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Big Ten preview: Maryland Terrapins

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Maryland Terrapins defensive back Sean Davis (21) reacts after missing a chance at an interception during the second quarter Saturday, Nov. 15, 2014 at Byrd Stadium in College Park, Md. Credit: Courtesy of TNS

Maryland Terrapins defensive back Sean Davis (21) reacts after missing a chance at an interception during the second quarter Saturday, Nov. 15, 2014 at Byrd Stadium in College Park, Md. Credit: Courtesy of TNS

Location: College Park, Maryland

2014 record: 7-6

Head coach: Randy Edsall (fifth year, 22-32)

2015 record so far: 2-2

Record vs. OSU since 2005: 0-1

What’s happened so far in 2015: Maryland scored 37 straight points in its home opener against Richmond, winning 50-21.  Returning to the field the following Saturday, the Terrapins were upset by Bowling Green, 48-27. They got back on the winning track the following week, beating South Florida 35-17, but the Terrapins dropped back to .500 in Week 4 when they fell to West Virginia.

Key offensive player: Redshirt junior Caleb Rowe earned the starting quarterback position in Week 3 after returning from a season-ending injury sustained in 2014. Against USF, he was able to throw four touchdown passes, and even with his mistakes against WVU, he is showing true promise for the games ahead. Alongside Rowe are two key running backs: redshirt senior Brandon Ross and redshirt junior Wes Brown. Ross ran a career high of 150 yards and one touchdown in Maryland’s season opener, while Brown scored his first touchdown of the season in the fourth quarter, ensuring the Terrapins’ victory over Richmond.

Key defensive player: Junior defensive back William Likely has set the standard high for the Terrapins’ defense. Returning from last season as the first-team All-Big Ten selection by the coaches and media, Likely came into the season opener more prepared than ever. Within their first game alone, he set a Big Ten record of 233 yards in punt returns and one touchdown. In their second game, he was able to continue in his footsteps and return a punt for a touchdown against Bowling Green. Through the first two games, Likely has established himself as a leader and a weapon for the Terrapins.

Weaknesses: For a young team, the Terrapins have shown many positives in the start of the season. One weakness is that Rowe has only started in two games. Therefore the team lacks true experience and seniority within the offense. The team has also been struggling with establishing a sound running game behind its young offensive line, hurting both of its experienced running backs.

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