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Previewing The Enemy: Maryland Terrapins

No. 14 Penn State football is back in Beaver Stadium, folks.

The Maryland Terrapins are coming into town after they were away last week at Camp Randall Stadium. It will be their first time in Happy Valley since 2020 when they claimed just their third win ever over Penn State.

Taulia Tagovailoa headlines a dangerous offense that’s put up respectable numbers this season, but he’s far from Maryland’s only weapon. Let’s take a look at the Terrapins before 3:30 p.m. rolls around on Saturday.

The Team

Maryland comes into Beaver Stadium fresh off a 13-point loss to Wisconsin in Madison. The Terrapins now hold a 6-3 record and claim fourth place in the Big Ten East after also falling to No. 4 Michigan and Purdue. It’s worth noting that their loss in Ann Arbor was by just seven points.

Mike Locksley is in his fourth season at the helm of the program and holds a 19-26 record as head coach. In 2021, he lead Maryland to its first bowl appearance in five years and took down Virginia Tech 54-10 in the Pinstripe Bowl.

Dan Enos calls the shots on offense and is in his second season as offensive coordinator. He comes from Miami, where he held the same role, and has head coaching experience at Central Michigan as well. His offense ranks fourth in scoring, total offense, and passing offense in the Big Ten this season.

Brian Williams, who James Franklin said is doing a “really good job,” is in his first year as defensive coordinator and comes in from Godby High School. The Terrapins rank eighth in scoring defense and eleventh in pass yards allowed per game.

Offense

Redshirt junior quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa runs Maryland’s offense and transferred into the program from Alabama in 2020. He sits in third place in the Big Ten with a 69.9 completion percentage and has the fifth-most passing touchdowns in the conference with 15. He’s surpassed 2,000 passing yards this season and has thrown six interceptions.

Tagovailoa’s favorite target through the air is Rakim Jarret, who was recruited by Penn State and Franklin said is a player to watch in this matchup. He’s amassed 376 yards this season and passes the Terrapins’ wideouts with three scores and 34 catches.

Wide receivers Jacob Copeland and Jeshaun Jones have gotten in on the fun through the air as well, each breaking the 300-yard receiving mark and hauling in a pair of touchdowns.

Tight end Corey Dyches is tied with Jarret for most receiving yards with 376 and has also scored three times. His backup, CJ Dippre, was identified by Franklin as a guy who stood out on tape and has caught 21 passes this season.

Redshirt freshman Roman Hemby is the Terrapins’ go-to guy on the ground and easily leads the way with 747 yards on 121 carries and seven scores. His 6.17 yards per carry are good for second in the Big Ten and Maryland ranks seventh in the conference in rushing offense, averaging north of 160 yards per game.

Franklin also identified right tackle Delmar Glaze as an impressive guy on film. Maryland has allowed 22 sacks this season, which is fourth-worst in the conference.

Defense

Defensive safety Beau Brade easily paces the team with 60 tackles. His two interceptions and two forced fumbles are also tied for the most on the team. The defensive back has also been credited with four passes defended this year.

Brade is flanked by sophomore Dante Trade Jr., who has 39 tackles and two interceptions to his name this year. Jakorian Bennett, Tarheeb Still, and Deonte Banks round out the rest of the secondary. Bennett leads the team with nine passes defended

Franklin said Bennet and Mosiah Nasili-Kite were the defensive backs who impressed on film. Nasili-Kite has 17 tackles this season.

Jaishawn Barham and Ahmad McCullough lead the linebacker room with 41 tackles and the former was recruited heavily by Penn State. Barham, the middle linebacker, has also forced a fumble this season and has three sacks.

Fa’Najee Gotay and Gereme Spraggins have also found success at linebacker this season and each have 24 stops. Redshirt senior Durell Nchami has three sacks and a forced fumble as well.

On the defensive line, Franklin said tackle Ami Finau is someone to keep an eye on. He has 17 tackles but has not recorded a sack this season. Greg China-Rose leads the team with four sacks and has 19 total tackles. Henry Chibueze and Tommy Akingbesote have two a piece.

Lineman Anthony Booker Jr. has just seven tackles this season but has forced two fumbles, which is tied for most on the team, and has a sack as well.

Special Teams

Chad Ryland, an Eastern Michigan transfer, is the placekicker and has missed one of his 33 extra-point attempts this season. He’s 73.3% overall on field goals and is an impressive three-for-six from 50+ yards.

Colton Spangler has mostly been the punter and has a season-long kick of 63 yards and is averaging north of 46 yards per punt. He’s pinned 10 of his 35 punts inside the 20-yard line.

Tarheeb Still’s 8.7 yards per punt return paces the Big Ten. Octavian Smith handles kick-return duties.

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About the Author

Ryan Parsons

Ryan is a redshirt senior majoring in business and journalism from "Philadelphia" and mostly writes about football nowadays. You can follow him on Twitter @rjparsons9 or say hi via email at [email protected]

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