Maryland Scouting Report, Part 1: The Offense

Maryland
Maryland is a pass-heavy team. (Maryland athletics)

Of Maryland’s last two games of the regular season, the first was a thumping by Michigan, and the second was a bit of frustration-venting where they whipped Rutgers. Unfortunately for the Hokies, this has been a straightforward review, as all of the Terps’ opt-outs, portals, and the like have been benchwarmers. Barring something unusual, this will be a nearly full-strength team tangling with a depleted bunch from Blacksburg.

Offense

In a lot of ways, this offense reminds me of what we saw from Louisville last year, with the emphasis on pistol sets, boot/sprint-outs, and finding ways to get the ball to the TE off slice looks. They’re also still the same team I saw going after WVU with loads of screens, mostly to the perimeter, but also middle and tunnel screens, and they’ll lean on the screen game in third-and-medium situations.

Speaking of third down, the Terps have struggled with it this season. That might be a little surprising with the way QB Taulia Tagovailoa (#3) has been hyped up. Some of the discrepancy could be owed to the screen game. Tagovailoa has thrown 120 passes behind the LOS this year, or about 26% of his attempts. Compare that to Brennan Armstrong, for example, who’s only thrown screens about 10% of the time. I haven’t seen many Maryland games, but my hunch is that Tagovailoa’s stats have been buffed a little bit by all the high-percentage screens. This could be to the detriment of their ability to force the downfield game, sort of like Tech’s throwback/crossers game hid some problems with the downfield game.

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