Previewing The Enemy: Maryland Terrapins
No. 11 Penn State football (7-1, 3-1 Big Ten) will head south to take on the Maryland Terrapins (5-3, 2-3 Big Ten) at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday at SECU Stadium in College Park, Maryland.
The Nittany Lions are coming off a 33-24 win over Indiana, while the Terps recorded their third consecutive loss at Northwestern 33-27 last week.
Let’s preview the Terrapins ahead of Saturday’s matchup.
Maryland generated some buzz earlier in the season, as it received votes to be ranked in the AP Top-25 Poll after starting the year 5-0. The Terps were competitive for part of their game at Ohio State, but the Buckeyes eventually pulled ahead to hand them their first loss of an active losing streak that is currently at three games.
Mike Locksley has been the head coach at Maryland since December 2018. He’s gone 25-26 with wins at the Pinstripe Bowl and Duke’s Mayo Bowl in 2021 and 2022, respectively. This is his third stint in College Park, previously serving as the running backs coach from 1997 to 2002, and the recruiting coordinator from 1998 until 2002. He returned for his second stint from 2012 to 2015 and operated as the offensive coordinator, quarterbacks coach, and interim head coach for part of 2015. Locksley then became Alabama’s offensive coordinator before finally returning to be Maryland’s head coach, where he is coming off consecutive winning seasons.
Josh Gattis, who was Penn State’s wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator from 2014 to 2017, is in his first season as the offensive coordinator. Meanwhile, Brian Williams is in his second season as the defensive coordinator.
Maryland’s offense is averaging 32.63 points per game and has versatile weapons at both quarterback and running back. The Terps are averaging 4.5 rushing yards per attempt and 7.31 passing yards per attempt. The team ranks 30th in the nation with 2,244 passing yards.
Taulia Tagovailoa paces the Big Ten with 2,200 passing yards and 19 touchdowns, but he has six interceptions and a 63.85% completion rate. The Ewa Beach, Hawaii, native also has 179 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns. The redshirt senior transferred from Alabama in 2020, and it was reported over the summer that he turned down a $1.5 million offer to transfer to an unnamed SEC school.
Roman Hemby is Maryland’s primary running back. The redshirt sophomore has 441 rushing yards and four touchdowns while averaging five yards per carry. Meanwhile, Colby McDonald and Antwain Littleton II also see significant action, with 264 and 234 yards, respectively. McDonald is averaging 7.1 yards per carry while Littleton is averaging four. They each have a pair of touchdowns.
Meanwhile, Jeshaun Jones leads the team with 496 receiving yards, and he also has three touchdowns. Kaden Prather paces the Terps in receiving touchdowns with five, and he is second on the team with 426 receiving yards. Tai Felton is behind Prather with four receiving touchdowns, and third with 394 receiving yards. Corey Dyches, who is Maryland’s primary tight end, has 301 receiving yards and a touchdown, while Hemby is also involved in the receiving game with 221 receiving yards and a touchdown.
The starting offensive line features Delmar Glaze, who has started at both right and left tackle in his career. Gottlieb Ayedze is the newest Terrapin on the line, a senior who transferred from Frostburg and was named to the All-MEC First Team last season. Aric Harris, another senior, is the team’s starting center. Meanwhile, Amelio Morán, a redshirt senior who transferred from Lackawanna College, starts at left guard. Also in the mix on the offensive line are Andre Roye Jr., a redshirt freshman, and Corey Bullock, a senior.
Maryland’s defense is allowing 20.38 points per game. The Terrapins are ranked No. 38 nationally in total defense, allowing 5.11 yards per play. Opponents are averaging 3.1 rushing yards per attempt, while receivers are averaging 7.23 yards per catch. The Terps returned plenty of starters, as the defense is primarily comprised of juniors and seniors.
Safety Beau Brade has been a huge factor, as he leads the team with 47 total tackles. The senior’s five pass breakups are also tied for the best on the team and he also has 2.5 tackles for loss and an interception. Lining up next to him is Dante Trader Jr., whose 26 total tackles rank fourth. The McDonogh product also has four pass breakups and half a tackle for loss.
Maryland’s biggest strength on defense is its linebacker corps. Ranking second on the team in tackles is senior linebacker Ruben Hyppolite II with 37 and 1.5 tackles for loss. Hyppolite made his lone sack of the campaign against Northwestern last week. Hyppolite, along with Brade, are considered two of the defense’s key veterans. Fa’Najae Gotay lines up next to Hyppolite, whose 27 total tackles rank third. The redshirt senior has so far proven to be more capable of blowing up plays than his teammate, as he has 4.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, and one interception. Caleb Wheatland and Jaishawn Barham are also part of the rotation. Wheatland has 26 total tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, and one interception. Barham has 24 total tackles, a trio of tackles for loss and sacks, and a quarterback hurry.
Lining up at right cornerback is Tarheeb Still, who is also an important part of the secondary in addition to Brade. He leads the team with three interceptions, and he also has 22 total tackles and two tackles for loss. Opposite Still at left cornerback is Ja’Quan Sheppard, who is tied for a team-most five pass breakups with Brade. The Cincinnati transfer also has 15 total tackles as well as a tackle for loss.
Maryland’s defensive line primarily consists of Quashon Fuller at defensive end, and Tommy Akingbesote and Jordan Phillips at defensive tackle. Meanwhile, Donnell Brown lines up at outside linebacker. Brown leads the group with 19 total tackles and 4.5 tackles for loss, while he also has three sacks. Fuller, who has 13 total tackles, also has a pair of tackles for loss.
Jack Howes is 9-for-15 on field goal attempts, with his longest being from 48 yards out. He also handles kickoff duties, where he’s averaging 63.2 yards per kickoff. Colton Spangler is the punter, and he’s averaging 43.03 yards per punt.
Meanwhile, Jones is the punt returner. He’s averaging 11.71 yards per return and has 82 total yards. Braeden Wisloski is the primary kickoff returner, with 25.42 average yards per return, and has totaled 305 yards and a touchdown.
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About the Author
For the second year in a row, the Land Grant Trophy is headed back to State College.
Voting is now open and closes on Wednesday, November 29.
Head coach Mike Rhoades lost his first matchup against his former team.