I had to do other things this weekend, so I didn’t get to watch a minute of Maryland’s season opener against FCS Howard. I could only rely on a brief culling of game film and a bunch of stats (plus Testudo Times, of course). Based almost exclusively on the numbers, here are some conclusions and some things that jumped out:
1. There were no interceptions. This is the most important thing, because Maryland threw 29 of those last year. To throw even one against a bad FCS team would’ve been pretty worrying, even if that worry wouldn’t have been wholly rational. (It would’ve been pretty good to force more than zero turnovers against Howard. Why didn’t that happen?)
2. There was pace. Maryland ran 73 plays in 27 minutes of possession time. That’s pretty quick. Last year’s opener against FCS Richmond brought 67 plays in 31 minutes. But it’s not lightning, or anything. Maryland is running what you could fairly call an up-tempo scheme, but the goal isn’t to have a track meet. (Or, at least, it wasn’t against Howard. Lots of things will be different when the competition is better.)
3. At least 14 true freshmen are definitively not redshirting. Maryland only played eight true freshmen all of last season. Maryland played four-star guard Terrance Davis, which means Maryland has a freshman offensive lineman it’s not redshirting. These aren’t Randy Edsall’s Maryland Terrapins anymore, folks.
4. Yeah, it would’ve been good to get some sacks. Maryland only brought down Howard’s quarterbacks twice, despite the Bison throwing 29 times. I’m not sure anyone should be worried about this, per se, but it’s something to watch.
5. The run-pass ratio was, um, different. Last season, Maryland ran on 441 plays and threw on 387, a ratio of 1.14 runs per pass. On Saturday, it was 44 runs against 29 passes, a ratio of 1.52 runs per pass. Maybe it doesn’t seem like it because these are decimals, but that’s a huge jump. Maryland has indicated it’ll be a running team this season, and the first game suggests no one was lying.
Here’s what we wrote about Maryland-Howard.
This is a collection of Testudo Times coverage. I was out on SB Nation business, but our people did some incredible work. Consume it; it’s free!
DJ Durkin got to enjoy this, by Ryan.
The backfield depth is real, by Thomas.
Melvin Keihn got to play, finally, and also have some fun, by Matt.
A photo gallery, by Sammi.
JC Jackson didn’t play, which didn’t matter but wasn’t good.
Here are other things.
It’s a family affair for Trey Edmunds and company.
Durkin’s usually boisterous, but here he was not.
This was easy, but memorable.
Special teams! They matter.
Thought this was pretty funny: Five-star Maryland point guard target Trevon Duval must have been really pissed off at UCLA.
Maryland plays FIU on Friday night. Stay with us all week, and thanks for reading.