Three takeaways from Maryland football’s spring game

Maryland football has officially wrapped up spring ball as the Red Team pulled out a 20-19 win in a lightly-attended game inside SECU Stadium. Takeaways as the Terps now turn the page to

Offensive Line remains a work in progress

Maryland saw its first-team offensive line battle against the defensive line as (L-R) DJ Glaze, Amelio Moran, Aric Harris, Corey Bullock, Gottlieb Ayedze hit the field. The second-string unit featured (L-R) Ja’Kavion Nonar, Kyle Long, Khris Love, Marcus Dumervil, Conor Fagan. Both units struggled in the early series of the spring game as edge rushers, like Quashon Fuller against Ayedze, were able to find success to disrupt Taulia in the pocket. The offensive line would settle in over time despite allowing five sacks through the first half, while quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa did well using his legs to extend plays as he found Tyrese Chambers for the first of two touchdowns on the day. The unit was without Andre Roye and Deandre Duffus, though Jakavion Nonar has supplanted Roye as the backup left tackle. Saturday’s spring game provided a handful of highlights for the skill players and Jeshaun Jones, Tai Felton, Preston Howard and Tyrese Chambers were able to leave their mark, but still, the protection up front will need to be tweaked as the portal gives the Terps an option to bolster their interior line.

New faces shine for the offense

The defenses on both teams were able to control the pace early in Saturday’s game as the offense gradually found its rhythm. While the quarterbacks did well finding their skill players along the sidelines, evidenced by Tagovailoa’s deep throw to Jeshaun Jones along with Billy Edwards’ touchdown pass to Robert Smith, the tight end room was able to flash themselves over the middle with Preston Howard leading the White Team at the half with 61 yards on three catches, while Corey Dyches posted four catches for 25 yards for the Red Team at the break. After missing the majority of his freshman season with an injury, Saturday was the latest performance serving as evidence that the former McDonogh quarterback can step into an impact role this season. Howard did well absorbing contact to move the chains, showing signs he can become the dependable receiving tight end behind Dyches.

Kaden Prather also showed off his strength along the perimeter as he gives the offense a reliable, fluid wideout over the top while the chemistry between Taulia and Chambers was on display at times. Tai Felton was also able to take advantage of his reps, though the junior wideout benefitted early in the spring game from Beau Brade in a ‘no-contact’ yellow jersey as Felton took a slant to midfield.

Injury bug hits an impact player

Every coach will always tell you there’s one thing that’s most important in the spring game: get out healthy. Last year, Maryland saw RB Challen Faamatau lost for the season after suffering a knee injury and now, the staff will hope for better news after watching CB Jaquan Sheppard carted off the field in the first quarter after a collision with WR Kaden Prather. The former Cincinnati transfer was down for a few minutes as the training staff tended to him before he left the field, but Sheppard returned to the sideline without pads and appeared fine as teammates and trainers made their way to check on the veteran. Gavin Gibson wasn’t in uniform on Saturday, though there isn’t long-term concern with him, while veteran safety Glen Miller has been in a boot for the last two weeks.

Meanwhile, second-year running back Ramon Brown was inactive and in a boot as walk-on Eli Mason stepped into the backfield for the White Team.

Maryland was also without OT Andre Roye, RB Ramon Brown, OL Deandre Duffus, TE Leron Husbands and WR Shaleak Knotts on Saturday.

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