Grading Maryland football’s position groups for the 2022 season

Maryland football finished the season 8-5 after defeating No. 25 North Carolina in the Dukes Mayo Bowl on December 30.

The Terps went 7-5 in the regular season before the bowl game, improving their win total by one from 2021, when they finished the regular season with a 6-6 record before defeating Virginia Tech in the Pinstripe Bowl. Did.

Here’s how each of the Terps’ position groups performed during the 2022 season.

Quarterback: B-

Taulia Tagovailoa’s 2022 season was just like Taulia Tagovailoa. There have been many ups and downs. Tagovailoa completed 67% of his passes for 3,008 yards and he had 18 touchdowns and also threw eight interceptions.

At times, Tagovailoa looked like an All-Big Ten quarterback, and eventually he was named: Finding receivers who extended plays with their feet and moved the ball downfield. When he’s playing at his best, he’s as good a quarterback as he’s in the Big Ten. As his career progressed, he made fewer and fewer mistakes, but there are still moments when they show up.See how his needless backfoot pass in a bowl game led to an interception in the endzone. .

Despite all the mistakes, Tagaviailoa is still as good a quarterback as Maryland has been for a while. If he chooses to come back for one more season, his terp ceiling will rise dramatically.

Billy Edwards Jr. also started the game and filled in other spots due to Tagovailoa’s injury. He added 136 rushing yards with 7 touchdowns and paid off defense with his feet. Although he wasn’t the sharpest, he led a comeback win against Indiana and started the team’s win against Northwestern.

Running back: A

Maryland’s running back room entered the season without a clear first place, but Roman Hemby quickly showed why he was given the starting role. On 188 attempts, he ran for 989 yards, just 11 yards to become the program’s first 1,000-yard rusher since 2018. Without him, the Terps wouldn’t have won as many games.

Antwain Lyttelton II also had a flash all season, scoring 5 touchdowns on 75 attempts for 320 yards. Given his size, he was surprisingly ineffective in short-yard situations, but he did have moments of bulldozing defenders and imposing willpower.

Colby Macdonald and Ramon Brown both had around 30 carries, but Brown, a true freshman, will be more important next season and beyond as staff appreciate his potential. will play an important role.

Wide receiver: C+

In the void, the Maryland wide receiver had a pretty good season. Many were involved in the offense and four had multiple touchdowns. However, it was a bit of a disappointing year for the Terps wideout given the high expectations the group entered the season as one of the most vaunted pass-catching squads in the country.

Jeshaun Jones was the team’s leading receiver, with 44 catches for 557 yards and four touchdowns. If he returns for one more season, he’ll be the leader of a group looking for a team that many veterans have left.

Rakim Jarrett was behind Jones as the second best wide receiver with 40 receptions for 471 yards and three touchdowns. He had moments when his NFL record was clear, but he also had moments when he dropped and was kind of different. Still, he was a very important player to the program and his contributions will be fondly remembered.

After joining Maryland from Florida, Jacob Copeland basically went unnoticed for most of the season, going for 376 yards and two touchdowns. Both are in the game against Charlotte. Dontay Demus Jr. also recovered from his leg injury in 2021, which limited his ability to make an impact, but he looks better as the years go by.

Ty Felton and Octavian Smith Jr. stood out from the next group of major Maryland receivers. Felton was an offensive staple throughout the season, and Smith Jr. began to get more playing time in the second half of the season, especially in the bowl games after Jarrett. , Demus and Copeland opted out. He made a great touchdown catch against the Wolfpack and has the potential to be a special player for the Terps.

Tight end: A-

The pressure to play in tight end positions fell on the shoulders of Cory Deyches and CJ Dibble after Chigozim Okonkwo, who had a very impressive rookie year with the Tennessee Titans, left for the NFL. They excelled, combining 69 receptions for 808 yards and 6 touchdowns, while the Dyches’ 494 receiving yards were second-most on the team.

Dyches is primarily a receiving tight end and has proven that this season. He has often been a favorite target for Tagovailoa and has been with Dipres who went to Alabama.Deiches’ play was wide when his receivers failed to meet the demands Maryland’s passes were the main reason his game was successful. It was a reason.

Dipre, who announced a transfer after the regular season ended, quickly became an NFL prospect in 2022. Primarily known as a blocker and someone with unproven athleticism, Dipre has made his mark on the season. Leaving, allayed concerns…his pass-catching ability. He will be lonely in College Park.

Offensive line: B-

Coming into the season, Maryland’s offensive line, named by head coach Mike Locksley as the “Most Improved Group” and with unit experience, generated a lot of buzz before the season. The group probably didn’t live up to its potential, but it was solid overall and deserves a lot of credit for the team’s successful execution of the ball.

The biggest flaw in the offensive line’s resume was its inability to keep discipline during the season. It can usually be traced back to a pre-snap or penalty retention by an aggressive lineman who killed the drive.

Terps’ offensive line is set to undergo a major change next season.

Defensive line: C+

Maryland’s defense was sensational for most of the year, especially in the second half. One of his biggest weaknesses, however, was his struggles at the line of scrimmage. Terps rarely put any meaningful pressure on his opponents, and often runs that proved costly in the November games saw him pushed away in games.

Maryland was in the middle of the pack in Big Ten sacks, but four teams managed to exceed 200 rushing yards: Wisconsin (278), Penn State (249), Michigan (243) and Northwestern (215). rice field.

Of course, not all of it falls on the defensive line. Soccer is a team sport and all players and positions must play in coordination with each other. However, the Terps defensive line did little to slow down the opponent’s rush and was often physically handled in the trenches. I had those moments, but they weren’t consistently effective.

Linebacker: B.

The linebacker has been an uncertain part of Terps’ squad in 2022, as his position appeared to be ravaged by injuries and departures the previous season. People stood out.

The biggest positive of the 2022 season at linebacker was the emergence of freshman Jaishawn Barham. He quickly became one of the best players on the roster and a potential centerpiece for building programs. He led the team in tackles-for-losses (6.5) and tied the team’s lead in sacks (4), with legitimate potential to be his NFL player in the All-Americans and his first round in the future. I have proved that there is.

Ahmad McCullough has a career-high 45 tackles (three in three losses) and is set to move out of the program. Fa’Najae Gotay found his groove as the season progressed, as he made 37 tackles and intercepted a tipping pass against the Dukes in his Mayo Bowl game against North Carolina State. Ruben Hyppolite II played well when he was on the field, although an injury kept him out for three games. The future looks bright for Caleb Wheatland.

There are a lot of positives to take away from the season at the linebacker position, and if the run defense improves, it will start there.

Secondary: B+

The Terps secondary faced many problems, especially safety. Starters Jordan Moseley and Nick Cross left, while Deonte Banks and Tahib Still returned from a season in which Banks was injured and failed to meet preseason billing.

It became clear early on that concerns about safety positions were not justified. Beau Brade and Dante Trader Jr. seamlessly played starting roles and were solid throughout the season. Brade was arguably the team’s best defensive player all season. Both he and the trader made two interceptions.

Cornerbacks also held their own despite being penalized occasionally, sometimes more often than occasionally. Jacobian Bennett will break a team-high 10 passes in 2021 and have two interceptions, including one late in the fourth quarter, to seal a bowl victory over North Carolina State. I went to the right from where I left. Still and Banks were also reliable as the season progressed, with Banks performing well enough to get into the NFL Draft early.

Future starters like Glendon Miller, Lionel Whitaker and Gavin Gibson showed obvious signs of inexperience when they entered the game, but they were also decent.

Special Forces: A-

Maryland’s 2022 Special Teams story begins and ends with Chad Ryland. Ryland was the Terps best kicker for a while, going 19-for-23 on field goals and 9-for-9 from within 40 yards. He also scored touchbacks in nearly 70% of his kickoffs, limiting his opponents’ returns. Ryland should get a chance to play in the NFL and he deserves it.

At Punter, Colton Spangler held onto the starting spot and played the part well. He averaged over 45 yards per punt and landed his 16 punts inside the 20-yard line.

The special team had some downsides, such as blocking extra points against Purdue and relatively limited success in returns, but overall, the unit was as reliable as it has been in Maryland over the years. I made it.

Coaching: B.

Maryland’s season has been a mixed one from a coaching standpoint. On the downside, the team committed the most penalties in the Big Ten. In their respective stats, they had 141 more penalty yards and 7 more penalties than his second-last team in the conference. Wisconsin and Penn State’s uncompetitive losses after a goodbye week showed a lack of preparation, with play calls often lacking in creativity and sometimes situations I was really confused.

Still, the Terps had a pretty good season all things considered, winning bowl games and improving on their winning numbers last season while refusing to lose big to Michigan and Ohio. A lot of that can be attributed to first-year defensive coordinator Brian Williams, whose defense really stole the show as the season progressed. It would be wise to do what is necessary to maintain it.

The staff, especially Locksley, deserve credit for the strong culture that has been built in Maryland and continues to attract new recruits.Locksley is clearly moving the program in the right direction, making Maryland a Big Ten I dug it out of a hole in the bottom of the How far he can go remains to be seen, but the 2022 season has the opportunity to be another component of his vision.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *