The Terps have won eight consecutive season openers dating back to 2010, including 12 of their last 13. In the eight-game streak, Maryland has outscored its opponents by an average margin of 21 points (38-17) and totaled at least 50 points in four straight games. The Terps are 1-7 all-time when opening the season against ranked opponents, with the lone victory coming last season in Austin.
Maryland racked up 51 points in last season’s upset victory over then-No. 23 Texas, marking its first victory against a ranked opponent since 2010 and it’s most points ever scored against a ranked opponent. The Longhorns allowed more than 30 points just once in its remaining 12 games. Ty Johnson ran for 132 yards on 12 carries (11.0 yds/c) and Tyrrell Pigrome was 9-for-12 with 175 yards and two touchdowns before going down with an injury in the third quarter. Then-true freshman Kasim Hill closed the game by completing all three passes and rushing for a touchdown.
September 2, 2017
CUE VICTORY!#TBT | #FTT pic.twitter.com/sgYVNXMR71
— Maryland Football (@TerpsFootball) August 30, 2018
Maryland is dedicating its season to teammate Jordan McNair, who tragically passed away this summer. The entire team announced initiatives to honor McNair’s life, which includes wearing a “79” decal on their helmets (McNair’s number), a moment of silence prior to the Texas and Temple games and encasing McNair’s locker in glass to be preserved with a gameday setup. Additionally, a scholarship will be named in Jordan’s memory, the offensive line room in Cole Field House will be named after him and no Maryland player will wear his number (79) through his graduation year (2021).
Maryland returns 97 percent of its total rushing yards from 2017, including those of senior Ty Johnson and junior Lorenzo Harrison III, who have combined for 3,134 rushing yards over the last two seasons. A first down machine, Johnson has averaged 7.5 yards/carry on 282 career attempts while posting 14 rushing touchdowns. The Maryland rushing attack has averaged more than 160 yards/g three straight seasons for the first time since 2001-03.
Beginning to look a lot like football szn!#FTT | #BeatTexas pic.twitter.com/sVwJVhANaC
— Maryland Football (@TerpsFootball) August 30, 2018
BY THE NUMBERS: OFFENSE
1 – The Maryland offense is entering its first season under offensive coordinator and interim head coach Matt Canada, who was most recently the offensive coordinator at LSU in 2017. Canada was a Broyles Award finalist (top assistant coach) in 2016 for his outstanding coaching at Pitt as offensive coordinator.
3 – Senior Ty Johnson has scored a rushing touchdown in all three season-openers throughout his career, and has averaged 9.4 yards/carry in those three games. Johnson was sensational last season against Texas, rushing for 132 yards and a score on just 12 carries.
4- Maryland was bit by the injury bug at the quarterback position in 2017, as it was forced to start four different quarterbacks during the season. Sophomore Tyrrell Pigrome and freshman Kasim Hill received medical redshirts after being injured within the first three weeks of the season, while Max Bortenschlagermade eight starts under center.
5 – The Terps return all five starting offensive linemen from a season ago, which is a group that includes 104 career starts combined. The line includes four seniors: left tackle Derwin Gray (15 starts), left guard Sean Christie (12), center Brendan Moore (25) and right tackle Damian Prince (30); and one junior: right guard Terrance Davis (21). The week one depth chart has sophomore Johnny Jordan starting at center with Moore moving to right guard.
17 – Despite playing a slew of quarterbacks under center, the Terps have thrown just 17 interceptions over the last two seasons – a far cry from the 29 picks they threw in 2015. It marks the fewest interceptions thrown in a two-year span for the program since throwing just 14 in the 1975-76 seasons.
22 – Graduate wide receiver Taivon Jacobs has caught a pass in 22 consecutive games, totaling 817 yards and seven touchdowns during that span. The streak dates back to the 2015 season, as he missed 2016 due to injury. The sixth-year wideout is poised to be the Terrapins’ leading receiver in 2018 after a career-best season in 2017.
24 – Maryland will look to overcome the loss of DJ Moore, who was taken by the Carolina Panthers as the first wide receiver selected (24th overall) in the 2018 NFL Draft.. Despite playing with four different quarterbacks in 2017, Moore caught a program single-season record 80 passes en route to being named Big Ten Receiver of the Year.
160 – The Terrapin running game has averaged more than 160 yards on the ground in each of the last three seasons, the first such streak since the 2001-03 seasons. With 97-percent of its rushing yards returning from 2017, that trend looks likely to continue for a fourth consecutive season.
It's game week! #FearTheTurtle
❤️💛🖤⚪️ #CollegeColorsDay pic.twitter.com/MwD3F5lSYY
— Maryland Terrapins (@umterps) August 27, 2018
BY THE NUMBERS: DEFENSE/SPECIAL TEAMS
3 – The Terrapin defense welcomed a trio of transfers who are expected make an immediate impact defensively: defensive end Byron Cowart (Auburn), defensive back Marcus Lewis (Florida State) and linebacker Tre Watson (Illinois). Cowart was the top-ranked player in his class coming out of high school, while Lewis started five games in 2016 for the Seminoles before sitting out 2017 due to NCAA transfer policy. Watson is a graduate transfer who was an All-Big Ten selection in 2016.
5 – Redshirt senior Jesse Aniebonam is listed atop the depth chart at the BUCK position and expected to return against Texas Saturday. The outstanding pass rusher suffered a season-ending injury in last season’s win against Texas. In 2016, Aniebonam ranked fifth in the Big Ten with 0.69 sacks per game and led all 3-4 outside linebackers in the Big Ten with 30 pressures.
9.5 – Antoine Brooks, Jr. broke out as a sophomore in 2017, leading the Big Ten in tackles for loss (9.5) among all defensive backs. The All-Big Ten honoree led the team in solo tackles (53) and ranked second in total (77) and interceptions (2). He had one of the more memorable plays in the Terps’ victory over Texas in 2017, returning a blocked field goal 71 yards for a touchdown.
13 – Senior Ty Johnson currently ranks 13th in Maryland history with 813 career kick return yards, and is looking to become the 11th player in program history to accumulate 1,000 kick return yards. Johnson totaled 657 return yards as junior, which ranked ninth in program single-season history.
23 – The Terrapin coaching staff has placed a heavy emphasis on recruiting in the DMV region, and it is particularly evident on the defensive side of the ball with 23-of-38 players hailing from the local region.
25 – Senior Darnell Savage, Jr. is the lone Maryland player on the defensive side of the ball to have more than 11 career starts to his name, having started 25 games over the last three seasons. A 2017 All-Big Ten selection, Savage has 130 career tackles, 13 pass breakups and four interceptions.
330 – Maryland is looking to overcome the loss of linebacker Jermaine Carter, Jr., who led the team in tackles three consecutive seasons and finished his career with 330. Carter was selected in the fifth round of the 2018 NFL Draft by the Carolina Panthers, who also took Terp wideout DJ Moore in the first round.
-Via Maryland Athletics
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