After Tumultuous Offseason, Maryland is Ready to get Back to Football
The 2018 offseason was by far the worst in recent history for the Maryland football team. First, Jordan McNair tragically passed away in May, then not much happened with the situation until two months later when ESPN put out a report detailing the toxic culture surrounding the football program, essentially forcing the university to get off its butt and formally address the situation.
In the proceeding weeks, we learned that the McNair’s death was very likely preventable, and the failure fell on basically every level from the training staff to the school’s administration. Maryland fired the main culprit for the poor culture in Rick Court (unfortunately, this means the end of “excessive juice” as he created the sign) and put several other key people on leave including coach DJ Durkin pending the results of the ongoing investigation which is expected to wrap up by October.
The moves had to be made, but given that they were done so close to the season, there is a strange feeling of a team in limbo. No one knows what to expect from this Terps team, and new coach Matt “The Hat” Canada isn’t helping to quell anxiety among the fanbase.
Mercifully, the offseason from hell is over, and even though there are multiple pending investigations looming over the program, the Terps actually get to play football today which is quite a relief. They’ll “host” the Texas Longhorns in FedEx field as the second leg of a home-and-home series. If you don’t remember the game last year, allow me to refresh your memory:
Last year, the Terps beat the Longhorns despite Texas being ranked #23 in the country, and virtually no one picking Maryland to win. This year, the Terps will play the #23 ranked Longhorns and no one is picking them to win. *thinking face emoji*
Despite the similar conditions on the surface, this is actually a very different matchup from last time. First of all, Texas actually has their quarterback situation figured out unlike last year, with Sophomore Sam Ehlinger starting over last year’s signal-caller Shane Buechele. Ehlinger can basically do everything Buechele can but slightly better, from rushing ability to their arm strength or accuracy.
Another important difference this year is that the coaching went in opposite directions. As the season progressed last year, the Longhorns only got better in Coach Tom Herman’s system, while Maryland’s coaching situation right now can only be described as an absolute clusterf—.
It’s not all bad news though, as Maryland is returning some offensive stars in Kasim Hill, Tyrell Pigrome, and arguably the best running back in the Big Ten in Ty Johnson. Like last year, this team should put up a lot of points, and the game will likely be highly entertaining.
Overall, I believe Texas simply has too much talent for Maryland to overcome given the lack of stability the program has seen recently, but the score should be closer than most of the national pundits are predicting. something like 34-27 Texas makes sense to me, however an upset would not surprise me one bit. The game will be broadcast on Fox Sports 1 at noon today.