top of page

MARYLAND TERRAPINS 2023 PREVIEW


The Maryland Terrapins were 8-5 in 2022, finishing with a victory over North Carolina State in the Duke’s Mayo Bowl. The Terps lose a fair amount of production as they only return 11 starters from last season. The offensive line saw the most turnover and while head coach Mike Locksley landed four OL from the transfer portal, only one has FBS experience. Similarly, the defensive line saw a lot of production leave and was replaced by three from the transfer portal. Again, only one has FBS experience. Below is my preview of each position group for the 2023 Maryland Terrapins.

OFFENSE

Quarterbacks: Senior Taulia Tagovailoa returns after completing 67.0% of his passes for 3,008 yards, 18 touchdowns, and eight interceptions. Those numbers were good enough to earn Tagovailoa 2nd Team All-Big Ten honors. The backup quarterback is sophomore Billy Edwards who finished 2022 with 308 passing yards and three touchdowns to go along with 136 rushing yards and one rushing touchdown. Edwards made his lone start of 2022 against Northwestern after Tagovailoa was unable to play due to an injury.


Running backs: Probably the deepest group on the team as the top six rushers from 2022 all return with four being running backs. Sophomore Roman Hemby led the Terrapins with 989 yards and 10 touchdowns. Fellow sophomore Antwain Littleton, II, is a 240-pound bruiser who was second on the team in both yards with 320 and touchdowns with five. The four returning running backs combined for 1,630 rushing yards in 2022. If there is a position that can handle a long-term injury, it would definitely be the running back.


Wide Receivers: The top two receivers from 2022 are back in senior WR Jeshaun Jones and junior TE Corey Dyches. Coach Locksley hit the transfer portal and landed wideout Tyrese Chambers from FIU and junior Kaden Prather from West Virginia. Two returning receivers on the two-deep are junior Tai Felton and sophomore Octavian Smith, Jr., who combined for 35 catches for 466 yards and four touchdowns in 2022. This should be a productive group provided Tagovailoa stays healthy.


Offensive Line: The BIGGEST concern for the offense as Maryland lost five OLs who had a combined 128 career starts. Coach Locksley landed four OLs from the transfer portal, however, only one of those, junior guard Marcus Dumervil, came from an FBS school. The starting five have a combined 31 career FBS starts, so this group will need to gel quickly if the Terrapins are going to have a successful season on offense.


DEFENSE

Defensive Line: As is the case with the offensive line, the defensive line also loses a lot of production. All four starters from 2022 are gone and junior DL Tommy Akingbestoe has the most tackles of any returning DL with 14. Three DLs were brought in from the transfer portal - redshirt freshman Jordan Phillips from Tennessee, junior Donnell Brown from St. Francis (PA), and senior Tre Colbert from Angelo State. This is a young and inexperienced group that will need to figure things out quickly. Brown plays the Jack position, which is similar to an EDGE rusher so sometimes plays as a LB and sometimes as a DL.


Linebackers: Sophomore Jaishawn Barham tied for the team lead with four sacks and was third in tackles with 58. Senior Ruben Hyppolite was banged up last season but is healthy heading into 2023 and is a solid veteran linebacker to mesh with Barham. This group has a good mix of experience and youth as the two-deep is made up of two seniors, one junior, and three sophomores. This should be one of the better LB units in the Big Ten.

Defensive Backs: Maryland has a dynamic duo at Safety with senior Beau Brade and junior Dante Trader, Jr., who combined for 147 tackles, four interceptions, and nine passes broken up in 2022. Junior Cornerback Corey Coley, Jr. and senior Nickleback Tarheeb Still are back and provide experienced DBs in the starting rotation. Cincinnati transfer Cornerback, senior Ja’Quan Sheppard transferred in and is listed as the starter opposite Coley, Jr. This will be one of the bigger groups in the country as all five starting DBs are 6-foot or taller. As is the case with the LBs, this group of DBs will be one of the better groups in the Big Ten.


Special Teams: The Terrapins’ specialists are like a classic yin and yang. The yin: senior Colton Spangler is the veteran punter who averaged 45.1 yards per punt in 2022 with a long of 63 and 16 that were downed inside the 20-yard line. Spangler has amassed 142 punts in his career. The yang: the kickers are sophomore Jack Howes and Michigan State transfer, senior Evan Johnson, who have attempted zero field goals and are a combined 2-3 on PATs for their careers. Coach Locksley is going with Howes to start the season, but I would expect a quick hook, pun intended, if Howes starts out the season rough. Cornerback Tarheeb Still has handled Maryland’s punt return duties the past two seasons and will do so again in 2023. The senior averaged 6.4 yards per return in 2022.


PREDICTION For Maryland

Any time you have a team that has a lot of turnover on one of the interior lines to start a season, that can cause nightmares for the head coach. When you have massive turnover on BOTH interior lines, that is a recipe for disaster. Maryland has a lot of good playmakers on both sides of the ball, but as the saying goes: “You will only go as far as your line will take you.”


However, I believe Mike Locksley has adequately replaced the losses on both lines, and by the time week three rolls around for that home game against Virginia, both the offensive and defensive lines will be solid. I see the Terps going 8-4 with losses coming at Ohio State and at home against Illinois, Penn State, and Michigan. All things considered with the line turnover, 8-4 is a really good season.

0 comments

Comments


Michigan Football
Blue Screen
bottom of page