Testudo Times Roundtable
Week of 9/7
Q: What are two takeaways from Maryland's 50-21 win over the Richmond Spiders?
Todd: The obvious ones are Perry Hills is shaky at QB and still doesn't appear to be able to throw an accurate long ball and William Likely is a cut above everyone on the roster.
Carson: I think we will be seeing Caleb Rowe a lot sooner than expected if Hills struggles early this weekend against Bowling Green. I also think that the running game will be able to help take some of the pressure of the quarterback position based on their performance against Richmond, even if it was only Richmond. Also, Will Likely is a beast.
Brian B: They played an FCS opponent so it is difficult to read too much into anything. The offensive line looked improved (from what little parts of the game I got to physically see). I hope Perry Hills finds his stride sooner than later.
Eric: My two takeaways would be that Maryland will need to rely on the running game to move the ball effectively at most points in the game, and that Perry Hills must play more consistently if Maryland wants to play well against the B1G opponents.
Noah: Perry Hills is not going to beat you with his arm and the Maryland run game will have to be productive in order for Maryland to have much chance for success on offense.
Dave: Will Likely for Heisman.
Q: Brad Craddock missed a PAT and a short field goal after being nearly perfect the year before. On a scale of 1-10, how confident are you that Craddock can win the Lou Groza award again this season?
Todd: I honestly don't care. It's nice that he won the award last season. I just want him not to lose confidence and return to being "Auto-Craddock."
Ryan: 0/10. Clearly Craddock has lost his mojo forever. The Terps must find a new kicker immediately.
Carson: I have to agree with Todd on this one. Would it be awesome for him to win it again? Absolutely. But as long as he remains consistent and keeps his confidence, awards aren't necessarily that important. I'll go with a 9.
Brian B: Every Groza winner from 2007-2012 missed at least one extra point (some even missing two!) Craddock was one of only seven kickers to attempt four field goals last weekend...so there's that. Not that it is a huge concern of mine, I would say his chances of repeating are reasonable...so 7/10
Eric: I would put the number at 7, but it really depends on the kicking performance of Robert Aguayo, the kicker at Florida State, who finished behind Craddock for the Lou Groza award last year.
Noah: I concur with Eric. Aguayo won the Lou Groza award the year before Craddock when FSU won the national title. He took second last year and his FSU squad looks poised to be make another possible return trip to the College Football Playoff. That will definitely give him a boost. I give Craddock a 5.
Dave: I'm not sure Craddock's miscues would prevent him from winning for a 2nd straight year so much as someone else might make less mistakes and claim the award as a result. It really depends on how Aguayo and other kickers perform, but if Craddock does what he did last year the rest of the way, it certainly wouldn't surprise me if he won again.
Q: What surprised you most in the game against Richmond?
Todd: How can you not be surprised when a player averages 29 yards per punt return. That's simply a ridiculous number. I was pleasantly surprised by Ty Johnson. With the caveat that it was late in the game against Richmond, he still looked to have a good burst off the line of scrimmage. I was also surprised to see Aniebonam and Ngakoue on the field together as much as they were. And I liked it.
Carson: I knew Will Likely was good but what he did against Richmond is a tough thing to do in a video game let alone in real life. So in a sense that was surprising. I think I was surprised at the first half in general. Obviously there is going to be some rust but going down 14-13 against a smaller school was a bit unsettling for a bit.
Brian B: That Richmond continued to punt the ball to Likely despite it obviously being the wrong choice. If Brad Craddock hadn't missed an extra point and a gimme field goal the Terps would have scored 54 points (albeit against Richmond)
Eric: I agree with Brian, the special teams excellence of Will Likely is surprising, due to the fact that Richmond continued to punt in his general direction. Also the special teams errors of Craddock.
Noah: Will Likely put up video game numbers and broke a 76 year old record. That was surprising.
Dave: How well Maryland ran the ball. If they can run well all year and take some pressure off the QB, they can accomplish more than I thought they could this season.
Q: Will Likely set a Big Ten record for punt return yards in a game with 233. That record was set in 1939 or for the layperson, 76 years ago. Will Will Likely break his own record this season?
Todd: Are you asking about another 233 yard game? Not gonna happen.
Carson: No chance. What he did to Richmond's punt coverage is illegal in 42 states. But it's clear he will be an incredibly valuable asset in Maryland's attempt to win field position this year.
Brian B: No, but the current record for interception return yards in a game is 182 by Ashley Lee of Virginia Tech in 1983. I find it almost certain that Likely will surpass this mark October 24th when he takes three key Hackenberg red zone INTs to the house resulting in 234 INT return yards, so in a way he will break his own record.
Noah: The chance is small. I will just to continue to read what Carson wrote and laugh.
Dave: Lots of things would have to align perfectly for that to happen and I just can't see a way he gets that many opportunities the rest of the way.
Q: Were you disappointed in how the Big Ten did overall in Week 1?
Todd: Maryland won and Penn State lost. How could I be disappointed?
Carson: I was happy to see Maryland beat a team they should have. I was ecstatic to see Penn State lose to Temple via their swiss cheese offensive line. Michigan was "ehh" against Utah but Utah is a solid team. Ohio State and Michigan State took care of business. Minnesota hung in there against TCU. I wouldn't necessarily say disappointed.
Brian B: It appears I am already abandoning my ACC ties in saying that the only thing that would have made this Big Ten weekend better is if the Hokies managed to beat OSU....cringe.
Noah: I was disappointed by the Big Ten overall. The Big Ten West had a losing record as a division in week one. Indiana almost lost to Southern Illinois, Purdue lost to Marshall, Penn State lost to Temple badly, Wisconsin got beat up, Michigan and Minnesota lost close but both had opportunities to win, and Michigan State didn't look good. Only one team played to their potential, Ohio State. The Big Ten is no SEC. By the looks of it, there is only one great team this year.
Dave: Ohio State didn't lose to Virginia Tech, so that alone was a big improvement over last season.
Q: Dwayne Haskins tweeted after Penn State lost to Temple using the hashtag #WeAre and an emoji of crying from laughing so hard. How much better does this make the budding rivalry with the Nittany Lions?
Todd: For me, it just makes Dwayne Haskins better.
Carson: So much. That emoji was the perfect way to sum up how I felt seeing his tweet.
Brian B: I just hope that this rivalry does not take the same shape of the UMD-Duke basketball rivalry in that we Terps fans care way more than the other side.
Noah: Carson hit the nail on the head. That tweet from that specific person was the perfect troll.
Dave: I can't wait for Haskins to not shake Penn State player's hands before the coin in the coming years.
Q: Maryland Men's Soccer beat UCLA, the #1 team in the country and returning NCAA Runner-Ups, last Saturday at Ludwig Field but then lost their first game of the season to Akron, 3-2, on Monday. What are your expectations for this team?
Todd: In my experience, anyone who sets expectations on a Sasho Cirovski coached team based on early season games generally doesn't know and appreciate Sasho. I was at the soccer game. The Terps are young and came out flat. I suspect the coach will use this as a major teaching moment. As for my expectations, Maryland competes in certain sports where I annually expect the team to contend for conference and national championships. Men's soccer is one of those sports.
Carson: I have to admit I don't follow soccer all that much but I believe they will be very good team this year. The end of that UCLA game was bananas.
Ryan: I'm thinking they're going to be pretty good.
Brian B: They're probably going to win more games than they lose.
Noah: I think a College Cup is a very realistic expectation. This team is talented enough to get there but last year's team lost focus and lost in their first game in the tournament. Will the coaches and upperclassmen be able to help the freshmen focus through the long season and get the most out of them come tournament time when they need them most?
Dave: Just one loss, so I'm not too worried. There is a long season ahead and Sasho will have his team ready to perform.
Q: Bowling Green scored 30 points against Tennessee on the road last week and threw for over 400 yards. How many points will they put up on Maryland this week?
Todd: They'll flip that script and will score 400 points but only throw for 30 yards.
Carson: 28. This game scares me for some reason and seeing Hills first game against Richmond did little to change my mind. I think Maryland will win but Bowling Green should not be overlooked at all.
Brian B: On paper the secondary is supposed to be one of the more solid units for the Maryland Terps, but I do not see them shutting down Bowling Green completely. I imagine the Owls will score somewhere between 30-40 points.
Noah: If Bowling Green put up 30 on the Vols, they're putting up 40 or more on the Terps. score 26 points or so against Maryland.
Dave: I think they
Q: What is your bold prediction for Maryland's week two tilt against the Falcons?
Todd: No Bowling Green punt will be in an area of the field where William Likely can field it. However, despite his four pass break-ups and five interceptions, Bowling Green's OC will inexplicably continue to throw in his direction until he has that pick six.
Carson: Caleb Rowe throws for three touchdowns in the second half after taking over for Hills.
Brian B: Keenan McCardell will lead the team in receptions at the wide-out position.
Noah: Maryland will go over the 50 point mark for the second time this season.
Dave: Perry Hills has a much better game than last week.
Q: What will the final score be between Bowling Green and Maryland this Saturday?
Todd: Insert my Richmond prediction here.
Carson: Maryland wins 38-28.
Brian B: I'm pessimistic, and my pessimism has never gotten me anywhere...so....Maryland Wins?!? 37-34?!?!
Noah: Maryland over Bowling Green 45-42.
Dave: Bowling Green's defense will make you feel green after watching it, so I think the Terps have another big day on the ground, but struggle a little more containing Bowling Green. Maryland wins the game 57-32.