Buckeyes

Know Your Opponent: The Maryland Terrapins

Welcome back to KYO, where WFNY investigates the ins and outs of each Buckeyes football opponent, keeping the fans informed on their mascots, coach, traditions, record, percentage of felons suiting up, among others. This week – The Terrapins of the University of Maryland at College Park!

Check out last season’s KYO for the details on the Terps’ traditions, coach DJ Durkin, mascot Testudo, and infamous alumni. We’ll start it off this week with the Terrapins’ 2017 season hype video, obviously made by a fan. Not a bad job, but it has that amateurish feel to it as it lacks 1,000 cuts to close-ups, cheerleaders, and the mascot in favor of almost straight gridiron action. I’m a fan of slick editing, but sometimes it’s overdone and we forget it’s a college football team we’re supposed to be hyped about. Three stars out of five for this one:

FBS Stats: Unranked, stats per Sports Illustrated

  • Points per Game: 37th
  • Yards per Game: 117th
  • Points Allowed per Game: 163rd
  • Yards Allowed per Game: 122nd

I half expected Maryland to crack the top 25 this week, given their win over Minnesota. The No. 25 team is UCF, who beat the Terps in Week 3, so I guess it makes sense to keep the Terps out. But then I see teams like NC State, San Diego State, and Michigan in there, and wonder why not Maryland? Obvious conspiracy undertones emanating from this week’s AP Top 25, if you ask me.

Record: 3-1, 3rd in B1G East

During my research I was unable to turn up a photo of Testudo with three fingers raised, for which I apologize. The Terrapins share the number 3 slot in the east with both Michigan and Michigan State, all owning one conference win. In week 1 Maryland beat a Tom Herman-coached Texas, 51-41, in what many considered an upset. To me, Maryland already had the feel of a program on the rise, and Texas was in a much shakier position than Houston was when Herman took over the season prior. I feel the need to defend Tom Herman here because of his role as the Buckeyes OC the last time we had a dynamic offense, though morally I know he’s an asshole for bailing on Houston so quickly.

In Week 2 the Terrapins stomped local rival Towson, 63-17. Week 3 UMD lost to UCF, 10-38. Last week, Maryland beat PJ Fleck’s Golden Gophers, 31-24. I don’t have any particular rooting interest in the Terrapins, though my wife went there for grad school and they’re the closest B1G school for me to grab a game at, but I will always root against PJ Fleck, the most annoying man in college football. You may remember Fleck from when the Buckeyes waxed his Western Michigan Broncos in 2015, and his ludicrous pre-game pep-talk in the locker room where he ranted and raved about a Bronco’s foot fitting into a horseshoe, and that was how he knew they could beat the Buckeyes. The man obviously has some unaddressed mental illness issues. Anyway, congrats to Fleck on his new job and I hope he gets MRSA during his next pep-talk.

Terrapins currently in the NFL: 11 Total

AP Photo/Mike McCarn

Nolan Carroll II, CB, Dallas
Jon Condo, LS, Oakland
Vernon Davis, TE, Washington
Sean Davis, S, Pittsburgh
Stefon Diggs, WR, Minnesota
Trey Edmunds, RB, New Orleans
Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR, Pittsburgh
Dexter McDougle, CB, Philadelphia
Yannick Ngakoue, DE, Jacksonville
Torrey Smith, WR, Philadelphia
Joe Vellano, DT, Atlanta

If there is one thing writing this column each game week has taught me, it’s that Italian-Americans are over-represented at the long snapper position in the NFL, and Jon Condo is another data point for that theory. See the man in action above.

My opponent in fantasy this week has Stefon Diggs, so here’s hoping he has a terrible game. Trey Edmunds in the 18th running back on the Saints, for God’s sake. How many backs does a team need? Especially with a gunslinger like Drew Brees at quarterback, you’d think they would load up on wideouts and not backs. Not to digress too much here, but I’m still amazed at Brees’ success, given that he’s 5-5. How does he do it?

Noteworthy Players:

Tyrell Pigrome, QB
Darnell Savage, Jr., DB
Jahrvis Davenport, WR
Fozie Bazzie, DB
Markquese Bell, DB
Legend Brumbaugh, QB
Max Bortenschlager, QB
Shane Cockerille, LB
Javon Leake, RB
Qwuantrezz Knight, DB
Kevin Woodeshick, TE
Brock Sassler, LS
Carlos Carriere, WR
Jayden Comma, WR
Henry Darmstadter, PK
Lawtez Rogers, DL

These are some top-notch quarterback names here, folks. The only thing missing is moving Brock Sassler from LS to QB, and you’d have the perfect quarterback squad. Bortenschlager is the current starter, due to injuries to season starter Tyrell Pigrome and backup Kasim Hill. This is the third straight year the Terps have started at least three quarterbacks. They’re doing well so far with this situation, and if any fan base knows how successful a third-string QB can be it’s us, but I’ve got to think this works in the Buckeyes’ favor this weekend.

Take a gander above at their insane uniforms. The state of Maryland loves its flag, and the team is no different, using all 17 colors on their uniforms. The only thing missing from these jerseys is a crab, because as everyone knows, you can only get crabs in Maryland and nowhere else on god’s green earth.

Pulp Culture Soul Mate: Sons of Anarchy

Sons on Anarchy was a prestige television show on FX that followed the exploits of a fictional biker gang, and was only good for two of its six seasons. Maryland is a prestige basketball school that in the offseason follows the exploits of a fake football team that has only been good for two seasons, including this one that is only 1/3 complete.

Like Sons allowed orthodontists, accountants, and construction foremen to live the fantasy they were real outlaws on the weekends, Maryland football allows the pampered and overpaid professionals of the D.C. suburbs to pretend they follow an actual football team on fall weekends. The Venn diagram of pudgy middle managers with Harleys in Maryland who root for the Terps and those that love Sons of Anarchy is just a large circle comprising 45 percent of the team’s fan base.

One of the main sources of conflict on Sons was the gang members’ struggles to live up to the high ideals set by their founder, which they lost along the way to becoming drug dealers, gun runners, murderers, statutory rapists, and mere thieves. This mirrors the struggles of UMD graduates as they navigate the fraught and petty world of high-minded rhetoric married to crass money-grubbing and rank corruption that is D.C. professional life. Life for Maryland graduates would be much simpler if everyone just wore kuttes depicting their resume instead of biker gang affiliation, saving everyone from the tedious “so what do you do?” conversation that accompanies every goddamn happy hour. Some of us just want to get blitzed before dinner and aren’t here to network, alright you assholes?

Prediction:

Here’s how I stand for the year:

Indiana: Predicted 42-24 Buckeyes, Actual 49-21
Oklahoma: Predicted 31-24 Buckeyes, Actual 31-16, Oklahoma
Army: Predicted 49-21 Buckeyes, Actual 38-7
UNLV: Predicted 54-14 Buckeyes, Actual 54-21
Rutgers: Predicted 58-14 Buckeyes, Actual 56-0

If you recall, I did say I would not be surprised if the Buckeyes shut Rutgers out, so I’m claiming a moral victory in being only two points off from the actual result. Very prescient of me; I feel redeemed after getting burned by Haskins’ pick-six against UNLV.

As I mentioned above, my wife is a Maryland grad school alum and living in the greater D.C. metro area means I interact with a good many UMD fans, and if you thought that perhaps this would make me sympathetic to the Terps when not playing the Buckeyes, you would be 100 percent wrong. I now know how non-OSU fans feel when they move to Columbus. It’s gotten a tad overwhelming this season when college football comes up as a topic at work, knowing I’m going to have to hear a bunch of Maryland alums talk about DJ Durkin like he’s the second coming of Nick Saban because they knocked off rebuilding programs like Texas and Minnesota.

Credit where it’s due, but these people need to calm the fuck down. I’ve been on the periphery of Maryland football since 2011, and I can tell you that by just not being an absolute laughing stock, the program has made leaps and bounds. But a little improvement against substandard opposition does not make one Alabama or Ohio State. I just want my neighbors and coworkers to understand the context of their team’s improvement, and not lose their minds, yet. Ohio State did beat them 60-something-to-3 last season at home.

So, Buckeyes fans, this week I predict your beloved Scarlet and Grey add a notch to the W column, 45-14. The Terrapins have some decent receivers and their current QB has been doing well for a third-stringer, so I don’t expect a shutout, but I also predict it will be smooth sailing for the Buckeyes to cruise to another easy victory.

That’s it for this week. It’s a 4 p.m. game, so do yourself a favor and stick to the session IPAs until halftime, then kick it into high gear with bottom-shelf and finish the night strong. See you next week!

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