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Early '18 Thoughts


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#1 BSLChrisStoner

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Posted 26 November 2017 - 11:28 PM

There needs to be easily visible on-field improvement in Year 3.

Had a Top 25 recruiting class last year.
On pace for another Top 25 class for '18.

Recruiting ranking wise, there is plenty of talent at O-Line.  Performance needs to improve.

D-Line, the talent that exists has minimal experience. They can't be any worse.

Piggy and Hill figure to miss the Spring... hopefully ready to go to start the Fall camp.
Bortenschlager gained experience this year, and will get more in the Spring.

Will see what happens with the Juniors who could jump... I'm mainly concerned about Aniebonam , and Prince (he shouldn't leave... flashed at times, but also a number of lapses).

I thought MD would win 4 or 5 games in 2017.  After they beat Texas, I got excited and thought a bowl was possible. While I'd like to see what the '17 season would have looked like with a healthy Piggy or Hill... they earned their 4-8 record.

They need to show they belong on the same field with quality teams next year.  If they don't, that will be a problem.

The schedule is a lot more forgiving next year.   A 7-5 regular season wouldn't surprise me... but while a lot of people would be excited by a jump from 4 to 7 wins... I'll judge the season by their ability to play with better teams.  


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#2 BSLMikeLowe

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Posted 26 November 2017 - 11:31 PM

I think it's a very important season for the coaching staff. Year 3 is when you really want to show people tangible signs of improvement. Fail to do that and seats get warm.


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#3 BSLChrisStoner

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Posted 26 November 2017 - 11:40 PM

I think it's a very important season for the coaching staff. Year 3 is when you really want to show people tangible signs of improvement. Fail to do that and seats get warm.


Absolutely.

Young talent or not, you gotta get the most talented guys you have on the field... and they gotta show out and compete each week.

No more getting run off the field....  and you really need to be able to leap up and steal a game where you'd traditionally expect to lose.

That early rematch vs. Texas will be interesting.  They will have plenty of talent, and they will be looking for revenge.


 



#4 BSLMikeLowe

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Posted 26 November 2017 - 11:51 PM


That early rematch vs. Texas will be interesting.  They will have plenty of talent, and they will be looking for revenge.

 

For sure, they will have that game circled on their calendar. Terps ruined their big party. I see it's the opening game of the season again. It's also in FedEx (yuk). I guess they wanted it there because Texas expects to have a ton of their fans show up for it.



#5 BSLZackKiesel

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Posted 27 November 2017 - 08:47 AM

Offensively, the running game will be a strength once again. Even if Ty Johnson leaves for the NFL (and I doubt he will), you've still got Lorenzo Harrison, Jake Funk, Javon Leake, and of course Anthony McFarland. The entire offensive line is set to return. There's a chance Derwin Gray and/or Damian Prince jump to the NFL, but I doubt they will at this point. There should be enough talent at wide receiver if D.J. Moore leaves (and I'd assume he does), but some of it is unproven/inexperienced.

 

Defensively, the biggest strength will be the secondary. JC Jackson, Tino Ellis, Antoine Brooks, and Darnell Savage all return. There's a slight chance that Jackson leaves for the NFL, but I doubt it. The rest of the defense, other than Jesse Aniebonam, will be fairly inexperienced. You're looking for two players to break through at defensive tackle. Adam McLean got better and better as this season went along, and got more and more playing time. Cam Spence and the Gaddy twins will be given every opportunity to become starters, so that's the biggest thing to watch this spring. Isaiah Davis will be excellent at linebacker, and I'm excited to see Nick Underwood, who the coaching staff raved about in the off-season.

 

We'll also see a new kicker next season, and Joseph Petrino should be the favorite to win the job as a true freshman. Dude's got an enormous leg, with range from 60.

 

So the biggest thing to watch this spring is the competition along the defensive line (especially at defensive tackle). Also worth watching some of the WR spots, especially if Moore leaves. And of course, it'll be interesting to see how Bortenschlager and Henderson look at QB.

 

There are a few freshmen who will be enrolling early and participating in spring practices, most notably CB Noah Boykin, OT TJ Bradley, and TE Chigoziem Okwonko. Boykin and Bradley will have a tough time breaking through at their respective positions, but given the lack of production from the tight ends in the past two seasons, if Okwonko can impress the coaching staff he may work his way into some early playing time. He's not much of a blocker, but he can certainly catch the football.


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#6 Mackus

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Posted 27 November 2017 - 09:38 AM

Super excited to see Hill healthy for an entire season.  Hope he can get back in time to begin the year at 100% and remain that way for the entire year.

 

As far as Durkin, as Mike said if they aren't solid next year, I'd say 6-7 wins or more, then his seat gets warm.  I don't think his job is in any danger after 2018 unless there is a complete implosion back to 2-3 wins.  But if we have another 4-5 win season, or even 6 uninspiring wins and get smacked around in a shitty bowl game, then he'd be squarely on the hot seat heading into 2019.

 

I expect a good season next year.  I think we finally have a good QB, just need to keep him healthy, and hope that the other units are solid enough to beat the rest of the third tier teams and maybe steal one or two against that second tier.  We still have no hope of doing anything meaningful against the top tier.  We aren't gonna compete with OSU or Penn State or whichever of Michigan/Wisconsin/Michigan State are really good next season.


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#7 Mackus

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Posted 27 November 2017 - 11:54 AM

Hill only played in three games.  Should be able to get a medical redshirt, right?  I think if he plays in less than 4 and then has a season-ending injury you can get one.



#8 BSLZackKiesel

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Posted 27 November 2017 - 12:18 PM

Hill only played in three games.  Should be able to get a medical redshirt, right?  I think if he plays in less than 4 and then has a season-ending injury you can get one.

Yes, he'll be able to get one.


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#9 BSLEricGarland

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 08:57 AM

I really hope Moore doesn't leave. Given the year he had despite our QB woes, I can't imagine the year he'll have when we get our first and second string QBs back. 

 

The path to six wins seems much easier next year, if we can stay healthy! 



#10 Mackus

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 09:06 AM

Would be great for the team if he returns, but I don't see it happening.

 

He was an absolute pleasure to watch.  Bortenschlager looked downright competent every time he threw Moore's direction.  He's gonna make an NFL team happy.



#11 BSLChrisStoner

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 09:09 AM

2018
Sept. 1: Texas (at FedEx Field)
Sept. 8: at Bowling Green
Sept. 15: Temple
Sept. 29: Minnesota
Oct. 6: at Michigan
Oct. 13: Rutgers
Oct. 20: at Iowa
Oct. 27: Illinois
Nov. 3: Michigan State
Nov. 10: at Indiana
Nov. 17: Ohio State
Nov. 24: at Penn State

 

 

6 wins has to happen vs. that schedule (tripping to Bowling Green makes that interesting).


7 wins is very plausible, and to me should be the realistic goal.


8 (Texas, BG, Temple, Minnesota, Rutgers, Illinois, Michigan St, Indiana) is 'possible', but I'll believe it when I see it.

 

6 wins, Durkin's seat is warm.

Below 6, and it's scorching.

BG won 2 games this year though, and MD should / needs to win that game no matter what.
Temple was 6-6 this year... they've had moments the last few years. Interesting to see what they look like next year. At home, need to win that.

Games vs. the West are easier...  would expect to lose at Iowa, but win there is possible.  Illinois at home needs to be a win. Won at Minnesota this year, should win at home (but that figures to be pretty much an even matchup imo).

Need to see improvement vs. the division. Not talking just wins and losses, but performance.  Look like you belong on the same field.  Saturday vs. Penn State was particularly embarrassing, and I hope MD has that game in their heads this entire off-season.
 



#12 BSLRobShields

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 10:27 AM

7-5 is the ceiling.

 

Borderline bowl eligible team.


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#13 BSLZackKiesel

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 12:11 PM

Testudo Times: Maryland football's 2017 season showed some promise, but finished on a low point


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#14 BSLZackKiesel

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 12:22 PM

I'd agree that 7 wins is a reasonable expectation. If they beat Texas to start the year, they have a much better shot at 8. But 7 wins would be an excellent building block for next season, especially heading into what will likely be one of the tougher schedules in the nation once again in 2019.


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#15 BSLRobShields

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 02:06 PM

I'd agree that 7 wins is a reasonable expectation. If they beat Texas to start the year, they have a much better shot at 8. But 7 wins would be an excellent building block for next season, especially heading into what will likely be one of the tougher schedules in the nation once again in 2019.

Reasonable is the right word there.

 

7 wins shouldn't be an expectation though.


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#16 BSLMikeLowe

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 02:26 PM

I see no good reason for Moore to return if an NFL career is his main goal. He looks about as NFL-ready as he's going to get playing at the college level. Another year would be more likely to lower his draft stock than raise it.


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#17 BSLMikeLowe

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 02:38 PM

2018
Sept. 1: Texas (at FedEx Field)
Sept. 8: at Bowling Green
Sept. 15: Temple
Sept. 29: Minnesota
Oct. 6: at Michigan
Oct. 13: Rutgers
Oct. 20: at Iowa
Oct. 27: Illinois
Nov. 3: Michigan State
Nov. 10: at Indiana
Nov. 17: Ohio State
Nov. 24: at Penn State

 

On the surface that looks like a much more forgiving schedule. Replacing UCF with Temple and Wisconsin with Illinois should be a path to two wins they didn't get this season. There's no Towson on there, which is a good thing, IMO. Bowling Green is a game they should still win....on a side note, it should be fun for Durkin to go home and play his alma mater, though I'm sure he will downplay that.

 

The Rutgers, Minnesota and Indiana games ended up being 50/50 games this season, and they won two of them. I imagine that will be the case next season, and they have to again find a way to win at least two. Also need to have another "Texas" game where they win one they aren't expected to, whether it's the rematch with the Longhorns or somewhere else. And it goes without saying they need to put a stop to the embarrassing scores against the OSUs and PSUs.

 

Like I said in another thread, anything less than bowl eligibility and the heat is really on for 2019.



#18 BSLZackKiesel

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Posted 01 December 2017 - 07:35 PM

Baltimore Sun: Terps lose offensive line coach Tyler Bowen to Penn State

 

So the Terps will be on their third offensive line coach in three years. Not great for continuity.


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#19 BSLMikeLowe

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Posted 01 December 2017 - 08:31 PM

Baltimore Sun: Terps lose offensive line coach Tyler Bowen to Penn State

 

So the Terps will be on their third offensive line coach in three years. Not great for continuity.

 

 

Wouldn't that actually be 4 in 4 years?

 

Not necessarily good, but maybe an opportunity to really boost the profile of the coaching staff, per Chris' thread.



#20 BSLZackKiesel

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Posted 01 December 2017 - 08:54 PM

Wouldn't that actually be 4 in 4 years?

 

Not necessarily good, but maybe an opportunity to really boost the profile of the coaching staff, per Chris' thread.

Yeah, you're right. I was thinking different one in each of Durkin's years, but Studrawa is the last offensive line coach to be here multiple years (2014, 2015). It'll be interesting to see who they target.


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