Welcome to the third edition of our Maryland football season in review, where we are evaluate each unit's performance in 2015. While the Terps' passing game was downright unwatchable this season, the Terps' rushing attack had an under-the-radar amazing year.
Brandon Ross, senior, No. 45.
Wes Brown, junior, No. 4.
Ty Johnson, freshman, No, 6.
Kenneth Goins Jr, junior, No. 30.
|Player||Pos.||Ht, Wt||Year||Rushes||Yards||TD||Yards/Carry||Hlt Yds/Opp.||Opp. Rate||Fumbles (Lost)|
|Brandon Ross||RB||5'10, 210||SR||152||956||10||6.3||9.5||35.5%||4 (3)|
|Perry Hills||QB||6'2, 210||JR||92||639||3||6.9||7.2||47.8||5 (2)|
|Wes Brown||RB||6'0, 210||JR||71||317||3||4.5||3.4||38.0%||1 (1)|
|Ty Johnson||RB||5'10, 184||FR||35||250||3||7.1||9.0||40.0||0 (0)|
|Kenneth Goins Jr.||FB||5'9, 233||JR||9||60||1||6.7||18.1||22.2||0 (0)|
Rushing Success Rate
Adj. Line Yards
Power Success Rate
Maryland's running backs had easily the most productive season out of any skill position on the team. The Terps ended the season ranking 12th in rushing S&P+, finishing only four spots behind Big Ten foe Ohio State. However, that stat doesn't completely reflect the running backs' performance, as quarterback Perry Hills ended the season as the team's second-leading rusher.
Brandon Ross was the Terps' standout running back, accounting for 38 percent of the team's yardage on the ground and starting 11 out of the team's 12 games. Ross wasn't a complete back early in the year, as coaches noted he was not doing a good job of pass-blocking.
He and Wes Brown split carries for much of the season, but Ross absolutely torched Indiana and Rutgers after Brown was suspended indefinitely. Ross averaged 9.4 highlight yards per opportunity, which measures the yards that the running back himself is solely responsible for. That was highest on the team, as Johnson had 9.0 and Brown only had 3.4. In addition to his lack of explosiveness, Brown didn't have any games where he stood out, as his 74-yard performance against Richmond was his highest total of the year.
Maryland's running backs also had the second-most explosive running game in the country, according to S&P+. That makes sense, because the Terps didn't spend a whole lot of time on their opponents' side of the 50. In the last 2 games of the season, Heck, even fullback Kenneth Goins Jr., who mainly serves as a blocker, ripped off a 40-yard touchdown run against Rutgers.
Ross, who ended his four-year career at Maryland ninth on the school's all-time rushing yards list, leaves a question mark in his absence. He wasn't always as explosive as he was toward the end of his senior season, but he was a reliable running back whom the Terps will miss next year. It's unclear how long Brown's suspension will last, so we could be looking at an incredibly youthful backfield for Maryland next season. Three-star running backs Jake Funk and Lorenzo Harrison could contribute as freshmen, but it's very unlikely they would be able to carry the load for the offense.
Whoever is in the backfield, they'll benefit from a solid offensive line next season. If there's one thing Randy Edsall understood, it's that the Big Ten is a "lineman league." In 2015, the Terps ranked 21st in adjusted line yards, which measures how much yardage the line accounts for. With Damian Prince, Derwin Gray and Quarvez Boulware manning the line in the future, Maryland's running backs should have some openings.