After a month of writing about injury after injury, it’s time for Maryland to play its opener. Five predictions for the Terrapins’ date with William & Mary …
1. Two freshmen will score touchdowns for Maryland.
There’s no shortage of candidates. Return man and wideout Stefon Diggs, tailbacks Wes Brown and Albert Reid and quarterback Perry Hills all figure to play at least some role today. This isn’t a complete “And the freshmen shall lead” situation, but newcomers will be in several prominent roles.
2. Darin Drakeford will have two tackles for loss.
The buzz about Maryland’s 3-4 defense is that Drakeford, a weight room warrior playing the weak-side linebacker spot, is in a position to create all sorts of headaches. He bears monitoring throughout the game.
3. Nathan Renfro will punt for Maryland.
Renfro’s competition with Brad Craddock was the one lingering unresolved starting situation for the Terps. Considering Craddock will handle kickoffs and placekicking and the punting duel was clearly close, here’s guessing Maryland goes with Renfro to spread out the responsibilities a bit.
4. At least nine true freshmen will play for the Terps.
There just aren’t going to be many will-he-or-won’t-he-redshirt discussions this year for Maryland, which has 23 scholarship true freshmen on the roster. More than a third will find their way onto the field in the opener, and perhaps close to half will be used in the season’s first game.
5. Maryland will win.
Yes, the Terps are severely short-handed and will break in a true freshman quarterback. Yes, this could be closer than Maryland would like. Nonetheless, look the Terps to scratch out a fairly low-scoring victory and collect a victory in their season opener for the third straight season and eighth time in nine years.
—- Patrick Stevens