What did Terps overcome to reach Military Bowl?
What is Maryland wishing for this holiday season when it takes on Marshall in the Military Bowl? They could certainly make a list, one more each side of the ball. CSN takes a look, beginning with the offense.
1) Zone-read effectiveness from C.J. Brown
It was a staple of the offense when quarterback C.J. Brown was at his healthiest during the first four games of the season. After his concussion against Florida State and the string of injuries that followed, we did not see it as prominently for a while.
His scrambling ability came back in a win over Virginia Tech, though the zone read wasn’t at the center of it, which pushed Maryland to bowl eligibility. In the Military Bowl, the Terrapins would like to see it make a comeback.
When Brown is running effectively, it opens up the rest of the offense, including the deep ball to Maryland’s athletic receivers. Marshall is in the middle of the pack nationally in rushing yards allowed per game, ranking 63rd with 165 yards per game allowed on the ground.
2) Paging Nigel King. Paging Nigel King.
After injuries to Deon Long and Stefon Diggs, Nigel King made it clear that he wants to be more than just a red-zone threat for the Terrapins. Against NC State he showed that he could, catching a long strike from Brown for a touchdown.
The Thundering Herd have one of the better passing defenses in the country, ranking 32nd in the nation and only giving up 216 yards per game through the air.
If King can stretch the field, that will allow Levern Jacobs and others to get open underneath which, again, gives more options to Brown in the passing game.
3) Potent offense + turnovers = bad news
Marshall ranks toward the bottom quarter of Division I with a -0.2 turnover margin per game. Even still, their offense is averaging 43 points per game, which is seventh in the country. What would happen if Maryland started turning the ball over and giving it to this offense more than it is used to?
That means running backs Brandon Ross and Albert Reid need to hold onto the football and Brown needs to be protected by the offensive line so he has more time to throw and doesn’t rush the ball into coverage.
Turning the ball over and putting it in the hands of Marshall quarterback Rakeem Cato spells trouble.
To purchase tickets to the 2013 Military Bowl in Annapolis, Md., click here.