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Big Ten preview: Maryland Terrapins

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Maryland senior running back Trey Edmunds (9) carries the ball ahead of FIU safety Deonte Wilson in the third quarter on Friday, Sept. 9. at FIU Stadium in Miami. Courtesy of TNS

Maryland senior running back Trey Edmunds (9) carries the ball ahead of FIU safety Deonte Wilson in the third quarter on Friday, Sept. 9. at FIU Stadium in Miami. Courtesy of TNS

Location: College Park, Maryland

2015 record: 3-9 (1-7 Big Ten)

Head Coach: D.J. Durkin

2016 record so far: 2-0

Record vs. OSU since 2006: 0-2

What’s happened so far in 2016: Maryland was able to gain 519 total offensive yards in Week 1, en route to a 52-13 win over Howard University. The Terrapins were able to continue their winning ways under new head coach D.J. Durkin with a 41-14 win over Florida International University. The Terrapins will travel to Orlando to try and keep their winning streak going against the University of Central Florida Knights.

Key offensive player: While Maryland has seven returning starters on offense, senior quarterback Perry Hills needs to continue to play well for his team. Hills, who started eight games in the 2015 season, is looking to showcase his dual threat capabilities after throwing for 1,001 yards and rushing for 535 more than a year ago. He has been able to continue that trend through two games — tallying 336 yards in the air, along with three touchdown passes through two games. The Terrapins also have their whole receiving corps returning from last season, including sophomore D.J. Moore, who caught six passes for 147 yards with two touchdowns in week two.

Key defensive player: After losing four four-year varsity letter winners on defense, Maryland turns to its first team All-Big Ten senior defensive back William Likely. Likely is the school’s active leader in interceptions and was a lethal return weapon and has been utilized in certain offensive packages so far in 2016. In addition to Likely, junior linebacker Jermaine Carter had 103 tackles in 2015, which led the Terrapins defense in his first season as a full-time starter. The Terrapins also look to resolidify a defensive line that averaged 2.92 sacks a game, after Yannick Ngakoue and Quinton Jefferson were both taken in the 2016 draft.

Weaknesses: After firing coach Randy Edsall mid-season, Maryland hopes that new coach D.J. Durkin has the winning formula for its program. While it seems that it has gotten its offense and defense to click so far this year, Maryland will face powerhouses Michigan State, Michigan and Ohio State in the span of four weeks.

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