Maryland Football: Five Things to Watch Vs. Charlotte

Maryland rolled to a 31-10 win over Buffalo in last weekend’s season opener. The team will hit the road for their first road contest of the 2022 season when they travel to face Charlotte for a 3:30 PM kickoff. With the Terps opening as 27-point favorites on Friday, what does Maryland need to do to come out with a win? We take a look.

  • Can Taulia and Receivers Rebound? While the offense scored 31 points against Buffalo, the offense had its struggles during the game. Taulia Tagovailia was off on some of his passes, including an interception after overthrowing Corey Dyches. He also didn’t have a touchdown pass for the first time since his first start as a Terp. The receivers had some issues as well. Rakim Jarrett and Dontay Demus both had drops. Jacob Copeland also wasn’t featured as much as what was expected. The Terps’ offense kept it simple against Buffalo and is expected to do the same against Charlotte. Better execution is going to be key this week.
  • Hemby Flashing Again? The best player on the offense last week was running back Roman Hemby. In his first start, the redshirt freshman rushed for 114 yards and two touchdowns on just seven carries. His touchdown runs were of 33 and 70 yards. He was the Big Ten Freshman Offensive Player of the Week because of his performance. Maryland might look to run more against Charlotte as establishing the run has been a point of emphasis since the spring. If they do, Hemby could be in for another big game with his ability to break off for a big play on any snap.
  • Generating Turnovers: The defense against Buffalo played mostly great football. They held the Bulls to ten points, under three yards a carry, only allowed one play over 20 yards, and recorded four sacks. Jakorian Bennett was also named to the PFF Week One All-Defense team after notching five pass breakups. The only thing missing from their performance was their first turnover of the season. Locksley said that’s been an emphasis for his defense dating back to last season, but there were some close moments, including a dropped interception by defensive back Jakorian Bennett. Can Maryland get their first turnover of the season against Charlotte?
  • Increase the Rotations: Against Buffalo, the Terps got playing time to some of the true freshmen. Linebackers Jaishawn Barham, Kellen Wyatt, and Caleb Wheatland played early and often in last week’s win. Wyatt had one of four sacks by the defense, defensive backs Gavin Gibson and Lionell Whitaker got playing time at cornerback in the fourth quarter. On offense, Ramon Brown and Octavian Smith got their first experience of college play while offensive Lineman Andre Roye trotted out with the second team offensive line in the game. If the Terps have a big lead expect more young guys to see the field as the staff maximizes playing time while maintaining eligibility for some underclassmen.
  • Cutting Down the Miscues: The Terps were not perfect against Buffalo last week. Offensive linemen Jaelyn Duncan and Spencer Anderson were both called for penalties that took away decent gains. The offense also had problems with drops, and Lia had some throws he would have had back. Defensive backs Deonte Banks and Gavin Gibson were called for pass interference that extended drives. Banks was also called for an offside that took away a missed field goal. There were also a free kick out of bounds by Chad Ryland and an illegal snap by long snapper Ethan Gough. The Terps must cut by on the mistakes before conference play.

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