Dave Tucker from Testudo Times joins a late Friday edition of BLOGGER Q&A. Check out their game coverage for this week over at TestudoTimes.com, too. Let's get to it, because it's Friday afternoon and no one uses the internet on Friday afternoon.
You're one year in. As opposed to the, uh, other new school, Indiana fans have seemingly welcomed Maryland with open arms. Last season's basketball matchups made for some of the best games in CBB in 2015 and the football programs are on similar grounds. This will be Indiana's first trip to Byrd Stadium, so we'll do the REFLECT ON YOUR TIME SO FAR thing. How's the first now-almost two years of Big Ten play treated y'all?
For the most part, very well. Maryland has won a number of B1G titles in various sports, men's and women's basketball did very well last year and should do the same this year and football had a great inaugural season. And while football has struggled juuuuust a bit this season, Maryland could potentially hire someone really good and make the B1G East the best division in college football.
Maryland's season has seemingly been lost and mired in a coaching search with Mike Locksley taking over for Randy Edsall after the Ohio State game. At this point, with a bowl game out of the picture, what are Maryland players playing for besides personal pride and the ability to be a spoiler? Is there a shot that Locksley could win the job full time?
At this point, I can't see Locksley getting the keys to the program. I think Maryland wants and kind of needs a big name, splashy hire to reinvigorate the fan base's interest in the program. While Locksley is an amazing recruiter, especially locally, and has Maryland playing better since taking over for Randy Edsall, I just can't imagine Maryland removing the interim tag at this point. Maybe if he somehow got Maryland to a bowl game they would have considered it. I do think whoever is hired by Maryland would be extremely smart to keep Locksley on their staff.
I'm going to be completely honest: I don't think I've watched Maryland for more than a few plays all season. What's this team's biggest strength as a football team?
Probably their pass rush. Maryland switched to a 4-3 defensive scheme this year and has shown a good bit of success there. Specifically, junior defensive end Yannick Ngakoue is having an incredible season for Maryland and is on the verge of tying and probably breaking the school's record for sacks in a season.
Maryland is good when they can run the ball, specifically quarterback Perry Hills. If he can be effective on the ground, the Terps can do well.
Their other big strength has been special teams. With Will Likely being one of the nation's most dynamic kickoff and punt returners and kicker Brad Craddock being a Lou Groza award winner.
Okay, give us some optimism -- what's the biggest area of weakness for this Maryland team?
Turnovers, especially from the quarterback position. Maryland is having a historically bad season in terms of number of interceptions thrown and it continues to plaque them every week. If they can some how limit their intercepts, they can be in a position to be successful.
From a fan perspective, what should Indiana fans expect in terms of an atmosphere on Saturday? Have Terp fans already moved on to basketball?
I'd expect the atmosphere in College Park on Saturday to be very uninspiring and dull. It is senior day, but I think a lot of fans are likely going to cut their loses and not show up tomorrow. And with Indiana in a similar boat, I don't think there will be too many IU fans in attendance filling their void.
Alright, give me a game pick and a score.
I think Maryland has been playing better and finally gets their first B1G win of the season. It will be close, but a Will Likely punt return gives Maryland the edge, 27-23.