The Maryland Terrapins are arguably the worst team in college football right now. They are currently on a five-game losing streak with inconsistencies at almost every position. It is fair to say that first-year head coach Mike Locksley is having an unexpected disappointing 2019 season.
Their next opponent will be the Nebraska Cornhuskers, who they will host at Capital One Field at Maryland Stadium. They began the season winning four of their first six games. Unfortunately for them, they have lost their last three. Though their matchup will not happen for another week, keep in mind both of these teams are trying to get back on track in the winning column.
Let's take a look at some of the things one team does well in and the other does not:
Accuracy cannot be taught. It is rather you have it or you do not have it. Terrapins' quarterback Josh Jackson has been one of the most inaccurate passers in college football. He has completed only 49.4 percent of his passes and this has a been trend for him all season long.
As for the Cornhuskers, they have actually been the complete opposite. Sophomore quarterback Adrian Martinez has completed 59.5 percent of his passes while his backup Noah Vedral has completed 67.3 percent. The Terrapins have often been unable to get their passing game going and a big reason why is their inability to throw catchable passes. Cornhuskers are at an advantage here at the quarterback position.
One of the few positives of the Terrapins football team is their depth at the running back position. The yards-per-carry average has been impressive with Javon Leake (7.6), Anthony McFarland Jr (4.6) and Tayon Fleet-Davis (4.2) sharing the load. The Terps often try to get their pass game going first, leaving the run game left to rot. Locksley should, instead, try to establish a run game early because he has a lot of talent in the backfield. Leake currently leads the team with 636 rushing yards.
The Cornhuskers have been below average in the run game. Quarterback Adrian Martinez leads the team with 399 rushing yards while starting running back Dedrick Mills is second with 398 yards. What is very interesting about this team is their use of freshman receiver Wan'Dale Robinson. The 5-foot-10 190-pound receiver has been used all over the field as a ball carrier and pass catcher. He is third on the team in rushing yards (326), second in receiving yards (453), and first in receptions (40). He is one dangerous and versatile player to watch, who has serious potential in becoming a top NFL Draft prospect in the next few years.
The Terps have a more stable backfield, giving them the advantage in this category.
Nebraska have established playmakers on the defense, led by senior cornerback Lamar Jackson. He leads the team with three interceptions. The 6-foot-3 defensive back reminds me a lot of NFL All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman. Sophomore free safety Cam Taylor-Britt and backup Eric Lee Jr each have two interceptions.
Maryland, however, does not have a single player with more than one interception. This is a big reason why they been blown out in many games this season. There is no one clearly established as a premier defender in the backfield, being ripped apart in almost every matchup.
This game should not be a blowout. If the Maryland Terrapins can get their run game going early, they will win the game. However, Locksley's play calling seems to rely on a downhill vertical game that does not work often. Nebraska head coach Scott Frost has more weapons to work with in JD Spielman and Wan'Dale Robinson. Terps will keep in close but I expect the Cornhuskers to pull away in the end.