The Big Ten season is finally here in earnest as the Iowa Hawkeyes are set to travel to College Park, Maryland to take on the Terrapins in week five. With the return of the Big Ten schedule comes the return of our weekly series, “In Their Own Words.”
Ahead of the 2021 season, SB Nation’s Big Ten sites submitted some details on their respective teams. As we continue through the teeth of the Big Ten slate, we’ll take a look back each week at what the fanbase was expecting out of the team entering the season.
Linebacker, only played one game but was solid depth player
Defensive back, appeared in all five games last season and started two at safety
Linebacker - Honorable Mention All-Big Ten, 12th in FBS and 2nd in Big Ten with 11.0 tackles per game
O-line, transferred out of the program, was a good starter
DB, 2021 Pro Football Focus Preseason Second Team All-Big Ten, 2020 Honorable Mention All-Big Ten
QB, was slightly inconsistent last year but has the tools t break out in a huge way this season
WR, former five-star, has a shot to be All-Big Ten this season if he hits his peak)
Dontay Demus Jr.
WR, top receiver on the team
D-line, our top guy on the defensive line
Linebacker, five-star recruit
Edge rusher, four-star recruit, top-ranked player in Maryland
Colby McDonald/Roman Hemby
Both running backs, have impressed in preseason and could see time on the field
Defensive lineman, one of our top recruits
Linebacker, one of our top recruits as well
2021 Season Outlook
It should be a very interesting year for Maryland football. The program played just five total games last year which was the least in the Big Ten. This year the team is bringing in one of the top recruiting classes in the conference and in the nation - so it is looking like a year of promise. The offense has a ton of returning pieces at WR and QB and should have plenty of chemistry from last season. The defense is also looking much better this year, there’s lots of depth. With 12 games on the schedule, I would say the team should hover around or even above the .500 mark.
Either the team’s WR/QB combination or the linebackers. I would say it is arguably the linebackers because of the immense amount of talent the team is bringing in.
Discipline. Maryland was one of the most heavily penalized teams in the Big Ten last season (8.8 penalties a game in 2020)
Views on Coaching Staff
Head coach Mike Locksley is a highly-regarded coach. The players seem to love him and his positive attitude ripples through the fan base.
Taulia Tagovailoa. If he breaks out this year and shows consistency, Maryland’s offense will breakout with him.
6-6. Best win against Penn State on November 6. Potential surprise loss against Michigan State on November 13.
It might be another year of growing pains for Maryland football. The potential is there, but it is yet to be seen if this roster can get it done.
Obviously things change the further into the season we get, but interesting to note the season expectations for the Terps were not terribly high despite some quality recruiting by head coach Mike Locksley. Maryland has started the season hot, going 4-0 with wins over West Virginia, Howard, Illinois and Kent State.
We’ll circle back with updated thoughts on the 2021 season and what to expect Friday night as the week progresses.