Maryland football faced a ton of adversity last season, particularly at the quarterback position. By season’s end, the Terrapins had started four different signal callers due to a pair of ACL tears and a head injury.
Their own starting quarterback is still to be determined, but the Terps’ opponents aren’t in the same position. Seven of the 12 foes are returning starters, four of whom faced DJ Durkin and Co. last year. Let’s take a look at who will be leading the charge to keep Maryland from achieving a bounceback season.
Trace McSorley, Penn State (Nov. 24)
While McSorley’s name may get lost in the hype surrounding former running back Saquon Barkley, the senior should be in store for another big year under center. A starter in all 13 games, McSorley threw for 3,570 yards with 28 touchdowns, completing 66.5 percent of his passes. He was also a threat with his legs, finishing second on the team with 491 yards and 11 touchdowns on the ground. His premier weapons may be gone, but McSorley’s talent is certainly still there.
Dwayne Haskins, Ohio State (Nov. 17)
The former Maryland commit (and now a pariah in College Park) didn’t get much playing time as a freshman last season, but when he did step on the field, he showed his immense talent. On 40-57 (70.2 percent) passing, Haskins threw for 565 yards and four touchdowns. He showed promise with his legs as well, adding 86 yards on the ground. Haskins is the clear-cut favorite to start for the Buckeyes this season, and he could be in store for a huge year.
Shea Patterson, Michigan (Oct. 6)
Perhaps one of the more polarizing quarterbacks in the country, Patterson has finally found a home, one in which he can play immediately. After leaving Ole Miss for greener pastures, the junior settled on Ann Arbor to lead under Jim Harbaugh. In just seven games for the Rebels, Patterson threw for 2,259 yards and 17 touchdowns in arguably the toughest division in football. The Wolverines finally have a true talent under center, and it’s up to them to make the most of it.
Brian Lewerke, Michigan State (Nov. 3)
Michigan State had a terrific season, finishing 11-3 and securing a bowl win. Much of that success was due to the play of Lewerke, but that can’t be said for the Spartans’ 17-7 win over the Terrapins in November last season. Then a sophomore, Lewerke went just 2-for-12 passing for only 20 yards. However, his legs were able to hold up in the snow, as he rushed for 63 yards and a touchdown on just five carries. On the year, though, Lewerke’s arm helped take the Spartans to great heights. He threw for 2,793 yards and 20 scores while also adding 559 yards on the ground with five touchdowns.
Other returning starters
Nathan Stanley, Iowa
Frank Nutile, Temple
Cam Thomas, Illinois
Peyton Ramsey, Indiana
Giovanni Rescigno, Rutgers
New to the role
James Morgan, Bowling Green
Up in the air
Sam Ehlinger and Shane Buechele, Texas
Tanner Morgan and Zack Annexstad, Minnesota