clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

2023 Opponent Snapshot: Maryland

The Terps are talented - can they put it together on the field?

Penn State v Maryland Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images

EDITOR’S NOTE: This continues a series of 12 posts doing a quick “snapshot” preview of each of Penn State’s upcoming 2023 football opponents in order of the schedule. Today, it’s a look at division foe Maryland whom Penn State will travel to on November 4.

Quick 2022 Recap

Maryland raced out to a 3-1 record in September of 2022, with its only loss to Michigan, 34-27. They improved to 6-2 through October, stumbling just once against Purdue, 31-29. Then, as seems to always be the case in College Park, the skies of November turned gloomy, and the Terrapins fell to 7-5 on the year, with successive losses to Wisconsin, Penn State, and Ohio State. Statistically, the Terps were a balanced team, with both their offense and defense being ranked in the mid-50s nationally. The point production by their offense was a bit lacking, coming in at just 67th in the country and 28.2 points per game; the defense made up for that a bit with a 47th overall ranking, surrendering 24.1 PPG. For their efforts, Maryland met #23 NC State in the Duke’s Mayo Bowl, where they managed a 16-12 win.

Offensive Player to Watch: QB Taulia Tagovailoa

Since transferring to Maryland from Alabama in 2020, Tagovailoa has been the guy at quarterback for the Terrapins. His best season came in 2021, where he posted 3,860 yards and 26 TDs to just 11 INTs; 2022 was still a successful year, though his production dropped to 3,008 yards, 18 TDs, and 8 INTs. Still, he eschewed the call of the NFL, and opted to return to Maryland for his senior season. While he’s not the most mobile quarterback out there, he does have just enough wiggle to extend plays, and he notched four rushing TDs in 2022. Behind Taulia is RS SO Billy Edwards, a former 3-star recruit. After Edwards comes two RS freshmen in Cameron Edge and Jayden Sauray, both former 3-stars. While the QB position is not devoid of talent, it appears to be a significant step down from Taulia to the backups.

Defensive Player to Watch: S Beau Brade

There has been a fair bit of turnover for the Maryland defense, but leading tackler Beau Brade returns in deep center field. Alongside his team-leading 85 tackles, Brade provided four tackles for loss, two INTs, five passes defended, and two forced fumbles. The true senior will be asked to provide leadership to a team that has a good bit of youth and transfers. The good news for Maryland is that the defensive secondary appears to be solid, with three of the top five leading tacklers all returning in the backfield; that may actually be a concern because it likely means that the first two levels of defense have failed.

Maryland Wins If

Penn State gets caught looking ahead to the Michigan game the next week. Last season, the Lions won 30-0 at home, and while I’d be surprised at pitching another shutout, the gap between the two teams seems to be widening. If the Lions get caught napping on the road, it’s possible that Tagovailoa and Co. are able to generate just enough points for the upset.

Penn State Wins If

They play to their level. Not that it happens often, but on occasion teams will play down to their competition. The Lions should be better on both sides of the ball, and if they come out and execute, this game should be over midway through the second half. Ideally, the starters are pulled not long thereafter, and the team can then prepare for the showdown against the Wolverines.