Maryland started their 2016 campaign winning their first four games over Howard, FIU, UCF and Purdue winning by a margin of 173-58 or 28.7 points per game. After their undefeated start, the Terrapins managed a 2-6 mark down the stretch beating only Michigan State and Rutgers. Maryland did not beat a team with a winning record all year in 2016 and their six wins came against opponents with a combined overall record of 20-52 or .277%.
The Terrapins were 2-5 on the road in 2016 and 4-2 at home.
In 2015, Texas lost 7 games by a combined total of 273-146 or 127 total points. In those losses, the Longhorns defense allowed 39 points per game.
In 2016, Texas lost 7 games by a combined total of 247-185 or 62 total points. In those losses, the Longhorns defense allowed 35 points per game.
Texas was 1-5 on the road or on a neutral field site in 2016. The Longhorns lost their seven games in 2016 by a total of 62 points or 8.8 points per game.
The Terps averaged 25 points per game in 2016 and had a balanced attack that rushed for 199 yards per game along with throwing for 214 yards per game through the air.
Offensive line will be a cause of concern entering 2017 as the last season, the unit allowed 49 total sacks and will need to do a better job in order to build off of last year.
Maryland completed under 50% of their passes in four of the team’s thirteen games and need better consistency in this match-up with the Longhorns high powered offense.
Maryland had success when they can run the football effectively and will need to run the football in this game against Texas. Last year, the offense averaged over 200 yards per game on the ground, however, in the contests between the top teams in the conference-the rushing offense struggled.
In Maryland’s three games against Michigan, Ohio State and Nebraska (all losses), the offense managed a total of 132 rushing yards or 44 rushing yards per game.
Running back Ty Johnson led the team with 1,004 rushing yards averaging 9.1 yards per carry with 6 rushing touchdowns.
Defensively, the Terps gave up 29 points per game and allowed 214 rushing yards per game along with 212 passing yards per game through the air.
In the team’s seven losses in 2016, the defensive weaknesses were glaring.
Maryland ended their 2016 season -7 in turnover margin (-5 at home and -2 on the road), however, in their seven losses, they failed to win the turnover battle in every game. More importantly, is that the team finished with a -13 margin in those contests.
In rush defense, the unit allowed 271 rushing yards per game (57 yards more than their season average) in the Terps seven losses to:
Penn State: 373 yards
Minnesota: 229 yards
Indiana: 414 yards
Michigan: 275 yards
Ohio State: 253 yards
Nebraska: 181 yards
Boston College: 181 yards
A bright spot for the group was the defensive front seven that recorded 38 total sacks as a unit.
The Longhorns averaged 31 points per game behind a balanced offense that rushed for 239 yards per game along with 252 passing yards per game in 2016.
Freshman quarterback, Shane Beuchele, who completed 60% of his passes 2,958 yards with 21 touchdowns and 11 interceptions will be counted on 2017 to build off of his exciting 2016 season.
Running back, Donta Foreman, who will enter the NFL draft this year rushed for 2,028 yards averaging 6.2 yards per carry in 2016. In Foreman’s first 6 games against opponents with a combined overall record of 42-33 or .560%, he rushed for a total of 855 yards or 142 rushing yards per game.
However, in the last five games, Foreman broke out with 1,173 rushing yards or 234 yards per game. The opponents in those contests had a combined overall record of 30-33 or .476%.
The offensive line allowed 32 sacks as a unit and must be able to protect Buechele in this game against an aggressive Terps defensive front seven.
Defensively, the Longhorns allowed 31 points per game and gave up 189 rushing yards per game along with 258 passing yards per game.
This was back to back years in which the defense surrendered more than 30 points per game since prior to the 2008 season.
It was also the highest passing total since the 2008 season, when the secondary allowed 259 passing yards to opposing offenses.
Turnover margin was a concern last season for the unit. In 2015, the team finished with a +11 margin (+12 at home and -1 on the road or on a neutral field site). However, in 2016, the team finished -3 in turnover margin and -2 on the road.
Road issues were a major problem for the defense as they allowed 38.4 points per game away from Darrell K Royal Stadium and must find a way to get wins outside of Austin next year.
In the team’s seven losses, the secondary allowed a total of 2,016 total passing yards or 288 passing yards per game.
Another bright spot was the front seven that registered 41 total sacks in 2016 up from 2015 when they recorded 37 total sacks.