When Maryland announced hey would be leaving the ACC to join the Big Ten, one thing that immediately stood out was the great football powers the Terps would now be playing on an annual basis. How great was it going to be to see Maryland take on the likes of Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State and other great football programs? How hard was it going to be for Maryland to win those games?
Maryland can compete in the Big Ten
At the start of the season, I thought it was possible for Maryland to have an eight win season, especially if they went 4-0 in out of conference play. After dropping a close game to West Virginia, and knowing Maryland would have to travel to Happy Valley and the Big House, it seemed that getting to eight wins wasn't going to be easy. But here we are, one week away from the end of the regular season, and Maryland owns a 5-1 road record, including wins in Ann Arbor and State College. While both Michigan and Penn State are in somewhat down years by their program's standards, beating both of those programs, in their gigantic, 100,000+ person stadiums, is a huge achievement for Maryland in their first B1G season. I hope the narrative that Maryland will be unable to compete in the Big Ten is finally dismissed. If the Terps take care of Rutgers at home next week, they could be playing in a New Year's Day bowl, trying to pick up their 9th win of the season.
C.J. Brown strikes back
Immediately following yesterday's win (and headset toss into the air), the Big Ten Network interviewed head coach Randy Edsall and asked him about how C.J. Brown had played against Michigan, a week after one of his worst performances as a Terp. Edsall mentioned that he and the staff were somewhat worried about C.J. getting hurt if they let him play the way he likes to play. But following last week, they decided to let him go do what he does best. The result? We saw the C.J. Brown that has been extremely effective in the past for Maryland. Brown finished with 18 rushes for 87 net yards and a touchdown, completing 13/24 passes for 165 yards and no interceptions. He also had receivers drop five passes, one of which would have been a touchdown, and at least three others that would have resulted in a first down.
Craddock remains perfect
On Saturday, junior kicker Brad Craddock remained perfect on the season and has now gone 17/17 on field goal attempts and 36/36 on extra point attempts. His longest kick, a 57-yarder against Ohio State, is the second longest kick in FBS this season. Could we be looking at Craddock as a first-team All-American?
Craddock had shown time and time again that no matter the situation, he can handle it. And even after a brief scare on Saturday, when a Michigan player ran into his leg following a made 35-yard field goal, Craddock jumped back up to his feet and ran around after the official called a roughing the kicker personal foul on the Wolverines that gave Maryland a first down. On the next play, C.J. Brown ran to his left and scored a touchdown.