Athlon projects Maryland football to finish middle of the pack in 2024 Big Ten

Although the Terps avoid both Ohio State and Michigan in 2024, Athlon Sports picked Maryland to finish in the middle of the pack of the revamped Big Ten, checking in at 11th and sandwiched in between Washington and Minnesota.

Athlon’s projected order:

  1. Ohio State
  2. Oregon
  3. Michigan
  4. Penn State
  5. USC
  6. Iowa
  7. Nebraska
  8. Wisconsin
  9. Rutgers
  10. Washington
  11. Maryland
  12. Minnesota
  13. Michigan State
  14. UCLA
  15. Illinois
  16. Northwestern
  17. Indiana
  18. Purdue

Athlon on Maryland: Maryland has won eight games in back-to-back seasons but taking the next step will hard for coach Mike Locksley’s team in ’24. With quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa off to the NFL, Cameron Edge, Billy Edwards Jr., and NC State transfer MJ Morris will battle for the starting job. Whichever signal-caller wins the job does have weapons to deploy, including running back Roman Hemby, tight end Preston Howard, and receivers Kaden Prather and Tai Felton. However, four new starters must emerge along the offensive line. The Terrapins were solid on defense last year (4.86 yards a snap) and bring back a strong foundation up front. Ruben Hyppolite II is a stalwart at linebacker, and the line is anchored by end Quashon Fuller, edge rusher Donnell Brown, and tackle Jordan Phillips. Replenishing the secondary after the departures of Beau Brade, Tarheeb Still, and Ja’Quan Sheppard is coordinator Brian Williams’ biggest offseason priority. 

Athlon also ranked Maryland as the 49th-best while placing eight Terps on their preseason All-Big Ten team, pointing to the Terps as a potential bowl team for the fourth consecutive season under Mike Locksley. DraftKings still has 6.5 as the preseason over/under on Maryland’s win total with the over currently even money, though the Terps will look to generate momentum heading into the heart of conference play.

Maryland will play three of their first four games at SECU Stadium with Michigan State headed to campus for the Big Ten opener in week two, while the Terps will complete their home-and-home with Virginia when they head to Charlottesville for the week three matchup. Maryland will close out September with their first conference road game vs. Indiana and first-year head coach Curt Cignetti, while USC heads to College Park in October, and the Terps travel to Eugene for the first-ever matchup vs. Oregon.

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