Ohio State vs. Maryland Preview

During his time as Maryland’s head coach, Randy Edsall has gone 0-11 against ranked teams. His current quarterback situation suggests it will soon be 0-12.

Caleb Rowe already has 12 picks this season, including 7 in the past 2 games, so Edsall has indicated he’s going to go in another direction.

Daxx Garman saw playing time in the Terps most recent game, a 28-0 loss to Michigan, but he went 2-9 for 29 yards and was sacked 3 times. If he starts against the Buckeyes, it will be just the next step in what has already been a nomadic playing career for Garman. The signal caller switched from an Oklahoma to Texas high school, started college ball at Arizona, then went to Oklahoma State before ending up at Maryland.

Maryland’s other option is Perry Hills, who began the season as the starter before being benched in favor of Rowe following the team’s 48-27 loss to Bowling Green. Hills was only averaging 6.0 yards per attempt, had a completion percentage just under 53 percent, and didn’t even appear in the two-deep following his demotion.

For that reason, the Terrapins are ranked 103rd nationally in passing. In other words? A mess.

They are somewhat better rushing the ball, ranked 83rd in the country, averaging 162 yards a game, and 5.08 yards a carry.

Senior Brandon Ross, a 5’10” running back, leads the team with 402 yards on 73 carries. Interestingly, with Maryland trying to erase deficits late in games this season, they’ve had to abandon the running game, and so only one of Ross’s 402 yards has come in the fourth quarter of a game.

Wes Brown is the team’s second-leading rusher with 31 carries and 151 yards. His fourth-quarter total? 32 yards.

The offensive line, even though they’ve done some shuffling up front–moving Ryan Doyle from right tackle to left guard and inserting right tackle Damian Prince into their starting lineup–has only allowed 6 sacks in 5 games.  All the lineman weigh 300 pounds or more. (Prince alone is 328.) So they are one of the bigger outfits in the Big Ten.

The defense looked competent against Michigan, but has struggled overall. Right now they are the 95th ranked scoring defense in the country, giving up almost 32 points a contest. They have lost defensive lineman David Shaw (whose family owns two worm farms) and linebacker Jefferson Ashiru to injuries. Plus, they are making a transition from a 3-4 to a 4-3 defense.

Linebacker Jermaine Carter leads Maryland with 36 solo tackles, 54 tackles overall, and he also has 6 tackles for loss. That’s perhaps not surprising. Athletic ability runs (and dunks) in his family. His cousins are Vince Carter and Tracy McGrady.

Yannick Ngakoue, a junior defensive tackle, has 6.5 sacks.

But the most prolific member of the defense is 5’7″, 175 pound corner William Likely. He already owns at least a share of 8 team records (2 on defense, 6 on special teams). He has 7 pass breakups this season and has forced 2 fumbles.

As mentioned, he’s also a special teams standout, and has returned four punts for touchdowns over the course of his career. Likely also returns kicks.

They have 2014’s Lou Groza Award-winning kicker Brad Craddock on the roster. He’ll be hard pressed to repeat, though, as he has missed a 28-yard attempt this year and also had a missed extra point.

Ohio State welcomes in Maryland as their homecoming guest this Saturday at noon on 97.1 The Fan.

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