022 Season
DE Tyler Baylor, Sr.
Someone has to get into the backfield from the end.
Is Baylor the one who can rise up and be a factor starting in fall camp? Can he really take over for Sam Okuayinonu and match the six sacks and 8.5 tackles for loss, leading the team in both categories?
Baylor will get the first look at the end spot after coming up with nine tackles with a sack last season.
He’s not as big as Okuayinonu, but the 6-4, 265-pounder has the quickness and the time in the system to potentially be a break out playmaker. If he’s not it, someone else has to be it.
Maryland Terrapins: Key Transfer
PK Chad Ryland, Sr.
Florida WR Jacob Copeland is going to be a big deal, and a few other transfers will be factors, but Ryland might just be the difference between a good season and a big one.
Two of the wins last year were by three points each, but it’s Maryland. There won’t be a lot of close games. Even so, a transfer from Eastern Michigan might become a power player.
He hit 141 of 145 extra points in his four years, and after a rocky start, he nailed 30-of-35 field goals over the last two seasons. Considering Maryland only came up with 14-of-21 field goals last year and hasn’t been about 70% on field goals since 2018, he’ll matter.
Maryland Key Game To The 2022 Season
at Michigan, Sept. 24
There are measuring stick games, and there’s the Big Ten opener on the road against a team that has annihilated you for several years.
Oh sure, Ohio State has run light scrimmages against Maryland more often than not, but at least that 52-51 thriller in 2018 was close. Maryland hasn’t shown up against Michigan since it won back in 2014.
It lost last year in a 59-18 squeaker to make it six straight brutal blowouts by 21 points or more. This time around the late September meeting will show just how competitive the team might be against all the big boys coming up.
Maryland Terrapins: 2021 Fun Stats
– Maryland Penalties Per Game: 2020 8.8 – 2021 6.7
– Kickoff Return Average: Opponents 26.02 yards – Maryland 17.05 yards
– Extra Points: Opponents 47-of-48 – Maryland 41-of-46
Maryland Terrapins Season Prediction, What Will Happen NEXT
Maryland Terrapins Season Prediction, What Will Happen
Will Maryland have something for the good teams this time around, or will it continue to follow form and beat the bums, get steamrolled by the talented, and then hope it all works out in the end?
There are way, way, way too many flaws with the 2021 Terps, but there’s also an offensive system and passing game with the potential to rise up and take down just about anyone if it’s all working.
However, the defense could desperately use a few layups to ease into the season and fine the right rotation …
And that’s exactly what it’s about to get.
Set The Maryland Terrapins Regular Season Win Total At … 7
Buffalo, at Charlotte, South Alabama.
Kids, that’s how you put together a non-conference schedule when you play in one of the toughest divisions in college football.
Throw in home games against Purdue, Northwestern, and Rutgers, and mix in the road trip against Indiana and a possible real, live upset over a real, live good team, and getting to six wins isn’t asking for much.
At Michigan, Michigan State, at Wisconsin, at Penn State, Ohio State. The passing game has to rock and roll against one of them, right?
Yeah. Figure a loss in one of the 50/50 games – like against Purdue – and an upset somewhere, and again, six wins is safe.
Seven is more likely.