Thursday, December 26, 2013

Marshall Football: Fast Facts, Maryland

Sixteen facts you need to know about the Maryland Terrapins before Friday's Military Bowl.

1) Arguably Maryland’s best offensive player, wide receiver Stefon Diggs suffered a season ending injury in October. Despite missing five of the Terrapins last 12 games, Diggs’ still leads the team with 587 receiving yards.

2) The Terps will be without another wide receiver, junior Deon Long. Like Diggs, Long missed Maryland's final five games. Despite the prolonged absence, Long ranks third on the team in receiving yards (489) and receptions (32).

3) With their top two receivers sidelined, one-time Marshall commitment Levern Jacobs has tried to fill the void. In the Terps last two games, Jacobs has caught 13 passes for 112 yards.

4) Maryland’s 2012 leader in carries, running back Wes Brown was suspended from the team in August after an altercation with police. In Brown’s absence, Brandon Ross has shouldered the load, running for a team high 660 yards on 146 attempts with four touchdowns.

5) In terms of quarterbacks Marshall has already faced this season, Maryland’s C.J. Brown reminds me of FAU’s Jaquez Johnson. Although Brown is smaller than Johnson, both players can create problems with their legs. Brown is second on the Terps with 538 rushing yards and he has scored a team high 12 rushing touchdowns. Brown has also completed just over 58% of his passes for 2,045 yards, 11 touchdowns, and six interceptions.

6) Maryland is operating with a completely different offensive line than they envisioned when the season began. In October starting left tackle Mike Madaras exited the football program. His replacement, true freshman Moise Larose, suffered an injury during the Terps November loss to Syracuse which caused head coach Randy Edsall to reshuffle the entire unit. Right tackle Ryan Doyle was moved to left tackle, right guard Michael Dunn slid over to right tackle and sophomore Andrew Zeller was inserted into the starting lineup at right guard.

7) Maryland’s ACC Offensive Rankings:

Total Offense – 8th (397 ypg)
Scoring Offense – 8th (26.7 ppg)
Passing Offense – 5th (252.4 ypg)
Rushing Offense – 11th (144.58 ypg)

9) On defense lookout for talented true freshman cornerback Will Likely. The Florida native has broken up and team high five passes and recorded 62 tackles.

10) Maryland defensive coordinator Brian Stewart is familiar with Marshall. Serving as Houston’s defensive coordinator in 2011, Stewart’s unit limited the Herd to 28 points in a 68-28 Cougars win.

11) Marcus Whitfield has been a matchup problem for opposing offenses all season. Despite being listed as a linebacker, Whitfield can put his hand in the dirt and turn Maryland’s 3-4 defense into a 4-3. He leads the Terps with 14.5 tackles for loss and nine sacks.

12) The middle of Marshall’s offensive line will have his hands full with 6-foot-3, 310-pound Darius Kilgo. The junior nose tackle has tallied 34 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, and two sacks.

13) Maryland’s ACC Defensive Rankings:

Total Defense – 6th (366.9 ypg)
Scoring Defense – 7th (24.8 ppg)
Passing Defense – 5th (215.8 ypg)
Rushing Defense – 6th (151.17 ypg)

14) Maryland place kicker Brad Craddock has only registered 12 touchbacks among his 64 kickoffs this season. On field goals, Craddock’s made 19 of 23 attempts with a long of 50 yards. He has missed just two kicks from within 49 yards this season.

15) Of the 14 ACC punters that have attempted at least 36 punts this season, Maryland’s Nathan Renfo ranks 10th with a average of 40.9 yards per kick.

16) Besides playing corner, Likely also serves as the Terps punt and kick returner. He is averaging 12.8 yards per punt and 27 yards per kick return. He also returned a punt for a touchdown against Virginia Tech.

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