Randy Edsall’s Maryland Terrapins have won seven games in back-to-back years for the first time since 2002-03. The Terps are a couple years away from being noteworthy, but they will need to find a way to push through mediocrity and continue to flash signs of improvement if they ever want to consistently compete in the Big Ten.
Levern Jacobs (WR)
Injuries and suspensions hurt the Terps a season ago, and with the loss of receivers Stefon Diggs and Deon Long, the 2015 pass-catching core will have to produce in a big way. With a questionable offensive line and no true answer at quarterback, the Terps may have to lean on Levern Jacobs, who returns as the team’s top target after missing the entire 2014 season due to suspension.
Jacobs was the squad’s leading receiver in 2013 when he had 46 grabs for 640 yards. On paper, Michigan’s secondary looks as good as it has in years, but there always seems to be a game or two where the Wolverines allow one receiver to slip through the cracks and break out for a huge performance.
If Levern Jacobs stays healthy, don’t be surprised if he finds a way to exploit the Wolverines.
DEFENSE / SPECIAL TEAMS
Will Likely (CB/KR)
Maryland’s defense was continually torched last season, as it allowed 30 or more points in seven games. Keith Dudzinski replaces Brian Stewart as defensive coordinator, and he’ll implement a 4-3 scheme to allow the pass rushers and secondary to shine. Will Likely might be small, but he is a big-time player. He’s fast, powerful, and explosive, and he will make a difference on defense and on special teams this year for the Terps.
Likely lacks no confidence, and it shows on the field. Michigan’s offense has a lot to answer, and facing a Likely-led secondary isn’t going to make things any easier for the Wolverines.
Also, Jim Harbaugh and John Baxter better find a way to improve the Wolverines on special teams, because it doesn’t take much room for Likely to return one for six.