Maryland Terrapins
(Icon Sportswire via AP Images / Mark Goldman)

After two high-scoring games to open up the season in 2019, the Maryland Terrapins would eventually disappoint, losing 9 of their last 10 games. Their only conference win came against Rutgers, which is nothing to hang your hat on. It seemed as though the Terrapins season was on one end of the spectrum or the other – not much in between.

Maryland either scored 45-plus points and won or allowed a ton of points and lost. In their three wins, the Terrapins scored a total of 190 points, averaging 63.3 points a game. In their losses, they allowed a total of 398 points, or 43.2 points a game, including a 73-14 loss against the Ohio State Buckeyes.

While it is unlikely that Maryland will see peaks and valleys quite that extreme this year, the same can be said regarding the Terrapins being a better team in 2020.

Defensively, the Terrapins were an absolute mess last year. In total defense, Maryland was second-last only to Rutgers (449 yards per game). The task of improving any more comfortable this year, either.

There will be a ton of new faces on the defense this fall, including Junior-College transfers Mosiah Nasili-Kite and tackle Ami Finau, as well as highly recruited freshman linebacker Ruben Hyppolite II. On the back end, Maryland looks forward to watching the development of Nick Cross. Cross is legit, stepping in as a freshman starter and recording 45 tackles, two interceptions, and five pass breakups. To put it bluntly, the Terrapins need to figure it out on defense if they are to have a chance at competing in the Big Ten.

The Terps got pushed around in 2019, and it is challenging to forecast whether that will change, given the new look on this defense.

Offensively, the Maryland Terrapins will look to lean on two freshmen at the running back position. Peny Boone and Isaiah Jacobs will look to carry the bulk of the load in the running game in 2020.

The quarterback position is most likely filled, but Josh Jackson’s inconsistency and accuracy issues last year do not exactly scream “seasoned starter.” Still, he will have an abundance of talented pass-catchers to work with.

Dontay Demus Jr. is a big, athletic receiver who caught a total of 41 balls for 625 yards and six touchdowns in 2019. On top of that, tight end Chigoziem Okonkwo and receivers Brian Cobbs, Carlos Carriere, and Darryl Jones will look to build off of solid 2019 campaigns as well.

Maryland has shown the ability to score points, but their issue will be consistent both at the quarterback position and on the offensive line. Offensive lines can make or break a season, and if the Terps can turn around the line, they’ll fare much better this upcoming season.

Overall, the Terrapins could be the biggest wildcard in the Big Ten. They have a lot of talent, and they can score points (sometimes). The safe bet here, however, is to be conservative with a prediction. Consistency and discipline are usually tied in with the overall culture, which is extremely difficult to change. The Terrapins might find their identity in the future, but 2020 will remain modest.

2020 Season Record Prediction: 2-6

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