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Will Likely is on pace to beat the FBS single season punt return record in 3.5 games, and other things from Maryland's win over Richmond

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The Terps are 1-0. Let's talk about it!

Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Welcome to the Terrapin post-game report, a weekly series where we will break down the biggest plays, numbers and trends from Maryland's most recent game. And yes, we'll be talking about the quarterback situation later.

I can find no better way to kick off this series than WILL LIKELY WILL LIKELY WILL LIKELY.


via Big Ten Network

Likely set a Big Ten record with 233 punt return yards in the game, and his 2015 total is already 12th on Maryland's all-time single-season list. Better yet, he's on pace to absolutely shatter the FBS season record, set by Vanderbilt's Lee Nalley in 1948 with 791.

Richmond kept kicking at Likely again and again and again, and he made the Spiders pay. Likely averaged 29.1 yards on eight returns (including the touchdown above), and had only one return of less than 15 yards. Maryland's average starting field position was its own 47, which was instrumental in getting points on the board thanks to the Terps' inability to consistently move the ball in the air.

So yeah, thanks Richmond. Now nobody is going to kick to Likely ever again.

Consider the ball dang runned

Maryland absolutely dominated in the trenches, and it allowed the Terps' physical running backs to run all over the Spiders. Brandon Ross ran for a career-high 150 yards on 18 carries, Wes Brown ran 13 times for 74 yards and true freshman Ty Johnson even came in to average 8.3 yards per rush on 10 carries. All three backs scored a touchdown: here was Ross's.

Watch left tackle Michael Dunn and center Evan Mulrooney, each getting to the second level to take out a Richmond defender. Maryland's blocking did a fantastic job on this play, allowing Ross to break one tackle and take the right angle to the end zone.

Speaking of broken tackles, here's how the Terps did in that category Saturday.

Broken tackles

  • W. Brown -- 3
  • B. Ross -- 2
  • L. Jacobs -- 2
  • Ty Johnson -- 2
  • Will Likely -- countless

Replacing Diggs

Levern Jacobs is (no surprise) the team's top target, while D.J. Moore and Avery Edwards had very solid debuts. And hey, let's hear it for Malcolm Culmer, who made a nice play to score his first career touchdown.

Receiver Targets Catches Yards Catch rate YAC Yards per catch Yards per target
Levern Jacobs 5 2 32 40.0% 32 16.0 6.4
D.J. Moore 3 2 23 66.7% 3 11.5 7.7
Amba Etta-Tawo 3 2 21 66.7% 3 10.5 7.0
Avery Edwards 3 2 12 66.7% 5 6.0 4.0
Malcolm Culmer 2 1 37 50.0% 24 37.0 18.5
Taivon Jacobs 2 1 12 50.0% 14 12.0 6.0
Wes Brown 2 1 -3 50.0% 2 -3.0 -1.5
Derrick Hayward 1 1 4 100.0% 1 4.0 4.0
Kenneth Goins 1 0 0 0.0% 0 0.0 0.0

Pray for Christian Hackenberg

I don't know if you guys saw, but Penn State lost to Temple Saturday, ending the longest active winning streak in a college football series. This was mostly due to Penn State's offensive line, which remains officially a Major Problem. Christian Hackenberg was sacked 10 times! Against an AAC opponent!

I'm saying all of this because Maryland plays Penn State October 24 in Baltimore, and it's looking like it'll be a pretty important game for both team's seasons. Oh, and because Maryland's new defensive line absolutely terrorized the Richmond backfield Saturday.

Converted linebackers Yannick Ngakoue and Jesse Aniebonam appear to have adjusted perfectly to the end positions, and Maryland even used the two of them together on many occasions to form a lethal pass-rushing duo. Ngakoue led the team with seven pass pressures, while Aniebonam had four and Quinton Jefferson (who also looked very good at his new defensive tackle position) had two.

Maryland has two blue-chip defensive ends who look like future NFL players rushing off the edge. That'll help smooth out any other problems on the defensive end.

Other notes:

  • A.J. Hendy, what the heck?

  • Maryland's offense did look considerably different without C.J. Brown. Just three read option plays were called: twice gives to Wes Brown (17, 4 yards), once a keeper for Hills (9 yards). The Terrapins took a lot of snaps under center compared to last year, too, running out of the shotgun on just 17 of 69 offensive plays.
  • Jermaine Carter, Sean Davis and A.J. Hendy were the team's most active tacklers.
  • Maryland defensed six passes against Richmond and didn't intercept a single one, so that trend continues. Jalen Brooks broke up a pass that should have been an interception, while Jermaine Carter also had one defense out of the linebacking corps. But, as usual, the star was Will Likely, who broke up four passes in the game and generally shut down whichever of Richmond's All-CAA wide receivers was on his side.