In Maryland's 2015 home opener vs the Richmond Spiders, special teams and the running game ruled the day for the Terps and helped them get the win. Perry Hills won the starting job late in the offseason and in his first matchup as a starter, he struggled early. The Terps' rushing attack seemed to be Hill's security blanket as the Terps out rushed the Spiders 341-56. Brandon Ross had 150 of those rushing yards and a touchdown. William Likely stole the show with his performance yesterday and showed why he was worthy of the many accolades he received last season and the numerous 2015 preseason honors.
In this dominating win by the Terps, who's up, and who's down?
William Likely: Likely returned the opening kickoff 42 yards which got the fans excited and returned a punt 67 yards for a touchdown which is something he's done before. He set a Big Ten record with 233 punt return yards yesterday and here you can see him talk about it. Steve Suter holds the single season FBS record with 771 yards in a season, so keep an eye on that.
Brandon Ross: The senior running back ran the ball 18 times for 150 yards and a touchdown. It was evident that it was Ross' job to give the offense a spark after Perry Hills threw that early interception. Ross with this performance earned his sixth career 100-yard game which tied for seventh most in school history. He now has 1,735 career rushing yards (17th in school history) and could reach 2,000 in no time with a few more solid performances.
Quinton Jefferson: Jefferson did an outstanding job defensively and I'd even go so far to say that he set the tone for how aggressive the Terps were. He was second on the team in tackles with six (four solo), 2.5 tackles for loss and led the defense with two sacks. Look for him to be an integral part of the Terps' defensive line. He's clearly shown he can rush the passer.
Perry Hills: I know yesterday was only his first start of the 2015 season. What worries me is the interception he threw. His stock isn't falling per se, but what why he's in this category as opposed to the above category is because he struggled early. As a quarterback, one is supposed to keep the offense in tact and rolling but Hills had an 0-4 start to the game and could've had three touchdowns if he didn't under throw Kenneth Goins in the end zone. To Hills' credit though, he did finish the game 12-for-21, 138 yards (6.6 yards per pass), two touchdowns and an interception. He had a quarterback rating of 78.4 which isn't bad. Let's just say Hills stock "will fall" if he doesn't keep a consistent pattern of play that helps the Terps more than it hurts them.