Odds and Schedule
Maryland, welcome to the Big Ten. How about a stretch of six straight Games against the best teams in the Conference for your first season?
It’s not likely the Terrapins figured to be fighting near the top for the Conference title this year, but they possibly have one of the toughest Schedules in the Conference playing in the East division and get Wisconsin and Iowa out of the West.
The current odds for Maryland to win the National Title, at 5 dimes sportsbook, are 60-1.
The good news is that this team is improving. since Randy Edsall took over as head coach, the Terps have went from two, to Four, to seven wins in 2013. That’s quite the improvement, but after getting just three wins in ACC play last year, what can they do in Big Ten play against a slew of new teams?
The offense should only get better and can keep them competitive in almost every Game. C.J. Brown will be in his third season getting significant time and runs the read option. His passing numbers looked a lot better last year (58.9% completion) and he was already an elusive runner (576 yards, 12 TDs). He’ll get Stefon Diggs and Deon Long back at wide receiver after both broke their legs halfway through last season.
The running Game could also see improvement with Four starters returning on the offensive line along with running backs Brandon Moss and Jacquille Veii. This offense lacked consistency through much of last year and had trouble scoring on better defenses. With Brown back another year, it’ll be interesting to see how this offense does against Ohio State or Michigan State.
As a team, the Terps return 20 starters (including S/T) and nine of them are coming back on the defensive end. Like the offense, they tended to struggle against better teams and gave up at least 20 points in their final nine Games of the year.
The entire defensive line will return, and is led by all-Conference hopeful end Andre Monroe. They’ll have six seniors likely starting in the front seven. Cole Farrand leads the linebackers and runs the defense. The secondary is strong as well with a couple returning safeties and sophomore cornerback Will Likely.
While they do have a ton of starters returning, this isn’t a unit that performed all that well in the ACC. Their first Game is against Indiana and could be in for an awakening as the Hoosiers are a team that can put points on the board with ease.
Maryland’s Schedule opens up nice with what should be three straight wins, but at Syracuse will be tough in their last non-Conference Game. If they can’t win that Game at Indiana, a stretch of Ohio State, Iowa, at Wisconsin, at Penn State, Michigan State and at Michigan awaits. If the defense has trouble stopping the run, it’s going to be a long season.
Assuming C.J. Brown doesn’t turn into an all-Big Ten quarterback in the offseason, this team might be looking at its final Game against Rutgers as their first Conference win. On the other hand, maybe Brown and the defense are ready for the challenge and beats Indiana and Iowa, but that still might be it. More than six wins would be impressive playing in a new conference.
2014 Maryland Football Schedule
Aug. 30 vs. James Madison
Sep. 6 at South Florida
Sep. 13 vs. West Virginia
Sep. 20 at Syracuse
Sep. 27 at Indiana
Oct. 4 vs. Ohio State
Oct. 18 vs. Iowa
Oct. 25 at Wisconsin
Nov. 1 at Penn State
Nov. 15 vs. Michigan State
Nov. 22 at Michigan
Nov. 29 vs. Rutgers