Time for a quick review of today’s pregame predictions …
1. Two freshmen will score touchdowns for Maryland.
INCORRECT. For much of the game, it seemed like no one would score at all for the Terrapins. Sophomore Justus Pickett finally got into the end zone with 9:52 to play. Albert Reid (12 carries, 29 yards), Stefon Diggs (five touches on offense, 33 yards) and Perry Hills did not.
2. Darin Drakeford will have two tackles for loss.
INCORRECT. It was close, though. The senior had 1.5 tackles for loss, and it was easy to see what sort of impact Drakeford could have this season at weak-side linebacker.
3. Nathan Renfro will punt for Maryland.
CORRECT. And he he did it quite well, too. Renfro averaged 53 yards on his four punts, and his 57-yarder late in the fourth quarter pinned William & Mary on its 2 with 2:17 to go. It would seem Maryland found its punter, even if the decision wasn’t made to give him the nod over Brad Craddock until Friday.
4. At least nine true freshmen will play for the Terps.
CORRECT. That proved a conservative estimate. An even dozen true freshmen saw the field for Maryland in varying roles: Hills, Reid, Diggs, Craddock, offensive tackle Mike Madaras, defensive end Quinton Jefferson, linebacker Avery Thompson, safeties Sean Davis and Anthony Nixon, cornerback Alvin Hill, not to mention special teamers Wes Brown and Levern Jacobs.
More scholarship true freshmen played than didn’t play on Saturday, though it became a little more clear which newcomers are likely to redshirt. Running back Joe Riddle, linebacker Shawn Petty, receivers Malcolm Culmer and Amba Etta-Tawo and tight end P.J. Gallo did not dress.
5. Maryland will win.
CORRECT. Barely. This much is certain: If Maryland plays like that against any of its remaining opponents, it will lose. There is a massive amount of work to be done if the Terps are to exceed the modest expectations placed upon them. No one would ever consider Saturday’s performance a masterpiece (especially on offense). But for a team 11 months removed from its last victory, this was worth savoring a little bit.