Tom Dienhart, BTN.com Senior Writer, January 11, 2018
Maryland took a step back in the second year of the D.J. Durkin era, going 4-8 overall and 2-7 in the Big Ten. But he still continues to recruit well, offering hope for big things in the future.
The offense was hampered by injuries at quarterback in 2017. How bad was it? Maryland had to use five different quarterbacks. As a result, the Terps watched a 3-1 start melt into a 1-7 finish.
First, Tyrrell Pigrome was lost for the year with a knee injury in a season-opening win at Texas. Then, promising true freshman Kasim Hill went down with a season-ending knee injury in a 38-10 loss vs. Central Florida in the third game of the season. Then, in the fifth game of the year, Maryland had to use fourth-stringer Caleb Henderson when third-stringer Max Bortenschlager got dinged in a 62-14 evisceration at Ohio State. Even walk-on Ryan Brand saw some action later in the year.
On top of the offensive woes, the defense struggled–badly. Maryland finished last in scoring defense (37.1 ppg) and 13th in total defense (419.4 ypg), as the Terps allowed a league-high 23 passing TDs.
Maryland lost some key players in WRs Taivon Jacobs and Jacquille Veii, LB Jalen Brooks, DE Chandler Burkett and DT Cavon Walker. Here is a look at the top five players Maryland must replace.
LB Jermaine Carter. One of the few bright spots on a bad defense, Carter led the Terps in tackles each of the last three years. He had 90 stops in 2017 and added 3.5 sacks. He was the clear-cut team leader and emotional voice of the team. Jackson was honorable mention All-Big Ten by the media.
CB JC Jackson. A transfer from Florida, Jackson became the team?s top cover corner. He led the squad with 10 passes broken up and three interceptions while adding 40 tackles. Jackson was consensus honorable mention All-Big Ten.
WR DJ Moore. He was a sensation, leading the Big Ten with in catches (80) and yards (1,033) while adding eight scoring grabs. As a result, Moore earned Big Ten Receiver of the Year honors. His 80 receptions set a new Maryland single-season record. Moore was consistent for the Terps, ending his junior campaign having started 35 straight games and making a catch in 33 consecutive contests. He opted to turn pro.
NT Kingsley Opara. A big body that clogged the middle and helped stuff the run, Opara had 26 tackles, two TFLs and a sack.
SS Josh Woods. He was regarded by the coaches as the most improved player on defense. Woods was one of the few vets in the secondary last year, finishing fourth on the team with 62 tackles. He also had 4.5 TFLs and two interceptions.