Terps Football: 5 Thoughts Before Maryland/Ohio State
Opponent: #3 Ohio State Buckeyes (8-0, 5-0 Big Ten Conference)
Location: Ohio Stadium (104,944)
Date: Saturday, November 9, 2019
Time: 12:00 PM ET
TV/Radio Broadcasts: FOX, Maryland Sports Radio Network
Series Record: 5-0 Ohio State
Nearly one year after the Terrapins were a two-point conversion away from shocking the world and knocking off the Buckeyes at home, they’ll travel to Columbus this weekend to face the new #1 team in the College Football Playoff Rankings. Maryland has never beaten Ohio State in their history, and 2018 was the only year they came remotely close.
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1. Four Straight Losses…
Last week’s game marked the fourth straight time the Terrapins have lost, with just one of those games decided by less than 25 points. It’s been an ugly stretch of games for head coach Michael Locksley’s unit, and it’s not going to get any easier this week against the best team in the Big Ten Conference. Quarterback Josh Jackson looked awful once again against Michigan, completing just 45% of his passes for 97 yards. The offense’s rushing attack was working fairly well, but there’s only so much running you can do when you’re down by three scores at halftime.
2. Will We See More Of Lance LeGendre?
One relatively surprising development in last weekend’s game was the number of snaps that freshman quarterback LeGendre received. He only threw the ball twice, completing one pass for 7 yards. But he showed good burst with his legs, rushing 7 times for 39 yards. Locksley has expressed a desire to get him more snaps, and they’ll be able to get him into two more games without burning his redshirt. As Jackson continues to struggle, the competition for next season’s starting job has begun.
3. The Pass Defense Looked Better
There were plenty of negatives to look at after last week’s game, but one positive was the performance of Maryland’s pass defense. Michigan’s quarterbacks threw for just 176 yards, and averaged about 6 yards per throw. Maryland linebacker Keandre Jones led the way with two pass deflections. It’s a performance to build on for defensive coordinator Jon Hoke’s unit.
4. A Goal For This Week
Don’t get embarrassed.
In all seriousness, the goal for any game in which your team is a massive underdog is to get the game to the fourth quarter and be down by a maximum of two scores. Last season, the Terrapins were up 31-24 on the Buckeyes heading into the final frame. No one expects Maryland to win this game, but showing some signs of life and competition would be a welcome sight to fans.
5. What’s Up With Recruiting?
Earlier this week, the Terrapins suffered their second de-commitment in Locksley’s 2020 recruiting class. 3-star CB Rashad Battle and 3-star DE Jordan Mitchell, both from the state of Georgia, have re-opened their respective recruitments.
Maryland’s 2020 recruiting class currently ranks #48 in the country, and #11 in the conference. They have 15 total commits, including just one blue-chip recruit (4-star LB Ruben Hyppolite II). They’re still in the mix for a number of local 4-star players, but have already missed out on a large number of them. One of the primary reasons that Locksley was hired as the program’s head coach is his local recruiting prowess, but thus far it has yet to pay off.
Zack is a financial analyst for a defense contractor in Washington, DC. The Owings Mills native focuses most of his efforts on Maryland Football recruiting and individual coach and player pieces; but also covers Terps Basketball. He has established relationships with Big Ten beat reporters across the conference, which he utilizes in his game previews. Now a Sr. Terps Analyst for BSL, Zack can be reached at: [email protected]