Maryland Football: Game-By-Game Predictions for the Terrapins' 2014 Season

Game-By-Game Predictions for Maryland's 2014 Season

5/21/14 in NCAAF   |   rlnichols11   |   22 respect

Over the past several seasons, the Maryland Terrapins have been more known for what they wear on the football field than for what they've actually accomplished on it.  Blog Photo - Maryland Football: Game-By-Game Predictions for the Terrapins' 2014 Season

However, they have improved their win total each of the last three seasons, going from two to four to seven in 2011, 2012, and 2013, respectively.

Despite a rough start to his tenure, Randy Edsall has the Terps trending in the right direction. 

Now they leave the average-at-best ACC and begin life in the Big Ten. While the Big Ten has not lived up to its long-standing tradition as the premier football conference for several years, it still offers tougher competition week in and week out than the ACC does. 

That being said, the 2013 Terps had one of the worst runs of luck I can remember ever seeing in college football.  

Their starting quarterback was on and off the field all season, their starting running back was suspended for the entire season, they lost two five-star wide receivers halfway through the season, they were down to third-string linebackers, and they lost a starting corner before the season even started. 

Chances are the injury bug won't be as rude to Maryland this year as it was in 2013. If it can stay relatively healthy, it could potentially do some real damage in its inaugural Big Ten campaign. 

I'm a big Edsall fan, and I think he might surprise a lot of people this season. 

8/30 vs. James Madison: W 

I'm pretty sure Virginia Tech fans still shutter whenever they see the name James Madison anywhere. Luckily, the Terps should be better than the 2010 Hokies. Never say never, but I'm not exactly wrestling with this one. Maryland wins big at home. 
 
9/6 at South Florida: W 

Remember when South Florida was actually a slightly respectable Big East program? It's been awhile. Ten wins in the last three seasons doesn't give me much confidence. The Bulls will compete and keep it close at home, but C.J. Brown makes a few big plays late and gives the Terps a comfortable win on the road. 

9/13 vs. West Virginia: W 

Back in the Rich Rod/Pat White/Steve Slaton/Noel Devine era, the Mountaineers had arguably the most exciting team in the entire country. How the mighty have fallen. The Dana Holgorsen era has been a rough one to say the least, especially in 2013 after the departure of Geno Smith. The Terps beat West Virginia 37-0 last year, and I expect a similar outcome in 2014. Maryland wins big. 

9/20 at Syracuse: W 

I think this has a chance to a very underrated non-conference matchup in 2014. Last year the Orange took out the Terps 20-3 in College Park. A big reason for that was a huge game on the ground led by senior running back Jerome Smith. He's now an Atlanta Falcon. Assuming Maryland isn't missing of its their starting lineup like it was last year, I think it gets payback this season. 

9/27 at Indiana: W 

No Cody Latimer equals a lot of missing offense from a Hoosier team that hasn't had a good defense in my lifetime. They will fight with Purdue and Rutgers to stay out of the basement of the Big Ten. This is a really good draw for Maryland's first ever Big Ten conference game. They win easy. 

 10/4 vs. Ohio State: L 

A visit from Ohio State is the beginning of a brutal six-game stretch in conference play for the Terps. While most people might look at this and think blowout, I actually think Maryland can compete with the Buckeyes on their home turf. They have 10-to-11 starters coming back on a very athletic defense that can do enough physically to at least hang around for two or three quarters. Ultimately, Braxton Miller and Dontre Wilson are too talented for the Terps to slow down for four quarters, and they suffer their first loss of the season. 

10/18 vs. Iowa: W 

Coming off a bye week, I'm giving the Terps the benefit of the doubt on this one. Although Iowa had the ninth-best scoring defense in the country in 2013, it has lost all three starting linebackers from a year ago. I don't think it has enough on offense to be an elite team in the conference. Stefon Diggs has his best game of the season and Maryland pulls the mini-upset at home. 

10/25 at Wisconsin: L 

This is when things will start to get ugly for Maryland. While I think its defense has a good chance to improve from a year ago, it won't be nearly good enough to slow down potential Heisman candidate Melvin Gordon. The Terps don't have enough offensive firepower to keep up with him. Wisconsin wins fairly easily at Camp Randall. 

11/1 at Penn State: L 

Having to go from Camp Randall one week to Happy Valley the very next almost isn't fair. Had this game been anywhere else on Maryland's schedule, I'd be much more likely to give it a better shot at winning. But this comes right in the middle of probably the roughest stretch of games in the entire conference. Penn State finds a way to squeeze out a close one. 
 
11/15 vs. Michigan State: L 

Coming off a much needed bye week, much like against Ohio State, I think Maryland can give Sparty a good game in College Park. But Trae Wayans will be able to keep Diggs in check on the outside, and Jeremy Langford behind a big offensive line will win the matchup on the inside. Langford breaks a couple big runs late and leads the Spartans to victory. 
 
11/22 at Michigan: L  

The six game gauntlet finally comes to a conclusion at the Big House. With all due respect to the ACC, the Terps aren't used to that kind of physical beating week after week playing against Wake Forest and Boston College. They'll more than likely be pretty worn down by the time they face off against Brady Hoke and company. While I still don't think its an elite team by any means, Michigan still isn't awful, and it has enough on both sides of the ball to hold off a battered Maryland team at home. 

11/29 vs. Rutgers: W 

On November 29, there probably won't be anybody on the planet as excited as Randy Edsall. After a rough introduction to Big Ten play, the Terrapins get rewarded with a conclusion against a not-even-close-to-good Rutgers team. On Senior Day, Brown has the best game of his career, and the Terrapins get to end their regular season on a positive note.

2014 Maryland Projected Record: 7-5 (3-5)

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